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Men Not at Work

We’ve drummed this theme many times in the Hotline, but the crisis keeps getting worse. Fewer and fewer men of working age are…working. The percentage has slipped from roughly 86% to 66% over the past five decades.  Since 2000, the rate has fallen by roughly another 10 percentage points.

This is bad news economically and culturally. Adult men who are not working suffer higher rates of divorce, alcoholism, drug abuse, crime, suicide, abusive behavior, and depression.

Happiness and longevity are associated with working. Depression and early death are associated with not working.

We recommend that our readers get a hold of David Bahnsen’s new book “Full Time: Work and the Meaning of Life.” We are struck by these charts from the book that show the social pathologies that are so highly troubling in modern America. Notice that these trends all have gotten worse as work participation has fallen.

Why is work so apparently related to happiness and a long life? It’s simple really:

“Work helps give life meaning,” Bahnsen concludes.

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