Faced with the unprecedented drop in male labor force participation and a simultaneous rise in the female labor force participation rate, the American policy establishment has chosen to notice the problem and double down on the evident and widely agreed upon causes. In the Atlantic, Derek Thompson writes (in a single draft, because he is not paid enough to think) that this is because of the “rise of women and the growth of the safety net.”
Men have become less motivated to work as women have arisen in legal and social status. Thompson has no recommendations, which is just as well.
According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve, for the first time ever, the male labor force participation rate has now dropped below 70%, to 69.2%. In 2007, before the bailouts, it was 73.3%.
The female labor force participation rate has also dropped since 2007 from 58.9% to 57.2%. That’s not as much of a drop as with the men, but still significant.
This has also lead to pseudo-philosophizing about how men are not as useful to modern work as women are, that manufacturing is less important (which is false), and that muscles are not as important as brains and communication and connection and feelings. None of these things are true and many are not empirically verifiable claims.
Women and the children that they bear are the motivation for men to yoke themselves to serious careers. As fewer women of all classes have been willing to subordinate themselves to the traditional marital arrangement (propagandized to reject it in the school system and by corporate propaganda), men instead elect to become lotus eaters.
If you are discriminated against in the work place, if your wife can cheat with impunity and then loot family assets, and if your social position is permanently at risk due to being labeled an ‘abuser,’ a ‘racist,’ or a ‘sexist,’ it is much safer for a white man to skate under the radar, not be too ambitious, and avoid risky relationships.
‘PUA’ has become a recognizable acronym even in mainstream outlets because this male adaptive strategy has become so popular.
This even has an impact on inheritance, as parents know that passing assets down to male heirs is far riskier than giving assets to female ones. Any man’s assets can be seized by his wife at any time and for almost any reason. If you pass funds and property down to women, you can be reasonably assured that she will keep it for herself.
Moral Distraction is Easier Than Addressing the Issues
As men become more aware that their assets can be seized by their wives on a whim, fewer are willing to enter heterosexual marriages. It is a psychological curiosity that gay marriage has become such a progressive fixation as this far more important trend is occurring. The legal situation of heterosexual marriage and child-rearing is a free-fire zone of misery, but the chattering classes fixate instead on giving sodomites rights that they do not even show much interest in making use of.
There is an appetite for moral self-flattery in the American middle class that only becomes more pronounced as you look further up the ladder. Because the lower class in America is so disgusting and reprehensible to their betters, the middles and better are always looking abroad or to palatable substitutes for opportunities for moral uplift.
It is odd that an upper middle class woman will see better opportunities in moral self-flattery through adopting a negro babe from Haiti than through adopting a home-grown negro.
It is odd that performing community service in Kenya will help you get into Yale, but that performing community service in Newark, Camden, Oakland, or Chicago’s South Side would be unthinkable to any private school student or their ambitious parents in America. It would never even be suggested by an admissions consultant.
The standard excuse is that the American ‘safety net’ provides for these unloved domestic negroes, whereas foreign aid never does enough for the more exotic varieties on other continents.
The Inversions of America’s Last Days
When Europeans settled America, most settlements only provided property rights to white men. Throughout the continent, but in the south most of all, status could be enhanced by purchasing negroes from African slave traders, and then setting them to work on the farm. Only the wealthy could afford slaves.
Today, status can still be enhanced by purchasing black babies, although they are no longer given useful jobs or social roles in large numbers. It’s called adoption. Urban politicians compete for status by unveiling new grand plans to bring black people up to the same levels as whites — by taking over their lives at every stage through educational, correctional, and make-work institutions.
This process is popular for the better-off whites to root for, because it makes them feel like morally superior people. Good folks are perpetually concerned about improving the lot of the ‘oppressed,’ even if all of the programs designed to help those people tends to make them far worse off than they would be left alone or segregated.
Instead, most are dumped into prison-like public schools. The men inevitably wind up in prisons. Even the best among them must deal with the gravitational pull of a culture that has abandoned even the pretense of Christian social norms.
The minor artistic achievements of the Harlem Renaissance or of the great jazz musicians are forgotten (except by white NPR listeners): instead, the press glorifies rappers.
Whites enhance their status relative to one another in part by pretending to do wonderful things for black people without doing anything that’s terribly good for those same black people. In their finishing schools, Americans learn to morally flagellate themselves for the ideology of ‘white supremacy’ held by their ancestors. This self-mortification has an obvious pleasurable aspect, so much so that college graduates practice it in a ritual fashion even after they have graduated.
A social structure that used to be dedicated to motivating European men to civilize a continent has been inverted, in spirit if not yet in form. The males are no longer motivated to be men, and the women are dizzy, with their superiors commanding them to behave like men because the males refuse to be men in increasing numbers, yet the advice is rarely followed.
The solution is to invert the inversion, and then to fix it in place using political and social systems that are less prone to leftward drift.