Patterico's Pontifications

11/2/2018

The Male Millennial Layabout

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:52 pm



[guest post by JVW]

This post is in honor of a very positive jobs report being released today, just four days before election day.

I saw an aggravating link on a friend’s Facebook wall that I will share with all of you. Bloomberg reports that the strong economy and bang-up job market isn’t quite reaching one large demographic: millennial men, age 25-34. According to them, the number of this cohort in the workforce is about 500,000 lower than would be expected had the numbers returned to their pre-recession levels. The article posits several reasons for this trend, from poor educations (the unemployment rate for men 25-34 with only a high school education was measured at 16.4% in 2016, up from 6.4% two decades earlier) to a lack of motivation to find work, to inflated expectations of what they should be paid for unskilled labor.

But there are other real disadvantages that millennial men face, some of which are their own fault and some of which are not. To begin with, these men grew up during a period when the number of single-parent households was steadily rising, so a larger percentage of them than any other generation were raised one parent, usually mom. They likely attended public schools where almost 90% of their elementary school teachers were women, and then moved on to secondary schools where about two out of three of their teachers were female. Contrary to notions of gender equality, the percentage of female teachers over the past 30 years has only risen. Thus, millennial males are more likely than any previous generation to have gone through their entire formative years without regular access to an adult male role model who worked. Couple that with the feminization of education and, in fact, most of life these days, and it’s unsurprising that males are increasingly falling behind their female counterparts educationally.

But males have also been willing to be their own worst enemies, by continually adopting bad habits in youth that make them far less desirable employees later on in life. Boys are more likely than girls to burn away hours playing video games, a habit that continues as they get older. Add to that other distractions such as social media and Internet porn, and a sad picture emerges of males growing up in the digital age without social skills or a work ethic.

Maybe it’s too late to do anything about all of this and we’ll be faced with a generation of men who are less likely to find stable and gainful employment, less likely to marry and start families, and more likely to depend upon government programs. But this should be a sobering reflection to us on how the loosening of cultural mores has unintended effects. Next time a feminist complains that there aren’t enough young women interested in STEM fields, I think it is fair for us to ask why the field of education appears to be so hostile to young men.

– JVW

140 Responses to “The Male Millennial Layabout”

  1. White conservative males run most states governments and this even effects the states they don’t. they are hostle to teachers unions and want to cut out public schools for private schools this is a big reason for hostility to white males.

    lany (32f29a)

  2. They are a disillusioned lot. Many despair of finding any meaningful work. There are many reasons for this.

    Colonel Haiku (d6d143)

  3. 1… I call bullschiff on this leftwing, racist excrement.

    Colonel Haiku (d6d143)

  4. Couple that with the feminization of education

    it follows then that the workforce will become similarly feminized – maybe those nasty trashy metoo chicks are doing prejudice on these guys

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  5. “they are hostle to teachers unions and want to cut out public schools for private schools this is a big reason for hostility to white males.”
    lany (32f29a) — 11/2/2018 @ 2:00 pm

    You mean those teachers unions that are so friendly to female conservatives?

    Munroe (9cd03b)

  6. One of many reasons is we’ve spent 40 or 50 years convincing ourselves that working with our hands was …. um ….. déclassé. Then the establishment packed up our industrial infrastructure and sent it off to China. I’m kinda bitter about this because I watched the bankruptcy of the company I worked in for 40 years and 250 hard working men and women lose their jobs. A few years before that while I was still working I had the Dean of the local university business school tell me we couldn’t do what we were doing very profitably in California. Bottom line, lots of folks in the political establishment were and are wrong. About most everything they think they know.

    Rock Bottom (5a4596)

  7. “You mean those teachers unions that are so friendly to female conservatives?”

    You mean Betsy DeVos, who is hostile to teachers unions and wants to cut out public schools for private schools?

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  8. “Then the establishment packed up our industrial infrastructure and sent it off to China. ”

    Who is “the establishment” here?

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  9. As a parent of four young adult children, BGBG, ages 30-22:

    It’s a Peter Pan Syndrome problem, which is to say, a shifting further along the timeline of the willing acquisition of traits of adulthood. It’s by no means an exclusively male phenomenon. And of course, there are conspicuous counterexamples. We are painting with the broadest of brushes.

    It is also an indulgence which signals how rich we are as a society; and it may also reflect an expectation that those entering adulthood have life and career expectancies that will extend many years, and probably decades, longer than those of us entering old age: If you expect to be a “grown-up” for 150 years, it’s not entirely irrational to give in, when able, to the desire to “remain a kid” even longer.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  10. “they are hostle to teachers unions”

    Conservatives have actually helped gain public union members a choice in whether to pay their dues or even belong to a union (aka freedom) instead of being forced and many times they stop based on disagreements in how the money is politicized overwhelmingly Democrat.

    harkin (fc9aef)

  11. Ever think if the men climbing into the landing craft off Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, somehow got a vision of what their offspring would turn out to be 70+ years later, that they might climb back out in disgust?

    B.A. DuBois (80f588)

  12. Teh young females are despondent as well… https://static.pjmedia.com/instapundit/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/sisters.png

    Colonel Haiku (d6d143)

  13. Some go beyond despair to the “mostly dead” stage…

    Colonel Haiku (d6d143)

  14. @11

    Would he be disgusted at them fighting in a war that’s gone on twice as long as WW2?

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  15. Sorry, 3 times as long.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  16. I live in the oilfield where there are more jobs than people to do the jobs, and high wages. Fortunately, young men of those ages are moving here in droves — from all over the country — to get work. It is hard work, and I know not all young men are willing to do that work. But a lot more are willing to do it than you might think.

    DRJ (46c88f)

  17. I agree that the way young people are raised has changed, but another thing that has changed is that fewer people are willing to move for work than after WWII. Maybe going off to war made people realize they could move away from home but somewhere in the past 60 years, we stopped being willing to do that.

    DRJ (46c88f)

  18. 17… too much like work, DRJ…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  19. Or households today discourage their sons from taking risks, including doing things like moving away from home.

    DRJ (46c88f)

  20. I have seen many examples of this and the parents and schools are as much to blame as anyone.

    The parents ( yes, even in two parent households) hire gardeners/housekeepers/pool service while the kids are taxi’d to all their sporting and social events. I did my chores after school and weekends before I was allowed to roam free. And when I went to little league or football practice I walked.

    The schools have forgotten all about work ethic/honor/treating everyone the same regardless of race. Now it’s all about changing the world away from capitalism and recognizing the hierarchy of the grievance totem pole.

    No wonder these kids are clueless.

    harkin (fc9aef)

  21. As a mother, I am probably less comfortable with my children moving away and/or doing risky things than my husband is. I think that is a good thing in a two-parent household, but single-parent households may not give their children different perspectives.

    DRJ (46c88f)

  22. @10 the conservatives are trying to destroy unions as conservatives make union benefits cover non union members. if they don’t get union wages when they don’t pay union dues.

    lany (b395cc)

  23. “Boys are more likely than girls to burn away hours playing video games, a habit that continues as they get older. Add to that other distractions such as social media and Internet porn, and a sad picture emerges of males growing up in the digital age without social skills or a work ethic.”

    And this has what to do with ability to hold down a job as long as they’re not playing video games and using social media at work?

    “Maybe it’s too late to do anything about all of this”

    Really standing athwart history yelling “STOP” there, that’s EXACTLY the slogan I’d run on if I wanted to get attention and get votes, really shows how much you care about fixing the problem NOW rather than never.

    “Contrary to notions of gender equality, the percentage of female teachers over the past 30 years has only risen.”

    Actually this is perfectly in line with the tradition of teacher as schoolmarm and mom substitute/training.

    “The article posits several reasons for this trend, from poor educations (the unemployment rate for men 25-34 with only a high school education was measured at 16.4% in 2016, up from 6.4% two decades earlier) to a lack of motivation to find work, to inflated expectations of what they should be paid for unskilled labor.

    Start punishing employers who hire illegals with more toothsome laws (hire some first-person shooter-playing males to do the enforcement, promise them financial rewards for the biggest offender bounties)and I guarantee you the ‘inflated expectations’ will come in line with the reality.

    There is no such thing as an ’employee shortage’ or ‘male employment crisis’, only a lack of will to force employers to hire national rather than international.

    Ajami (9adbbb)

  24. There are jobs to be had in America. The trades… plumbers, electricians, carpentry, auto mechanics, etc. where people can earn a good livelihood, in some cases $100K or more a year.

    A substantial number of young men seem to feel that there is more status to be had in keeping their hands clean, hair unmussed sitting in a cubicle in front of a screen making $40K a year. That is what they value. I admit that I don’t get that and probably never will.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  25. A lot of that prissy happy-in-a-cubicle mindset may be due to the ongoing efforts of the leftists and men-hating feminists in our country, heck, throughout the Western world, to feminize young males.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  26. And this has what to do with ability to hold down a job as long as they’re not playing video games and using social media at work?

    Seriously? Don’t you think that years of video games, social media, and Internet porn have whittled away young mens’ attention spans to that of a hummingbird (which is probably unfair to hummingbirds)? One problem that you consistently hear about millennials — but especially millennial males — is that they can’t stay focused on any task that takes longer than ten minutes to complete.

    JVW (42615e)

  27. I am highly amused by the idea that everything would be hunky-dory will public education if conservatives would only stop being so mean to the teachers’ unions. I’m sure you can find some suckers somewhere who will fall for that baloney, but it’s a pretty hard sell with this crowd.

    JVW (42615e)

  28. I have seen many examples of this and the parents and schools are as much to blame as anyone.

    For the record, even granting all of the problems with public education I am still a firm believer that the majority of the problems with young boys today start at home. There is only so much a school can do when they have the kid for 35 out of the 168 hours of the week.

    JVW (42615e)

  29. ‘I saw an aggravating link on a friend’s Facebook…’

    “Facebook”?!?! Founded by millennials- all young, ‘millennial males’ – worth ’bout half-a-trillion-millennial-bucks.

    The kids’ll do fine.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  30. This x 100:

    I am still a firm believer that the majority of the problems with young boys today start at home. There is only so much a school can do when they have the kid for 35 out of the 168 hours of the week.

    Dana (023079)

  31. The kids’ll do fine.

    If your entire world is well-educated young adults who land prestigious jobs then you’re right. Those are the millennial with whom I work. But if you can bother yourself to worry about those kids who don’t get initiated into the elite then I think there’s room for worry. Isn’t concern for the economically marginalized folks largely what Trumpism is supposed to be about?

    JVW (716304)

  32. @31. No worry. The spectrum has always been with us. Like the poor, the rich, the well and the sick, the angry and the happy, the elderly… and the young.

    The kids’ll do fine.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  33. Growing up in farm country work was plentiful for young kids. Walking beans, detassiling corn, bailing hay, shoveling schiff constantly. Now illegals do the work while the millineal orders some cheap ikea crap from Amazon. Parents seem worthless, nowadays.

    mg (9e54f8)

  34. 24 – Col.
    The Big Island has a shortage of skilled high end trim craftsmen. If your fit the bill, 2-3 grand a week.

    mg (9e54f8)

  35. DCSCA (797bc0) — 11/2/2018 @ 7:08 pm

    Please re-read the second paragraph of this post.

    JVW (716304)

  36. @35. Read the whole thing. It’s just not a worry. They’ll manage; the kids will do fine.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  37. Dawg, dis one f’ked-up generation! Wha’ kinda brainless f’k listen to dat rap s**t and go spend $1,000 on a iPhone? And don’ git me started on $330 for a lid at some jive-a$$ maree-wanna dispens’ry!

    nk (dbc370)

  38. DCSCA,

    I think I understand your point. They will find their way, eventually, but in modern times the American ethos has been that each generation does better than the last generation. I don’t know if that is likely as it was in the past.

    DRJ (15874d)

  39. The article posits several reasons for this trend, from poor educations (the unemployment rate for men 25-34 with only a high school education was measured at 16.4% in 2016, up from 6.4% two decades earlier)

    In 1971, you could graduate from Lane Tech High School, walk across the street to Commonwealth Edison (before it was ComEd) and get hired at entry-level. Then, if you qualified, you would receive in-company training and retire as Regional Manager. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act put an end to that. Companies had enough problems getting sued because their initial hires did not score correctly on the light meter, they didn’t want to get sued for their training policies too. So they ended them in exchange for college diplomas. Good news for the higher education racket, bad news for eighteen-year olds looking to earn a living instead of wasting another four years of their lives behind a desk.

    nk (dbc370)

  40. And so it goes.

    nk (dbc370)

  41. I don’t think college is that valuable, at least not the way colleges operate today. But it isn’t just technical jobs that have decided not to train their employees. I don’t see as much on-the-job training for doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. It’s about making money off their work, whatever their skills.

    My feeling is this happened because people used to take jobs and stay with them for life, so training was something employers saw as worthwhile. But it doesn’t make sense to spend 2-5 years training employees, only to see them leave for other jobs or to open their own business. I don’t blame employees for wanting flexibility, nor do I blame employers for deciding not to invest in those employees.

    DRJ (15874d)

  42. The sad thing is that I see too many high school senior boys who seem to be overwhelmed or burnt out at 18(!). The examples I can point to are due to weak parenting or negative distractions. At 18, you should be excited about independence….and earning the money needed for true independence. That generally means college, trade school, military, or working….with the idea of moving up the ladder or saving up for bigger opportunities. The disturbing trend is the number of young men who are camping out at home, working dead-end jobs, and seeming to avoid the hard work of building a career…and becoming the head of a household. I am not in favor of people loading up a bunch of college debt just to be doing something after high school….let’s face it….not everyone is cut out scholastically…or from a maturity perspective…for college. But I think it is important to question and examine what is delaying the maturation of these young men? Why aren’t they ready to assume more responsibility and exhibit more initiative? I think JVW’s arguments and observations are as valid as any. No one is lighting a fire under these young men….raising expectations….and providing sufficient direction. There are too many enablers in their lives….too many people willing to excuse it or look away. Mostly parents….but schools should be setting better expectations as well.

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  43. All of America is an enabler of leisure, amusement, and overeating, AJ_Liberty. What do you see more ads of? Picks and shovels or games and fast food? 😉

    nk (dbc370)

  44. True, nk. Frankly, I see a lot of lazy, sloppy adults today, too.

    DRJ (15874d)

  45. nk, I agree…as a culture we are fat and happy. Maybe WALL-E nailed it. Though I also cringe at how some kids talk to (at?) their parents these days. Who’s in charge?

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  46. Millinenial work ethic –
    Telling your parents to give you money… and they do.

    mg (9e54f8)

  47. Telling your parents to give you money while you complain about the quality of the house coffee.

    harkin (fc9aef)

  48. Meanwhile….

    Kavanaugh donates go fund me funds raised for his defense to charity

    Mike Faust
    @hcc_mike
    Replying to
    @USATODAY
    It’s interesting that Kavanaugh donated the $600K in Go Fund Me money raised for him to charity….while Ford grabbed her million, started vacationing and entertaining book deals, but don’t forget how we were told she had nothing to gain….remember?

    harkin (fc9aef)

  49. Kavanaugh donates go fund me funds raised for his defense to charity

    My understanding is that Kavanaugh said he wanted nothing to do with the donated funds, so it was the GoFundMe organizer who made the decision to donate them to various charities and who chose the charities. I think it was wise of Kavanaugh to steer clear of this whole thing for appearances purposes.

    JVW (42615e)

  50. “My feeling is this happened because people used to take jobs and stay with them for life, so training was something employers saw as worthwhile. But it doesn’t make sense to spend 2-5 years training employees, only to see them leave for other jobs or to open their own business.”

    True. I celebrated my 45th year with the same employer in June. I feel blessed with the opportunities given me and the faith placed in my ability to do my job, as tens of millions of dollars or more are at stake with each project. And I recognize my place in the Jurassic epoch.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  51. Fascinating thread, and great post!

    DRJ’s insights are appealing, particularly what things were probably like for men returning from the other side of the world, who then were more willing to relocate, versus today, where men were taught to avoid risk. We’re also so easily entertained and occupied. We can pretend to be making a difference simply by badgering people on blogs, or we can have engrossing adventures in video games, and I imagine it’s simply so much easier to be a layabout, distracted from the guilt I would hope that involves.

    DCSCA’s insight is also really interesting. If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it… that’s not unlike a young, able man, sitting at home all day. According to the employment stats, he’s not unemployed if he’s not looking for a job, right? So all those years of development, productivity, occasional brilliant discoveries… we lost it but we don’t hear the tree fall so we act like we lost nothing. It’s easy to think none of these men would have done anything great because they are apparently losers, but I don’t think that way. I think we’re all fallen, all broken, and it’s on our communities to make the pieces fit anyway, and lift people from their situation.

    Dustin (e01605)

  52. JVW is right. Kavanaugh is not allowed, under judicial ethics rules, to either take the money or designate a third party to get it, not even a charity.

    nk (dbc370)

  53. I am watching college football and there were three consecutive commercials that fit with this discussion:

    1. Ford telling us that the future comes from building, not words or dreams. True, I guess. Someone has to actually do things but where would we be, or even Ford, without dreams?

    2. An ad for a Samsung LED TV that mesmerizes its watchers so much they can’t even look away to sneeze. We are spoiled, aren’t we?

    3. A Walmart ad for 2 day shipping, used by a family to buy endless stuff including a complete Christmas outfit for … their dog.

    It’s easy to bemoan where we are as a culture but, for me, this is what good fortune and great bounty looks like. I hope we can be moral and virtuous enough to deserve it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  54. nobody likes a butt-naked christmas dog

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  55. The hat and outfit were great but the shoes might have been overkill.

    DRJ (15874d)

  56. Ford sometimes has a better idea, but whoever at GM dreamed up the Pontiac Aztek was on teh peyote.

    Truth be told, we have too many fellow countrymen who are susceptible to losing their schiff over not having the funds to buy crap they really don’t need, so they put it on the credit card.

    And while I’m at it about losing schiff, i’m losing mine as I appreciate a nekkid Carla Gugino in “Sin City”.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  57. We don’t have to wonder why education is hostile to young men. It’s just another form of “discrimination against the discriminators.”

    Gryph (5efbad)

  58. Henry Ford had a dream.

    By the way, at least one Texas college professor is giving extra credit to students who prove they voted. As SJ would say, Sigh.

    DRJ (15874d)

  59. 58. Henry Ford’s dream was to make his vehicles affordable to everyone who worked for him. Now that credit and bank loans are the word of the day, Ford’s dream no longer matters.

    Gryph (5efbad)

  60. True, but dreams still matter. And credit can’t expand forever.

    DRJ (15874d)

  61. Parts of the world are exiting the “scarcity economy” for necessary things. It would be possible, in a USA that had real borders, to provide a basic level of food, housing, utilities, etc, to anyone who wanted it ans was sane enough to use it (some people are homeless because they don’t like doors).

    I guess you could call this socialism, but there is one key ingredient (that would never happen) that would make it different: people on “basic” could not be allowed to vote or “basic” would become less so. It’s important that luxuries be reserved to those that work for them.

    I would call this instead “ending the draft” — people who worked would be working only with other people who wanted to work. It would also decrease people’s interest in tedious government jobs, so there would be fewer bureaucrats nosing into other people’s lives (and the people who favor more government wouldn’t be voting).

    Something like this will happen eventually. Most of it has already happened in Europe, with the exception of the franchise loss (and the resulting bad arithmetic that makes immigrants look attractive).

    Kevin M (a57144)

  62. Henry Ford had a dream.

    Besides “no Jews”?

    Kevin M (a57144)

  63. I would like to see some billionaire offer ten dollars to anyone who can prove they DIDN’T vote.

    Kevin M (a57144)

  64. Am I missing something? Who thinks Ford’s automation ideas and his willingness to invest in them weren’t important moments in history?

    DRJ (46c88f)

  65. True. I celebrated my 45th year with the same employer in June.

    None of the companies I have ever worked for still exist in the form they were. Not my fault!

    Kevin M (a57144)

  66. DRJ,

    Of course Ford was important. He invented mass-market production. But he was also a virulent anti-Semite.

    Kevin M (a57144)

  67. who else are do big anti-semite is barack obama and bob corker

    you’d think they’d be more circumspect but nope

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  68. @38/@53. DRJ, just not worried about’em. They’re smart, adaptable and comfortable w/an accelerated rate of change that may seem dizzying to most of us past a certain age– or at any age. Depends on how they decide to define ‘better,’ too – and that’s really up to them. It may be harsh for ‘us’ to accept, but it’s going to be their world– and we’ll be ‘on our way out of it.’

    They’ll confront different challenges and reordered priorities– and are motivated by different desires– but they’ll do okay. They’re a good group; comfortable and skilled with technologies that confound their parents; socially concerned and globally aware– and connected to it– thanks to the web. So many economic and social factors make it rather unfair to try to compare one generation to another, too- especially w/this high rate of change. The era of 30 years-and-a-gold-watch are long gone. These kids are on the move; they ‘spin and run’ like a football player, learning along the way; a few years at a gig and press on to something fresh. Their idea an ‘assembly line’ is designing robots to design more robots do routine surgery, create better smartphones, electric cars- and build Big Macs. The kids’ll do fine.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  69. Eli Whitney invented mass production. Identical, interchangeable parts that could be assembled into the finished product without additional fitting. When George Washington was President.

    Henry Ford invented the assembly line. For automobiles, anyway. That way 1) unskilled workers only needed to be trained to do just one thing and 2) they had to work at the rate set by the speed of the assembly line.

    nk (dbc370)

  70. “JVW is right. Kavanaugh is not allowed, under judicial ethics rules, to either take the money or designate a third party to get it, not even a charity.

    I said it wrong. The way I understood it Kavanaugh said he did not want his name associated with it, so they decided to donate it to a charity to which he donates his time. I’m pretty sure he would not have a problem with that.

    Meanwhile Blasey-Ford is renovating one of the two properties she and her husband own valued at over $4.3 milly, I think it’s the beach house.

    harkin (fc9aef)

  71. 64. They were important moments in history. And given the perfusion of credit as a destructive force, history is all they are now.

    Gryph (5efbad)

  72. Some are superb marketers, DCSCA. Trump has proven that is a valuable skill.

    DRJ (15874d)

  73. Inventing the wheel and understanding fire were important moments in history, too, but arguably not useful now that they exist. But all of them illustrate the importance of dreams and ideas.

    DRJ (15874d)

  74. However, like DCSCA, I am not as concerned about this generation albeit for a different reason. I am fortunate to live in a place with many hard-working young people.

    DRJ (15874d)

  75. “Seriously? Don’t you think that years of video games, social media, and Internet porn have whittled away young mens’ attention spans to that of a hummingbird (which is probably unfair to hummingbirds)? One problem that you consistently hear about millennials — but especially millennial males — is that they can’t stay focused on any task that takes longer than ten minutes to complete.”

    Apparently ‘not staying focused’ is also a problem with the people and companies in charge of training them, as they almost immediately pivot to FWD.US immigration lobbying, cheating on immigration laws, hiring immigrants who then hire their relatives, getting their companies taken over, bought out, or bureaucratized by those immigrants who hired their relatives, and then talking about literally anything other than these glaring and immediate legal violations and business failures when lobbying for looser immigration and outsourcing laws.

    When they put me on the stand for stealing grandma’s retirement, I, too, like to talk at length about how the plaintiffs seemed preoccupied and distracted when it came to the important issue of retirement planning, nothing like poisoning the well when trying to get off for a history taking advantage of people with no specific domain knowledge and habits who relied mainly on advice from people who grew up in a different environment.

    Doing otherwise might motivate the one group who has a strong claim to being maliciously disenfranchised to action, and we can’t have that, can we, especially not during an election year.

    Ajami (764db6)

  76. 73. Oh puh-leez! Let me reiterate one more time, and I’ll type slowly so that you can understand: Henry Ford’s stated goal was for his own workers to be able to afford his products. Everything he did, every dream he had, was to that end.

    Now that credit is the second-most destructive force in American culture (a close second behind government regulation), what people can afford does not matter. Get back to me with your “dreams and ideas” when another Henry Ford comes by with a dream or an idea on how to avoid the imminent economic implosion.

    Gryph (5efbad)

  77. 74. ‘Hard work’ is relative, DRJ. A ‘robot’ can be your friend or your nemesis. Still prefer speaking w/a person on the phone; hate automated menus ‘press one for this; press two for that’… our generation created that hell. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  78. @Gryph:Henry Ford’s stated goal was for his own workers to be able to afford his products.

    Myth. He paid high wages to reduce turnover.

    “At the time, workers could count on about $2.25 per day, for which they worked nine-hour shifts. It was pretty good money in those days, but the toll was too much for many to bear. Ford’s turnover rate was very high. In 1913, Ford hired more than 52,000 men to keep a workforce of only 14,000. New workers required a costly break-in period, making matters worse for the company. Also, some men simply walked away from the line to quit and look for a job elsewhere. Then the line stopped and production of cars halted. The increased cost and delayed production kept Ford from selling his cars at the low price he wanted. Drastic measures were necessary if he was to keep up this production.

    That level of turnover is hugely expensive: not just the downtime of the production line but obviously also the training costs: even the search costs to find them. It can indeed be cheaper to pay workers more but to reduce the turnover of them and those associated training costs. Which is exactly what Ford did.”

    Nemo (9e2753)

  79. I’m sorry I offended you, Gryph.

    DRJ (15874d)

  80. @75. Well, the military says experience playing video games has been a good skill set to transfer for use w/personnel inside an air conditioned control center in New Mexico operating armed drones patrolling the skies of the Middle East.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  81. But, in fairness, you offended me, too, and you did it intentionally.

    DRJ (15874d)

  82. 68: “These kids are on the move; they ‘spin and run’ like a football player, learning along the way; a few years at a gig and press on to something fresh”

    This is wishful thinking not borne of real-life experience. The gig economy is run by the same price-fixing oligarchy that ran the old economy and provides much less opportunity for advancement…by design!

    Constant mobility is also the enemy of both child-rearing and local civic engagement, also likely one of the big reasons so many Baby Boomer parents were disengaged with their kids-most already have no community themselves after having moved so often chasing opportunities.

    The proper frame for this is:

    The EMPLOYERS have been enabled into inattention, product quality reduction, creeping workforce liberalization, and utter lack of ambition by Chamber of Commerce explainers, Economist conventional wisdom, constant career relocations and position jockeying, ‘stockholder mindset’ and ‘acquisition mindset’ to the exclusion of all else, and of course endless staff meetings, the pointless video games of real life.

    Ajami (cd73ff)

  83. @82. It’s very ‘real-life’ experience. These kids hold no loyalty to corporations; they’ll swop ends on them. They learned that first hand from what their parents generation experienced: Reaganomics.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  84. @72. DRJ, suspect they see the value of marketing as a ‘skill set’ from the likes of Elon Musk and the late Steve Jobs rather than some old frump named Donald Trump.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  85. DCSCA,

    My quibble with you is that you seem to be saying young people need to know how to use current tech and how to sell themselves. Those are helpful but IMO they are not what makes America great. Hard work, productivity, and creative ideas are what makes a country and its citizens great.

    DRJ (15874d)

  86. IMO successful marriages are what matter in child-rearing, not mobility, although frequent moves may stress marriages.

    DRJ (15874d)

  87. Henry Ford back then was doing what Costco does now: pay much higher than prevailing wage for the job, then you get your pick of the best people and of course they can’t go to your competitor without taking a huge pay cut. But that cannot possibly work for every employer. It’s predicated on paying above average. Every employer cannot pay above average, by definition.

    Nemo (9e2753)

  88. @85. Not need- it’s just a matter of comfort w/them; it’s a part of their digital lives in the 21st century. And it enhances their productivity– anybody’s productivity. If you can build robots to assemble electric cars, plant and harvest crops or do routine surgeries, that frees them up to invest and devote time to other issues of interest. Why waste time digging a hole if a robot can do that for you– w/o a lunch and bathroom break.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  89. @85. Postscript- DRJ, if a country has to keep telling itself it’s ‘great,’ it just may not be all that great after all. The Brits did that for years back in the day until reality caught up w/them. Better to let others outside your land express admiration for your greatness; it’s a better measure of the accolade.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  90. 81. I offended you, huh? That seems to be an inevitable outcome when we keep talking past each other. Dreams and ideas mean little without action. And while Henry Ford was undoubtedly a man with great ideas and laudable dreams, progressivism (which Ford himself incidentally embraced) is working to undo every step forward we made in Ford’s era.

    Gryph (5efbad)

  91. In my experience the “tech savvy” of Millenials is limited to the ability to operate magic boxes provided to them by the tech oligarchs–because they’ve been raised on interfaces that allow you to point, swipe, click, pinch whatever, thanks in part to the government purchasing those products for use in the public school system, but they don’t seem to have any more understanding of what the technology is or does than their parents and grandparents do. They are helpless when the magic box gives wrong answers or stops working.

    An analogy that might make sense to the older folks–most of us knew someone who was “good with cars”. We did not mean that they knew how to drive any car that they were put into–that to our generation was simply being able to drive, since there aren’t any radical differences in the “operating system” between cars. What we meant by “good with cars” was that they knew a lot about how cars worked and were able to diagnose and fix problems that came up with cars, that they frequently worked on their own cars or the cars of friends and relatives, they could tell you how the engineering in one make or model was different from others. Maybe they liked to restore old cars or build themselves jalopies.

    Millenials are “tech savvy” only if you think being able to drive makes you “good with cars”. Yes, they can operate the boxes in the way the tech oligarchs intend and they often make it a priority to have the latest model.

    Nemo (9e2753)

  92. A darker way to put it is that Millennials are “tech savvy” in the sense that the Eloi probably knew all about how to live in the gardens the Morlocks provided for them, much better than the Time Traveller did anyway. But the tech oligarchs provide those “gardens” to Millenials practically free for the same reason that the Morlocks provided gardens for Eloi to play in.

    Nemo (9e2753)

  93. if being a millenimum was that freaking awesome everybody would be doing it but they’re not are they

    no cause the millennimal lifestyle has very limited niche appeal

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  94. 91. Since the invention of the transistor in 1947 at Bell Labs, our common human civilization has become more and more “black box,” as I call it. I define a black box as an object, most often but not always digital, designed purposely to obscure its inner workings.

    The technology utilized by Henry Ford in his cars was close enough to universal that almost anyone who owned a car with sufficient motivation to do so could also repair them. Now? Good luck with that. Even if you can repair some parts of your car and change a tire, the amount of digital electronics under your hood hardly makes it worth it to learn anything about the inner workings of your car’s internal combustion engine.

    Same with computers, which tablets and cell phones essentially are. Back in 1984 the Macintosh was build hermetically sealed as Apple thought that no end user would ever have any reason to want to open it. They were wrong, but only because they were ahead of their time.

    Gryph (5efbad)

  95. 58. Henry Ford’s dream was to make his vehicles affordable to everyone who worked for him. Now that credit and bank loans are the word of the day, Ford’s dream no longer matters.

    Not exactly, Gryph. Ford started out building some pretty expensive vehicles, culminating in his Model K. By the time 1906 rolled around was when he realized he could build more, cheaply with the assembly line. Models N and S were physically hella closer to the T. The fact that Ford’s employees could afford a new Ford after the 5.00/day wage (brought about by the extreme labor turnover Ford was experiencing) was nothing more than happy accident.

    Ford saw his employees as a lab experiment in progessivism outside the plant and did not treat them well within the plant.

    Bill H (383c5d)

  96. 95. “Ford saw his employees as a lab experiment in progessivism outside the plant and did not treat them well within the plant.”

    FYI, I do not consider the “progressive” epithet to be a positive one.

    That said, I am aware that Ford’s foray into assembly line manufacturing was not his first attempt at perfecting the manufacturing process. I am also aware that it was not the only factor in his success. Henry Ford stated an intention to make his cars affordable for his own employees, I’m sure in an effort to get noticed by the greater bulk of the middle class who Ford had seen as a theretofore untapped market.

    Was Ford lying? Or am I mistaken about Ford’s words?

    Gryph (5efbad)

  97. @Bill H:Ford saw his employees as a lab experiment in progessivism outside the plant

    From the article I linked to, here’s what Ford employees had to put up with to get that $5:

    “The $5-a-day rate was about half pay and half bonus. The bonus came with character requirements and was enforced by the Socialization Organization. This was a committee that would visit the employees’ homes to ensure that they were doing things the “American way.” They were supposed to avoid social ills such as gambling and drinking. They were to learn English, and many (primarily the recent immigrants) had to attend classes to become “Americanized.” Women were not eligible for the bonus unless they were single and supporting the family. Also, men were not eligible if their wives worked outside the home.”

    There are employees who work in places where there are morals clauses, but I don’t think very many American workers would sign up for this kind of paternalism today, if it were even legal.

    Nemo (9e2753)

  98. @Gryph:Was Ford lying? Or am I mistaken about Ford’s words?

    I’ve never seen that quote from Ford that you seem to be referencing and I don’t know if it exists, but the fact of the matter is, he only paid more because he had a serious turnover problem and it was cheaper to pay 14,000 more money than it was to go through 50,000 in the same period of time. It had nothing to do with having his workers being able to afford a car, he needed them to not quit in the middle of the day when a $2.50 per day job came along.

    Please see the link I already posted in one of my responses to you.

    Nemo (9e2753)

  99. I seem to recall reading somewhere that Ford himself was a pretty diehard supporter of eugenics and ergo a pretty big cheerleader for Margaret Sanger, founder of what would become Planned Parenthood.

    Gryph (5efbad)

  100. @Gryph: Please note that Ford’s daily wage was not $5 a day. It was much less than that. Some workers who jumped through a lot of extra hoops could make up to $5 in bonuses. But even $5 a day was $1200 a year, and I don’t know how “affordable” that makes a $500 car in the days when credit was much harder to come by.

    Nemo (9e2753)

  101. Henry Ford invented the assembly line. For automobiles, anyway.

    No, NK. That honor belongs to Ransom Eli Olds, for the Curved Dash Olds.

    Bill H (383c5d)

  102. 98. Upon further investigation, I’m pretty sure you’re right. The quote I was thinking of may have been said about Henry Ford rather than by him.

    Gryph (5efbad)

  103. Nemo (9e2753) — 11/3/2018 @ 2:33 pm

    Hell, I was just going off memory!! :)

    Bill H (383c5d)

  104. @Gryph:Upon further investigation, I’m pretty sure you’re right.

    Handsomely said sir. Are you sure the Internet is the right place for you?

    Anyway, it’s hard to apply that logic outside of cars, right. Should journalists be paid enough to afford a newspaper–they probably are, and probably could if they were paid much less than they are? What if you make flipflops? What if you work for a company that makes backhoes or jet planes, why on earth should the employees be able to afford one? Or a company that “makes” insurance, or a consulting firm?

    Nemo (9e2753)

  105. “The Sociology Department”. Which is curious, considering Ford’s virulent hatred of unions.

    Bill H (383c5d)

  106. 104. The ability of Henry Ford’s employees to afford the vehicles they made (for the most part, anyhow) was definitely something that Ford was lauded for in the press. If indeed he did stumble into such a situation in his simple efforts to prevent turnover, that makes perfect sense to me.

    Gryph (5efbad)

  107. @Bill H:Which is curious, considering Ford’s virulent hatred of unions

    I don’t think that’s odd at all. He was being paternalistic. He wanted his employees to be part of a family he was head of. Their job was to do what he said, and his job was to see to it they lived right and were fairly done by, according to the one who knew best, i. e. Ford. Letting his own workers have their own power to make their own demands wouldnt fit into that.

    Nemo (9e2753)

  108. 105. Ford’s virulent hatred of unions is probably why he upped his employees’ pay to the point where they voluntarily stayed. It was a business model later followed by Sam Walton and Steve Jobs, among others.

    Gryph (5efbad)

  109. @Gryph:The ability of Henry Ford’s employees to afford the vehicles they made (for the most part, anyhow) was definitely something that Ford was lauded for in the press.

    If by press you mean Vox, when they’re arguing for a $15 minimum wage, yeah I guess.

    But again, should Boeing have paid his men enough to afford their own plane? What does that even mean? What about Six Companies, should they have paid their men enough to afford their own Hoover Dam?

    What if you’re a consultant, should your employees be able to afford your consulting services? If they have their own Fortune 500 company they’re probably not your employee; if they don’t they don’t need your services.

    Nemo (9e2753)

  110. What about luxury cars? Should people in the Lexus plant make more than people in the Toyota plant, or people in the Audi plant make more than people in the Volkswagen plant?

    Hint: these are trick questions.

    Nemo (9e2753)

  111. Anyway Ford’s $9 million pay increase only accounted for an extra $7 million in production. It’s hard to see how his workers buying more of his own cars could have done anything meaningful for his bottom line. It is very easy to see how not having to train new workers all the time would keep his production costs lower though, and increased profits and sales.

    Nemo (9e2753)

  112. 109. Hey, you’re preaching to the choir here. As you pointed out to me, Ford employees’ ability to even afford the Model T, such as it was, was highly qualified. And I don’t think the media was worthy of much more respect 110 years ago than it is now.

    At any rate, kind of makes me think of those kids in the Bangladeshi sweatshops who will never be able to afford a pair of Air Jordans. And the Chinese peasants in the smog-choked factory districts who will never be able to afford an Iphone. Times are certainly changing, particularly when your average American can barely afford a pair of [luxury] shoes or a [state-of-the-art digital] phone without putting a balance on a credit card.

    Gryph (5efbad)

  113. Ford’s virulent hatred of unions is probably why he upped his employees’ pay to the point where they voluntarily stayed. It was a business model later followed by Sam Walton and Steve Jobs, among others.

    Gryph, the only reason Ford upped wages was to put a halt to the 300% turnover Ford was experiencing at his Highland Park and Piquette Ave. plants. Unions hadn’t entered into the equation- not until much later.

    You can’t build cars on a mass scale when you don’t have skilled and semi-skilled people to build them.

    Bill H (383c5d)

  114. 113. Isn’t that what I said? He upped the wages so that they’d stay voluntarily, without unionizing.

    Gryph (5efbad)

  115. @Gryph:At any rate, kind of makes me think of those kids in the Bangladeshi sweatshops who will never be able to afford a pair of Air Jordans

    Yeah, I think those Bangladeshi kids are happy if they can afford food, clothes, and shelter.

    My employer “makes” health insurance, which they supply for me at a heavy discount as part of my benefits. I’d hate to see them cut my salary to zero since after all I make enough in benefits to afford our product.

    Nemo (9e2753)

  116. I guess what it comes down to, is that there is no one you can trust to look after your own interests for you, and anyone who offers to do that is probably going to do pretty well out of it–and it might cost you more than just money. There is just no way in this fallen world that you can expect to put your own best interests in someone else’s hands and not expect it to cost you something.

    Provided you freely choose the situation, it may make sense. I make these calculations all the time, so does every one here. But I highly resent, and am highly suspicious of, anyone who claims they are going to look out for my best interests whether I want them to or not. Whether it’s a union, or a blue-ribbon panel of experts, or the government, or my parents (now that I’m an adult).

    Nemo (9e2753)

  117. 116. Unions are losing their ability to force you to belong to them (which they were only able to do under color of law, anyway). Experts only have power over us insofar as people voluntarily listen to them, or governments fashion policy around their recommendations.

    Regardless of what you may think about Henry Ford(and I personally find him to be an execrable excuse for a human being), no one could force his employees to work for him or stay with him; that was a lesson he apparently learned the hard way. And the lessons he learned shaped corporate culture going forward at employers as diverse as Walmart and Apple.

    Gryph (5efbad)

  118. #95 Let’s also not forget the disastrous Fordlandia rubber plantation

    Angelo (16b456)

  119. Looking at my steady stream of IPhone recommended ‘Top Stories’ news feed over the past few weeks, everything about Trump is negative. Not one story about growth, jobs or unemployment numbers. The Resistance!!

    harkin (fc9aef)

  120. ‘My biggest regret is I never got to fvck Che Guevara.’”

    —- Jane Fonda

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  121. DRJ:

    53. *** Ford telling us that the future comes from building, not words or dreams. True, I guess. Someone has to actually do things but where would we be, or even Ford, without dreams?

    Gryph:

    90. I offended you, huh? That seems to be an inevitable outcome when we keep talking past each other. Dreams and ideas mean little without action.

    I’m talking past you?

    DRJ (15874d)

  122. Gryph, I think you may have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.

    DRJ (15874d)

  123. 122. Hey, it’s all good. I made my peace with Nemo, and I’ll make my peace with you. I apologize if I was a little cranky.

    Gryph (5efbad)

  124. We’re good, Gryph.

    DRJ (15874d)

  125. Jane once said Jim Jones was a hero

    mg (536c95)

  126. She’s an icon, mg.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  127. This hits too close to home, and I think I’ll just leave it at that.

    Paul Montagu (36c8f1)

  128. So, this is interesting about Ford, but here’s the real question: How does America go forward with a superbly miseducated next generation?

    I have a niece who just graduated high school. She wants to go to college — somewhere where it isn’t too hard, maybe in Portland — then get a high-paying job where she doesn’t have to work.

    She supports Bernie, of course. When I suggest that I’m fine with Bernie as he wants to tax all the workers to the hilt and give the money to us old farts, she looks at me blankly and says she isn’t going to pay taxes because she doesn’t want to.

    She’s not an idiot, she just has some impossible expectations. Near as I can tell, her entire high school curriculum was about posturing and virtue signalling.

    So, again, how is the country going to run with what the schools have created for us?

    Kevin M (a57144)

  129. “she looks at me blankly and says she isn’t going to pay taxes because she doesn’t want to.”

    Well, there you are. Opportunities in law enforcement!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  130. “It’s very ‘real-life’ experience. These kids hold no loyalty to corporations; they’ll swop ends on them. They learned that first hand from what their parents generation experienced: Reaganomics.”

    You’re missing the current generation by about 20-30 years. The Democrat Party as it is RIGHT NOW is the Party of RA-Enforced Youth Opinions and Approved Consensus Corporate Positions. They get nearly all their money from Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and foundations that rich brats took over. Even the kids who have no ‘loyalty’ to any particular corporation won’t have a choice of which one to work for when one or two dominate an entire Woke Capital industry and pleasing them to avoid eternal industry blacklisting is mandatory rather than suggested.

    Everything you’re posting about job prospects for yoots sounds like a sick marketing joke.

    “I guess what it comes down to, is that there is no one you can trust to look after your own interests for you, and anyone who offers to do that is probably going to do pretty well out of it–and it might cost you more than just money.”

    There are social structures that are more reliable than corporate structures, which is why corporations are keen to disavow, discredit, disempower, and disenfranchise them. Start with fatherhood and work your way outward.

    Ajami (18535a)

  131. She wants to go to college — somewhere where it isn’t too hard, maybe in Portland — then get a high-paying job where she doesn’t have to work.

    I think her plan is going to fall apart early pn, and she won’t have to worry about the rest.

    DRJ (15874d)

  132. Maybe she just needs a small $1 million loan to get started.

    Davethulhu (02d505)

  133. A rich old man and she won’t have to worry
    She’ll dress up all in lace and go in style

    nk (dbc370)

  134. Or she can rely on a gubmint-issued EBT card like a large portion of the Democrats’ demographic .

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  135. It depends on the state, and even in the “best” of them the benefit for able-bodied adults is pretty small. If she wants real money, serious foodstamps and HUD housing, she’ll need at least three kids, and that’s hard work.

    nk (dbc370)

  136. So … I take it you boys ain’t fonda Hanoi Jane?

    nk (dbc370)

  137. 128. So, again, how is the country going to run with what the schools have created for us?

    The same way tyrannies run elsewhere in the world where the people depend on the government for everything. Look around you.

    Gryph (5efbad)

  138. 128. [My niece is] not an idiot…

    By the by, are you sure about that? She graduated high school and she hasn’t learned a damn thing about the practical effects of socialism.

    Gryph (5efbad)

  139. “So, again, how is the country going to run with what the schools have created for us?”

    We’re going to feed the world on pure, unadulterated GDP.

    But seriously, you get the worker quality and enthusiasm you pay for. Did you adjust your models for expectation inflation, quality control you can’t afford to check, and black swan events from Jonathan Haidt-style social alienation and anomie?

    You think the next guy who steals a plane will be satisfied with just a barrel roll?

    Ajami (e925a0)

  140. My son, who is a millennial male, has a MS Electrical Engineering degree and has been looking for a job since June.

    Neo (d1c681)


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