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Thursday, July 22, 2010

The end of trend

Nicholas Kristof is correct to say that men should not be written off, but for the wrong reasons:
With women making far-reaching gains, there’s a larger question. Are women simply better-suited than men to today’s jobs? The Atlantic raised this issue provocatively in this month’s issue with a cover story by Hanna Rosin bluntly entitled, “The End of Men.”

“What if the modern, postindustrial economy is simply more congenial to women than to men?” Ms. Rosin asked. She adds: “The postindustrial economy is indifferent to men’s size and strength. The attributes that are most valuable today — social intelligence, open communication, the ability to sit still and focus — are, at a minimum, not predominately male. In fact, the opposite may be true.”

It’s a fair question, and others also have been wondering aloud if a new age of femininity is dawning. After all, Ms. Rosin notes that Americans who use high-tech biology to try to pick a baby’s sex seek a girl more often than a boy. And women now make up 51 percent of professional and managerial positions in America, up from 26 percent in 1980.
This demonstrates the problem with the linear thinker. Those who see the transformation of the workforce and academia into female-majority populations are assuming that the present post-industrial system is sustainable. But it isn't. It's true that women will continue to collect more and more worthless degrees than men and fill more and more needless paper-shifting jobs than men right up until the point at which a debt-laden society can no longer afford to pay for people to learn nothing and do nothing.

A private sector job which exists solely to comply with government-dictated paperwork is every bit as government-manufactured and unproductive as a public sector job. And that is precisely the type of job which is going to disappear entirely once the debt edifice collapses and the extent of the dollar-denominated imaginary economy is revealed. Just as stripping out the debt-funded component of GDP reveals that there has been no actual economic growth for decades, stripping out the paperwork jobs will demonstrate that the real labor force is still roughly 2/3rd male, just as it was in 1950.

Note for the historically illiterate. Women have ALWAYS worked. One-third of the labor force has ALWAYS been female. A more accurate description of "women in the workplace" is "middle-class mothers in the workplace". The idea of the American stay-at-home mother was always a fundamentally middle-class one, and now, thanks to the increase in the labor supply combined with increasing taxes, most middle-class couples require two incomes in order to stay middle-class.

And the idea that the few Americans (300 million) who use sex selection technology to choose girls are going to counterbalance the millions of Chinese and Indians (2.3 billion) who use it to select boys is obviously absurd.

The non-linear thinker is forced to contemplate very different questions. Rather than occupy himself with asking if men are at an end or will be employable in a world of government-dictated make-work, he is forced to ask when the inevitable employment and academic collapse will take place in America and when the war between China and India, never officially ended, will resume. In other words, is it the end of men or the end of a societal trend?

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