Ninety million idle Americans

I’m older than Victor Davis Hanson but he’s far more pessimistic. He has his reasons. He works in a university bloated with administrators enforcing petty rules, and tenured professors who don’t teach while low-paid lecturers do the actual work of so-called “higher” education.

Some commenters called me out for ageism for doubting the intelligence of a generation defying the thermometer to walk around in basketball shorts in the snow. I suppose they would apply the same to Hanson’s negative views of modern culture. But he has better access to statistics than the rest of us and he’s come up with a whopper.

Over 90 million Americans who could work are not working (the “non-institutionalized” over 16). What we take for granted — our electrical power, fuel, building materials, food, health care, and communications — all hinge on just 144 million getting up in the morning to produce what about 160-170 million others (the sick, the young, and the retired who need assistance along with the 90 million idle) consume.

“Every three working Americans provide sustenance for two who are not ill, enfeebled, or too young. The former help the disabled, the latter take resources from them…Given that the number of non-working is growing (an additional 10 million were idled in the Obama ‘recovery’ alone), it is likely to keep growing. At some point, we will hit a 50/50 ratio of idle versus active. Then things will get interesting. The percentage of workers’ pay deducted to pay for the non-working will soar even higher.”

The claims of these entitled idle already are impacting the few Americans willing to serve in the military. But they’re easy pickings in a society that increasingly neither understands nor values them. When it gets around to robbing civilian Alphonse to pay civilian Aloysius, however, things could get messy.

Glad I won’t (probably) be around to see that. One of the advantages of age.

2 responses to “Ninety million idle Americans

  1. “I suppose they would apply the same to Hanson’s negative views of modern culture.” Nope. A good part of the modern culture is easily explained by the unbearable urge of some people to break through into fame and money by any means. And Kandinsky, of course, not to forget.

    As for the 50% of idlers: welcome to the club. Now US is hardly different from Europe (and Israel too).

    Now about ageism: yes, there is some of it, but not to worry: you are in good company.

  2. To make sure I’ll explain myself better: I didn’t ever try to knock Hanson, everything he says is on the money. I am just trying to explain the stream of mediocrities that are ready to go to any length for fame and money.

    And the vicious circle of nanny state being vilified more the more it provides is working everywhere. Too bad about it.