Monday, July 31, 2006

US men not working -- by choice?

Here we find an article suggesting that many US men are simply not working, after losing their long-time jobs. Is this supposed to be their fault? To my mind, this quote sums it up:
"Men don’t feel a need to be in a career, not as much as they once did," said Ruth Milkman, a sociologist at the University of California at Los Angeles. "Nor do men have the incentive they once had to pursue a career, not when employers are no longer committed to them."
So, in essence, men get laid off, can't get a job that pays as well as they are used to, can't get a job that is as satisfying as the one they had -- and is it supposed to be their fault they decide "fuck it" and don't bother any more? How much degradation are you supposed to accept before you've endured enough? How far are you supposed to sink into the mire of low-paying work with no long-term guarantees (and, in the US, no health insurance) before you're allowed to say "enough"? When will states finally realize that they are obligated to ensure everyone can have a fair chance at a decent life?

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