Views on politics and current events

Monday, September 11, 2006

Among The Missing

From blogs for industry...blogs for the dead

The NYT profiles men who are not in the job market:

Alan Beggerow has stopped looking for work. Laid off as a steelworker at 48, he taught math for a while at a community college. But when that ended, he could not find a job that, in his view, was neither demeaning nor underpaid.

So instead of heading to work, Mr. Beggerow, now 53, fills his days with diversions: playing the piano, reading histories and biographies, writing unpublished Western potboilers in the Louis L'Amour style - all activities once relegated to spare time. He often stays up late and sleeps until 11 a.m.

"I have come to realize that my free time is worth a lot to me," he said.

Sure, but it's not worth jack to the rest of us, grasshopper.

Apparently there are now record numbers of men like this.

About 13 percent of American men in this age group [30-55] are not working, up from 5 percent in the late 1960's. The difference represents 4 million men who would be working today if the employment rate had remained where it was in the 1950's and 60's.

I'm not sure which is more a sign of the country going to the proverbial hell in a handbasket...that people are in this situation, that banks will give these guys second mortgages, or that they are willing to have their lifestyles plastered all over the NYT website.

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