HUH? Bloomberg Columnist Claims Men Dropping Out of the Workforce ‘Could Be Progress’

February 23rd, 2023 2:05 PM

A Bloomberg Opinion columnist apparently didn’t care too much for optics when she actually tried to characterize working-age men dropping out of the workforce as “progress.”

Bloomberg columnist Allison Schrager penned misandrist propaganda disguised as economic analysis in a piece that bore the headline: “Men Dropping Out of the Workforce Could Be Progress.” In her subheadline, Schrager celebrated that a decreased male representation in the workforce meant “economically empowered women are in a stronger position to support households with nonworking men.”

She buried possible reasons behind this trend deep in the piece where she noted modern education being “generally better fitted to girls than boys” and the male dominant “opioid epidemic.” This shatters the rosy picture that Schrager initially presented. What about this screams “progress” rather than a social crisis? 

Schrager made a growing number of nonworking men who are dependent on women sound like a good thing. She pointed to two men she knew — one being a well-off middle class man supported by his wife who works as a doctor and the other a drug addict who lives with his mother — and noted both as examples of female empowerment.

“These men are fortunate to have women in a position to support them. And it seems notable that the fall in male labor force participation has coincided with the rise of female employment,” Schrager wrote. “Women’s improved prospects raised household income and gave them more economic power. That progress has also made it financially viable for some men to drop out of the labor force, regardless of any other reasons that might drive the decision.”

But even Schrager had to admit the obvious in the eighth paragraph of her piece – the trend of people dropping out of work writ large. “Clearly that’s not good for the economy. Fewer people working means less growth,” Schrager wrote.

But, she was quick to turn doom into boon when she speculated whether more women in the workforce and consequently less incentive for men to work was really as “much of a problem as we think it is?” In her view, “Women thriving in the labor market has been one of the great economic success stories of the last 50 years. And we should build on those gains; there is still further to go in terms of economic equality.” 

But as the Mises Institute rebutted in December 2022 when CNN tried to make a similar argument to Schrager’s, the problems undergirding men dropping out of the workforce are nothing to be giddy over:

Instead, the reasons driving the lion's share of missing men to leave the workforce appear to be illness, drug addiction, a perceived lack of well-paying jobs, government welfare, and the decline of marriage. None of these are reasons to celebrate, and few of these reasons lend themselves to any quick fixes through changes in law or policy, [emphasis added.]

In fact, economist Nicholas Eberstadt wrote in a November 2022 op-ed that the government exacerbated the problem of the decline of men in the workforce through its bloated COVID-19 stimulus schemes. “Those interventions may indeed have forestalled a global depression. But they also inadvertently disincentivized work in America as never before — far beyond what any public health rationale could possibly have warranted,” he wrote. Schrager never mentioned any of this context. [Emphasis added.]

For Schrager, “A strong labor market will induce some men to work, but not all. An economy that offers more opportunities to everyone may just mean fewer men working than we’ve seen in the past.” That’s not “progress” Schrager.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact and demand it distance itself from Schrager's wild theory about men dropping out of the workforce.