Americans are not working, nor is their collapsing culture

The unemployment rate is very low, but we have millions fewer people working in America than pre-pandemic. So what gives?

Here’s what gives. It’s because the unemployment rate does not measure the total number of people who are unemployed. It instead measures the number of people who are unemployed but looking for work. Many people who are unemployed today are simply not looking.

Work is not to their liking.  

Of those who do work, it appears that many are not working very hard. For example, overtime hours are down. “Working” from home is still very common.

This was building for years (or perhaps I should say deteriorating for years) but really took off in the pandemic. People were told it was permissible not to work. In fact, for a while they were told it was not permissible to work; they were ordered to stay at home.

Most of them gladly did. Especially younger “workers.” They’ve been taught that ambition and real work are negative traits. Life is instead all about comfort. Not even recreation or adventure, but just couch-potato, mouth-stuffing, pot-smoking, basement-living, internet-surfing, mindless comfort.

Speaking of which, the Air Force has long had limits on the percentage of body fat in new recruits. For men, it was at 20% for years. They recently raised it to 26%.

There’s a paradox in that. You see every day that grocery stores are still poorly stocked and poorly staffed. Nonetheless, the younger generation’s “men” of genius (apologies to Budweiser . . . on second thought, screw you, Budweiser) resourcefully find, hunt, kill and ingest about twice as many calories as they burn, and that’s just the potato chip part of their “diet.”

You might wonder how these slothful slobs get the money to pay for their calories. Well, during COVID we sent it to them as payment for not working. Since then – did I mention they’re resourceful? – they’ve learned how to borrow money. Usually at 23% interest rates on their credit cards.

There’s a limit to how much you can borrow on a credit card, but there’s no limit to how many credit cards you can own. Some of these unworking, unemployed, unambitious types have six-figures in credit card debt on their zero-figure incomes, on which they’re paying 23% interest. Do the math – because they won’t and can’t.

Which brings me to the second point. It’s not just Americans who are not working. It’s their nation. Now, I’m using the word “work” in the sense of “properly operating.” As in, “This can opener doesn’t work – it’s broken.”

America is broken. You see it in tangible ways. The roads are in miserable shape, even though the Feds sent billions of printed-up COVID money to the states to fix them – money that the states apparently spent instead on rainbow flags, DEI staff, and the like. At the same time, those grocery stores and many other businesses are begging for employees. Try getting a car repaired or a dishwasher fixed.

By the way, I love the recordings saying “We are experiencing unusually high call volume. Please hold, your call is important to us.” Which makes me think, wait a goddam minute. It can’t be that every time anyone calls, your call volume is “unusually” high. And if our calls were important to them, they would hire enough people to answer the goddam phones.

On the other hand, it’s apparently difficult to hire people to answer the goddam phones or any other kind, much less repair cars or fix dishwashers.

Seems they don’t teach skills like dishwasher fixing, car repair, or telephone answering in colleges where they charge $200,000 and a lifetime of debt for a degree in Sociology.

But don’t lose sleep over that debt. If you vote Democrat, there’s a fair chance they’ll shift your debt for your worthless Sociology degree onto the skilled, hard-working suckers who didn’t go to college but have the skills to repair your Prius. You know, the one with the C-O-E-X-I-S-T bumper sticker that you tool around in – which is as close to a tool as you’ll ever get apart from the bum you admire in the mirror – while you mock the guy who fixed it.   

You see it in intangible ways, too, that are even more worrisome. Our political system no longer strives to solve problems, but instead strives to beat the other side. Joe Biden refuses to even talk to Republicans about the debt ceiling, preferring instead to score political points with his constituency with simpleton finger-pointing and name-calling while he stuffs his comatose face hole with ice cream.

C’mon, man!

The voters aren’t much better. The dominant element in American politics is tribalism. Whatever the other side wants, our side doesn’t. And whatever the other side doesn’t want, our side does. Politicians do finger-pointing and name-calling instead of problem-solving, after all, for a good reason. Because it works.

A 21-year-old kid had access to some of the Pentagon’s most secret materials, and shared it on an internet chat room to impress his teenage friends. How on earth does that happen?

A Democrat local district attorney indicted a Republican former president on ridiculous charges that even the Biden-beholden Feds declined to prosecute, while simultaneously handing out Get-Out-of-Jail-Free cards to felons that are terrorizing the city.

Even Europeans think we’ve lost our friggin’ minds. Pause and let that sink in — even the French think we’re lazy and crazy.

Women’s sports is being taken over by men posing as women – including, tragi-comically, weightlifting, where men’s records are universally about 40% higher than women’s, or at least they were before men were allowed to compete as women. And we’re supposed to treat these crossdressers as heroes, a la Rosa Parks, else be name-called “bigots.”

Rosa Parks must be turning in her grave.

The colleges – yes, those same ones selling Sociology degrees for $200,000 – are dropping standardized testing because pale people do well on such testing, and pale people are bad.

I say it’s colleges that are bad.

In Afghanistan, we couldn’t even quit and sneak away competently. We instead produced a medieval bloodbath, the rivers of which are still flowing, and left behind billions of military equipment for the enemy. Can you imagine how the Chinese and Russians view the U.S. military’s obsession with wokeness?

The southern border now exists only on paper. We allow – nay, we entice – cross-border drug dealers to flood our cities with heroin and fentanyl for the vagrants who have taken over, whom we entice with free stuff to permanently camp on the sidewalks and poop in the gutters.

And then we wonder why the drug dealers come, why the vagrants use the drugs, and why our cities are toilets.

But we don’t wonder very hard. That would require work. See above. 

My book is out, “High Attitude — How Woke Liberals Ruined Aspen.” It’s currently at No. 5 on Amazon in the “Political Commentary” category. You can get it HERE.

16 thoughts on “Americans are not working, nor is their collapsing culture

  1. It seems more and more like all of these college graduates majored in gaslighting. Not the once noble occupation from a long gone era of lighting gas lit street lamps so folks could find their way home in the dark

    Rather, it’s that term that’s been coined after a 1944 film (starring Ingrid Bergman) that refers to psychological manipulation of others for greed, envy, lust and/or power.

    Gaslighters seem to overpopulate our city halls, school boards, DMVs, statehouses, Washington, D.C., media, academia, corporate boardrooms and HR departments.

    American life is starting to feel a lot more like that Leonard Cohen song, Everybody Knows.

    🎶 Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
    🎶 Everybody knows that the captain lied
    🎶 Everybody got this broken feeling
    🎶 Like their father or their dog just died …


    • Been reading your columns for a couple years now. This one is just simply marvelous, get’s right to the heart of the matter. I know a bit of western history and know a bit about Aspen in it’s very earliest days. How did the wealthy upper crust end up invading the place? Did they do that the same way the same kind of people destroyed 250 yrs of my family’s history on the Maine Coast?

    • Indeed. As Shakespeare put it,

      “All this the world well knows, but none knows well
      How to shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.”

      He was writing on a very different subject, but in our case “the heaven” is the Marxist/Progressive/Woke promise that we can can all share equitably in the fruits of our labors, without actually having to do much labor.

  2. It’s worse than you think, Glenn. It is reported that salaries paid to workers are at all time high. It’s as if workers can name their starting salary. Yet, these same people claim it is so bad they have to live with parents.

    • The hourly labor rate for throwing down mulch in my area is $100. Oye. I guess I’m paying for all those useless B.S.’s. And that is BS.

  3. Many Americans work.
    We work hard.
    And yet, we are the “Deplorables”.

    America is being “fundamentally transformed”.
    The goal is to become independent from the economy.
    A government check arrives regardless of recession or anything else the economy does.
    The Chinese have a colorful phrase for it: “the iron rice bowl”.
    Now I quote from Lady Margaret, “Socialism works perfectly fine….”

  4. During the Gilded Age in the 1890s, two principles coalesced:

    From Protestant America came The Protestant Ethic: “God helps those who help themselves.”

    And from the Social Darwinists came the observation that Nature favors the fittest — the most industrious, the most quick-witted, the most tough-minded, and so on.

    The result was a rising industrial tide that truly did lift all boats.

    And then came the Marxist Progressives, who resented and defied both Nature and Nature’s God, and “now I only hear / [The tide’s] melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, / Retreating . . . / down the vast edges drear / And naked shingles of the world.”

    • Very insightful observation, Chad, on both counts. Interesting how the Darwinists and Protestants came to the same conclusion, independently and for independent reasons. Huh, maybe, just maybe, they were right.

      • I’ll add that back then people complained about “the Robber Barons” — the industrial tycoons who actually built things, but we have our own, who mostly take things, from farmland to gas-powered engines, and who are plunging us into what RFK Jr. calls corporate/government feudalism and what Hayek called The Road to Serfdom.

        During the Covid years, Kennedy estimates that $4 trillion of wealth was transferred from the middle class to billionaires. We can blame ourselves for our declining work ethic, but we are also being screwed.

  5. Thank you for your well described encapsulation of the mess we find ourselves in and are struggling to find a way out. God help us!

  6. U-1 is the unemployment statistic that politicians and the media like the most to quote. It’s also the most irrelevant. Under U-1, most of us could decide to quit our jobs and drop out and unemployment would still be near zero. On the other hand, U-6, aka the “Participation Rate” is the more salient number. And unlike U-1, U-6 never came close to recovering from the pandemic.

    Meanwhile, we have establishment academia pumping out useless people like this:

    “It’s sick and twisted that I have to work to survive for basic necessities… What if I don’t want to achieve sh*t? I still have to work till the day I die just to live?… Universal healthcare, universal basic income it needs to happen now… For the 1% it’ll never be enough.”

    Live for what? To sit on the couch and masturbate all day? Who the hell will ever hire this guy? I wouldn’t let him walk my dog. No doubt he considers himself “educated”.

    This is the result of generations of historically unprecedented affluence for the masses. They almost all think it’s magic, and if they lack anything it’s because someone else with a bigger bank account is hording it from them.

    Unfortunately, the only cure for this problem is the unthinkable; a complete and utter economic crash that will make 1929 look like Disneyworld. The only upside I see to that is that the purposely skill-free losers like described above will quickly starve themselves out of the gene pool.

  7. Your best column yet, Glenn. I feel like I’m watching several car wrecks in slow motion all at the same time. It’s hard to believe the sheer volume of delusion and denial. And even worse, I’m watching some friends who I thought were sane and rational beginning to parrot some of this nonsense. The only comparison I can truly think of is Germany in the 1930’s.

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