While “unemployment” is down, work rates have also fallen — and the male work rate is now at Depression-era levels. AEI invites you to the launch of Nicholas Eberstadt’s new book “Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis,” an important new study of an underreported phenomenon: America’s growing army of un-working men.
On Tuesday at AEI, AEI’s Nicholas Eberstadt presented his new book “Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis” (Templeton Press, September 2016). David Wessel of the Brookings Institution joined Dr. Eberstadt to discuss the findings.
Since the 1940s, the work rate (employment-to-population ratio) for men decreased, with 7 million men out of the labor force today. Dr. Eberstadt recognized that both supply and demand causes affect this trend, including institutional barriers, welfare policy, structural unemployment, and motivational factors. Mr. Wessel prompted everyone to consider how much of this trend is caused by the supply or the demand, citing changes in America’s manufacturing sector and the skills necessary for employment.
To examine this question, Dr. Eberstadt called for perspectives from across the political aisle and pointed to the need for further research, including studying the performance of ex-felons trying to enter the labor force and tracking disability payments that may be financing un-working lifestyle.
–Cecilia Joy Perez
The stock market — and US personal wealth holdings — continue to set new records. The United States is now at or near “full employment,” at least according to received wisdom. But a closer look at the data reveals something else entirely. While “unemployment” is down, work rates have also fallen — and the male work rate is now at Depression-era levels. Today, 7 million men age 24 to 54 are neither working nor looking for work. The collapse of work for men, indeed, appears to be at the center of many of America’s current social and economic woes. Read the rest of this entry »
Researchers at MIT have developed a robot that enhances the grasping motion of the human hand. Learn more…
Heather Mac Donald writes: In November 2013, two dozen graduate students at the University of California at Los Angeles marched into an education class and announced a protest against its “hostile and unsafe climate for Scholars of Color.” The students had been victimized, they claimed, by racial “microaggression”—the hottest concept on campuses today, used to call out racism otherwise invisible to the naked eye. UCLA’s response to the sit-in was a travesty of justice. The education school sacrificed the reputation of a beloved and respected professor in order to placate a group of ignorant students making a specious charge of racism.
“The silence on the repeated assailment of our work by white female colleagues, our professor’s failure to acknowledge and assuage the escalating hostility directed at the only Male of Color in this cohort, as well as his own repeated questioning of this male’s intellectual and professional decisions all support a complacency in this hostile and unsafe climate for Scholars of Color.”
The pattern would repeat itself twice more at UCLA that fall: students would allege that they were victimized by racism, and the administration, rather than correcting the students’ misapprehension, penitently acceded to it. Colleges across the country behave no differently. As student claims of racial and gender mistreatment grow ever more unmoored from reality, campus grown-ups have abdicated their responsibility to cultivate an adult sense of perspective and common sense in their students. Instead, they are creating what tort law calls “eggshell plaintiffs”—preternaturally fragile individuals injured by the slightest collisions with life. The consequences will affect us for years to come.
[Heather Mac Donald is the author of “The Burden of Bad Ideas: How Modern Intellectuals Misshape Our Society“, available at Amazon]
UCLA education professor emeritus Val Rust was involved in multiculturalism long before the concept even existed. A pioneer in the field of comparative education, which studies different countries’ educational systems, Rust has spent over four decades mentoring students from around the world and assisting in international development efforts. He has received virtually every honor awarded by the Society of Comparative and International Education. His former students are unanimous in their praise for his compassion and integrity. “He’s been an amazing mentor to me,” says Cathryn Dhanatya, an assistant dean for research at the USC Rossiter School of Education. “I’ve never experienced anything remotely malicious or negative in terms of how he views students and how he wants them to succeed.” Rosalind Raby, director of the California Colleges for International Education, says that Rust pushes you to “reexamine your own thought processes. There is no one more sensitive to the issue of cross-cultural understanding.” A spring 2013 newsletter from UCLA’s ed school celebrated Rust’s career and featured numerous testimonials about his warmth and support for students.
It was therefore ironic that Rust’s graduate-level class in dissertation preparation was the target of student protest just a few months later—ironic, but in the fevered context of the UCLA education school, not surprising. The school, which trumpets its “social-justice” mission at every opportunity, is a cauldron of simmering racial tensions. Students specializing in “critical race theory”—an intellectually vacuous import from law schools—play the race card incessantly against their fellow students and their professors, leading to an atmosphere of nervous self-censorship. Foreign students are particularly shell-shocked by the school’s climate. “The Asians are just terrified,” says a recent graduate. “They walk into this hyper-racialized environment and have no idea what’s going on. Their attitude in class is: ‘I don’t want to talk. Please don’t make me talk!’ ”
Universities are the least transparent of U.S. institutions, defending protocols more secretive than those of the Swiss banking system.
For National Review Online, Victor Davis Hanson writes: Employment rates for college graduates are dismal. Aggregate student debt is staggering. But university administrative salaries are soaring. The campus climate of tolerance has utterly disappeared. Only the hard sciences and graduate schools have salvaged American universities’ international reputations.
[Order Victor Davis Hanson’s book The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost – From Ancient Greece to Iraq from Amazon.com]
For over two centuries, our superb system of American public and private higher education kept pace with radically changing times and so ensured our prosperity and reinforced democratic pluralism. But a funny thing has happened on the way to the 21st century. Colleges that were once our most enlightened and tolerant institutions became America’s dinosaurs. Read the rest of this entry »