PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Author Nick Eberstadt talked with Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT about his book, Men Without Work, and the phenomenon of working age men existing outside of the labor force, unable to find jobs.
Eberstadt said this epidemic has been growing for generations.
“I call it a quiet catastrophe because if you look at what’s happened, not just this year, but over the last 50 years, there’s been a collapse of work for men. A remarkable marginalization of a huge number of men. The work rate for guys in our country today is lower than it was in 1940 at the end of the depression. Yet somehow, this tiny little problem has been ignored by the entire talking classes.”
He believes that, at some point, the number of men unable to find work will begin to impact the political process.
“It’s been going on for decades. We’ve been seeing this collapse of work. We’ve been seeing a flight from work by men in this prime work age group for the 25 to 54 year-old-guys, about one in eight is neither working or looking for work. We’ve got an army of unworking men. We’ve got seven million guys who are in this group and they’re completely outside of the labor force. That’s got to be a, sort of, potentially volatile political area.”
Eberstadt stated he sees white men being won over by Donald Trump in this year’s presidential election, but GOP nominee’s appeal with unemployed males ends there.
“According to the public opinion poll, it’s very divided ethnically in that respect. Certainly among non-Hispanic whites, there’s been a huge swing towards Trump. But, I don’t think that’s at all true for people of color. But yes, There’s certainly been a catalyst, it’s gone almost like an explosive moment.”