Friday, February 7, 2014

More Men in Prime Working Ages Don't Have Jobs

Wall Street Journal   Mark Riley was 53 years old when he lost a job as a grant writer for an Arkansas community college. "I was stunned," he said. "It happened on my daughter's 11th birthday." His boss blamed state budget cuts.

That was almost three years ago and he still hasn't found steady work. Mr. Riley, whose unemployment benefits ran out 14 months ago, says his long and fruitless search is proof employers won't hire men out of work too long.

"We're poor, but we're not broke," Mr. Riley said. "We still have property. We have cars. We have some assets, we just can't liquidate them." 

Mr. Riley's frustration is widely shared. More than one in six men ages 25 to 54, prime working years, don't have jobs—a total of 10.4 million. Some are looking for jobs; many aren't. Some had jobs that went overseas or were lost to technology. Some refuse to uproot for work because they are tied down by family needs or tethered to homes worth less than the mortgage. Some rely on government benefits. Others depend on working spouses.

Having so many men out of work is partly a symptom of a U.S. economy slow to recover from the worst recession in 75 years. It is also a chronic condition that shows how technology and globalization are transforming jobs faster than many workers can adapt, economists say.

The trend has been building for decades, according to government data. In the early 1970s, just 6% of American men ages 25 to 54 were without jobs. By late 2007, it was 13%. In 2009, during the worst of the recession, nearly 20% didn't have jobs. [...]


  1. The billlionaires go overseas to invest because the government here torments them and for fiscal reasons. They make products with non-American labor and sell it to Americans who havve few jobs because everything is going overseas. We are supporting the world and destroying Americans.

    1. The billlionaires go overseas to invest because the government here torments them and for fiscal reasons.

      Torments them? Can we define torture please? GE's CEO took home $25.8 Million in 2012. AOL's CEO, it was said, has a base salary of 12 Million that's not counting other forms of compensation such as bonuses and stock options.(while cutting employee benefits to squeeze out better profit margins).

      If that is torture, where can I sign up for a year or two of it? The average CEO in the US gets paid 380 times what the average worker in his company gets paid. To put that in more understandable terms, the CEO gets paid as much in 1hr as the average employee does in a month. Once again I would like to volunteer for this form of torture. Please where can I sign up.

      Here is a video representation of the wage inequality currently found in the US.

      Note wage inequality has not been this bad in the US since right before the Great Depression, and it was such wage inequality that lead directly to the Great Depression.

  2. Another factor causing men to be unemployed is the presence of many millions of women in the workplace.

    Also: female managers who use their managerial powers to get revenge against men by torturing male employees.

    Also: draconian sexual harassments laws, through which a man can get fired for merely looking at a female co-worker, even if she chooses to come to work almost naked.

  3. i know. if corporations could treat workers like they do in china or botswana, things would be great.

  4. Jews are not supposed to have 'Jobs'. They are supposed to be self employed, under no one but Hashem. It is for this reason that one may not get employment under a boss (in the boss's house/premises Samuch Al Shulchano) for more than three years. See Choshen Mishpat 333,3 in the Rem'a and Sm'a and Sha'ch there and see Even Ezra Devorim 15,18.

    1. katche - you are guilty of stealing from people - ie preventing them earnign a parnoso. That is a serious crime.

  5. Katche-lab says, "Jews are not supposed to have 'Jobs'.They are supposed to be self-employed, under n one but HaShem." The proof is that one is not allowed to work in the house of another for over three years as this is similar to slavery. But this applies only if he does not live in his own apartment but lives in the house of the boss. This is similar to slavery that he is always in the house of his employer. But one who has a job has not sinned and this is not like slavery. Furthermore, for less than three years one may even live in the house of his boss.

  6. Katch-lab, again about your saying that Jews should not have jobs. See Bovo Metsiah the seventh chapter about hiring workers. The passage says, Tehilim 104:23 "A man goe forth in the morning to his work, and his avduse, hard work, until evening. The gemora says that going out means he left his house to work for somebody else see BM 83b. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, even if the man does AVDUS which literally means "slavery" meaning hard work. As long as he lives in his own house and he has an honest job we praise him for this, as the Psalmist does.

  7. I did not say it is Ossur to have a job, I said Jews aren't supposed to. This is a violation of the spirit of the law , not the letter. I was careful to be clear when talking about the actual Issur, as I added '(in the boss's house/premises Samuch Al Shulchano)'. I thought I made myself clear in what I saying. My intention was to show the Issur as food for thought to understand the reasoning and to therefore realize that for a Jew to be dependent on a human being for his livelihood is not the way it should be. You are only looking at the Issur and not allowing yourself to learn from it the Mussar Haskel.

    By giving the source, I expected that you would at least take it seriously enough to be Me'ayin there and to understand what I am saying, but it seems you did not...

    So see the Mechaber(from sources) in Choshen Mishpat there, which refers to any Poel, IN HOUSE OR OUT, and explains the Heter for a Poel to retract in middle of the job, by saying that truthfully, having this job is not ideal anyway, even though it isn't Ossur, but it is a violation of the spirit of the Posuk that he quotes, that Jews should only be slaves to Hashem and not to other slaves. So he is clearly talking about work which is Mutar, and yet it isn't the way it's supposed to be. From there, the Remah continues and says that for this reason, it is actually Ossur to be an In-house Poel for more than 3 years. Exactly what I said.

    Now let me explain this spirit because the way you argue against what I said, you make it seem that this Hashkofo shows some sort of pick against Jews having Parnosso. Chas V'sholom! Jews should be wealthy and lack nothing and should use it for Avodas Hashem. On the contrary! Hashem wants us to be Rak L'maaloh, not subservient to a Human. We are Eved Melech Melech. Of course being a Prince requires a particular protocol. Nobody said being a prince is easy. I suppose it take the least initiative to be a Shlomazal. But Hashem doesn't necessarily want us to take the least initiative, he wants us to be princes and whatever is par for that lofty course.

  8. Also, I don't have time now to be Me'ayin, but is it so clear that any out of house Poel is Mutar? From the K'tzos, (and others) it seems that even an out of house Poel is Ossur.

    1. Rav Elyashiv worked, ie was employed by the Medinat Yisroel, as a Dayan, an when he retired he received a state pension. I would have used Rav Herzog or Rav Uziel as examples, but obviously you wouldn't recognize them.
      In any case, the economic system of today is radically different from what it was 2000 or 3000 years ago.
      Today, some people may be more successful in business than others.
      But many or most have careers, they study something secular (whoops that is treif in some quarters). Even if you want to work with diamonds, you still need to learn some gemology. But diamond business cannot feed everyone.
      Even Yeshivot employ people, rabbanim and pay them wages.

    2. If one has no other means, it is permitted, as with an Eved Ivri. Also if the employment is in Torah, there is a Mochlokes between the Earlier Achronim; Shu't Chavos Yair, Ketzos and others. And there are also differences in these Poskim between various Torah jobs.

      I did not mean to get into a Halacha discourse. I meant to make an important point about what should ideally be the aim in this area. Since the issue of the scarcity and difficulty to attain jobs was brought up, I mentioned this. It is something which should be known and it goes with an entire Haskafa which I have touched upon.

    3. I heard enough of this "hashkofo" - it is one that buries people. People have no income, they cannot get married, etc etc. The Torah says 6 days you shall work. Chazal said he who doesn't teach his one a trade teaches him to steal.
      The haskofo is one of institutionalized theft. Theft is one of the 10 commandments, but of course the reform hashkofo doesnt recognize the 10 commandments.

    4. As a child the Baal HaTanyo was honored to speak at a fair, which in those days was a time when the great rabbis and the merchants came to exchange merchandise and decide matters for the Jewish community. The Baal HaTanyo said that Jews should go into farming rather than business, which he called, "avodas haruach" or an unreal thing. And the gemora says "greater is one who benefits from the toil of his hand than the pious." Hard work is holy and Hillel was a wood chopper, and he was paid a steady wage as meager as it was, so he probably worked for somebody.

    5. With all of my comments, the idea of being independent as an earner is surely desirable. And the idea of being a slave to an employer is surely a problem. But in our economic times and surely in earlier times, people had to worry about starving and such pure thoughts may be far down the line, but it is nice to hear idealism.

    6. What I am saying does not bury people. It uplifts them and makes it possible to exist. The average 'Job' or even a 'Job' that is way above average does not bring in anywhere near enough income for a Frum family. Our expenses are tremendously high compared to the Goyim. We have to pay for schooling, we give Maaser, we have Hotzaos Shabbos V'yom Tov, Tzitzis, Tefillin, Mezuza, Succah, Dalet Minim, Matzo, Kashrus, etc. We can't come close to make ends meet to support our families on salaries of $40K, or even $50K, Even $80K isn't enough, and it takes many years before reaching such a salary, if ever. The way to go is to be enterprising and be self employed. Most people who make a comfortable living do not rely only on a 'Job'.

      That which Chaza'l teach about learning a trade, does not by any means imply being employed by a boss rather than on one's own. Most trades mentioned in Chaza"l involve self employment.

      I posted this for a good purpose, to teach people to be enterprising in order to really be able to make a good living, and not be at the mercy of a boss who may at any point terminate the employment. This is a way to get out of the rut. To undermine my words is not doing a service to anyone.

      While a person is not yet in the position to go on his own, he should (try to) get a 'Job", of course, but I am talking about what the ideal aim should be.

      This is the guidance that the Torah gives us, as I have shown. The words of the Shulchan Oruch don't need us to understand them in order for us to accept them, but in this case, I have explained that even the way our understanding dictates, there really is no better way.

    7. Katche-lab, I advise people to get a job with a steady paycheck, and then to work on their own to find "green" money that may grow. If the self-employment works out, it works out. If not, he has a steady paycheck. But to start out cold an rely on it to support a family is very difficult. A person has to spend a long time to really understand how to sustain an independent job. I just spoke to somebody who worked on his own and made a bundle. Then he lost it and since then he has not recovered, years of misery and who knows if it will change. HaShem should help. To tell people idealistic things that are very difficult and make them feel guilty because they do something that is perfectly legitimate is not a Torah way.

    8. I agree with you generally in your practical approach. That's not to say, however, that having a steady job 'is' to be relied upon. It wasn't for Mr. Riley.

      You really can't give accurate guidance on a public forum, because you need to judge it on the basis of the nature and the circumstances of the individual. The purpose of such a forum is to bring correct ideas to light and to, through discussion, create clarity. I believe this has been accomplished here by all of us collectively. מיני ומינך תסתיים שמעתתא


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