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"American male’s postwar flight from work"

caesar novus

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I read a free e-memoir of a WW2 bomber co-pilot called "Serenade to the Big Bird" that I can't recommend but started me reflecting on work and family trends. Actually his writeup of prewar and likely postwar goals of him and his buddies was interesting - chase women under any pretense, suck down hard alcohol in down-times when possible, but expect you will eventually have to secure a highly paid job to support some irresistible nonworking spouse and various children.

 

He didn't survive the war, but his and other accounts depict that both men and many women were in a frenzy to meet up more than today, and not just due to the disruption of war. Hormones and hedonism seemed in the air, but the assumed trajectory was toward serious (1950ish) domesticated worker bee life. A recent article http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-idle-army-americas-unworking-men-1472769641 "The Idle Army: America’s Unworking Men" shows a major new alternate lifestyle with hedonism, kids, but without any thought of work.

 

The US publishes pretty low unemployment figures, but they only count unemployed JOB SEEKERS. The US rivals Greece in OVERALL unemployed, which are not just those in school or retired. It can total almost 40% for male grown ups. Almost a hundred million of all (4?) genders not seeking work. I'll skip the guesstimates of how many of those are brazenly coasting on benefits, crime, grey market, or disability fraud, but you see the swashbuckling lifestyle of them all the time. Those arrested at age 18 with 11 children by 5 welfare mothers with a flashy car but unemployable. No incentive to engage in civil society, and police of all races are grimly experienced, not biased, with dealing with their hostile sense of entitlement.

 

This social ill was seemingly created by "compassionate" politics during my lifetime, generally without carrots or sticks. The problem is not from immigrants or the married "underprivileged" or many others who still work hard and bear the burden of taxation, it is product of social engineering by naive children and grandchildren of 1940's boozers who played but worked hard. Oh, and who died early of lung cancer due to the culture of free cigarettes issued to US soldiers, when the Germans had already proven the cancer link.


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