Bloomberg News: Less Educated Men Harming US Economy

An article on explains how men being less educated harms society:

The U.S. workplace is polarizing between the education haves and have-nots, says David Autor, professor of economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. So-called middle-skill jobs, typically well-paying work that doesn’t require extensive higher education, are vanishing, dividing the labor force into high- and low-skill positions. While women are moving up the knowledge ladder, male educational attainment is growing at a slower rate.

“It is terrific that women are getting higher levels of education,” Autor says. “The problem is that males are not.”

When men are undereducated, the consequences are dire:

In his research, Autor says there are costly societal problems when men fail to move up in education. Their incomes lag behind, marriage rates fall and they tend to drop out of the labor force altogether. White men who dropped out of high school were 17 percentage points less likely to be married than those with some post-high school education in 2008, Autor said in a study. For black men, the difference was 20 percent. Incarceration rates also are higher for men who didn’t complete high school.

The article goes on to explain that, “For young women and men living in the same family, the sisters are going on to outperform their brothers on average,”

The Bloomberg article explains this, about the gap in education and how it’s changing through the years:

Women born in 1988 were 10 points more likely to go to college then men of the same age, research by economists Martha J. Bailey and Susan M. Dynarksi of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor shows.

Read the article here, and let’s discuss:

What can we do to equalize education for young men right now?

Where do we start? With parents, with the educational system, or with the jobs market? What needs to change?

How can we get more men who need work into programs to educate them for the positions where we are lacking employees?


Photo courtesy of JaseMan


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  1. John Schtoll says:

    How about this one.

    This one claims that women work longer days, the presents data that 54% women reported working more than 9 hours a day while only 41% of men work more than 9 hours per day. PROBLEM, what it doesn’t say is if more work more hours on average. After all if you have 100 men and 100 women , and if 54 of those women work 10 hours per day that means in total they work 540 hours, and if 41 men work 14 hours per day, they work MORE hours than women. This is just a bad survey.

  2. John Schtoll says:

    I am SO FREAKING Confused.

    I am a 50+ year old male, and most of my life I have known certain things to be true. For example , basic number. I have been able to count to 100 for as long as I can remember. And I was certain I knew which numbers were ‘higher’ than other, for example. I was taught that 44.8 is higher than 34. But it seems when we talk about the gender pay gap it isn’t.

    Look at this article.

    h ttp://

    The headline reads: “Women work longer hours than man”.

    But in this excerpt

    “A nationwide survey of 1,600 employees found that women now work almost 34 hours a week on average – half a day longer than the figure of 30.4 hours five years ago.
    According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) which carried out the research, the shift reflects the growing number of women in more demanding management roles and professional jobs.
    Over the same five-year period, men’s average work hours fell from 45.5 hours per week to 44.8 hours,

    So according to the headline Women work longer hours, according to the data , men work 44 hours a week, women work 34 hours a week and when you combine the two. 34 is bigger than 44. WTF am I missing.

    They also point out that the pay gap has risen to 19%. Interesting because if my math is right (and it probably isn’t), that difference between hours works is approx 25%, so a pay gap of 19% is actually worse for men, because they work 25% more but are ONLY pay 19% more.

    Is there something wrong with me

  3. The Bad Man says:

    Step back 40 years ago. Would women have ever been critisized as harming the economy for not being educated and having jobs? Even now, it’s still a woman’s choice to choose to be uneducated and not work. This isn’t a practical career option for men (few women would accept it) and men are still expected to work.

    What can be done about the marginalization of boys in education? We really need political leadership and Obama isn’t doing anything except continuing to pander to women.

  4. Chicago-JSO says:

    I forgot to click the “Notify me of follow up comments via e-mail” check box, so now I need to post something else…
    “Something else!”

  5. Chicago-JSO says:

    We have spent the last 30 or so years denigrating men and their contribution to society, while still expecting them to work for that society. I can say as a male child growing up in that world there are many extra struggles to get over. I remember in third or fourth grade having teachers who would preferentially help girls and even overtly talk about how girls rule! I remember being a pre-teen and teenager in the late 1990’s and 2000’s and watching television and seeing over and over again men being slapped and abused simply because they expressed themselves sexually. I see every day still in television and news that men are marginalized as being the baboon and a cluts. But despite this people still expect men to allow themselves to be the pack mules which make our society operate.
    We have a problem with un-educated men, but this is no surprise when their raised in a society which tells them from birth that they won’t amount to anything more than a fat soccer dad who drinks beer and watches the Sunday foot ball game. Or worse yet they are told that they are born rapists, or murderers because they are men. I was lucky I had what could only be described as an anti-feminist father who helped me see the virtues of my own masculinity, but what about those who are not so lucky? What about those young men who grow up with single mothers? How do we expect those men to respect themselves if our society doesn’t even recognize men as human beings?

    Answering, or even asking, the question “How do we get more men trained to work in jobs that need to be filled?” is irrelevant until we solve the problem of giving men humanity and dignity something our society not only does not do, seems to actively work against.

  6. Personally, I think our educational system is far too focused on coercion and control, rather than helping young people become adults who are able to function in whatever they choose to do.

    People can only be themselves. They can’t be counterfeit versions of themselves.

    it’s time to move away from the factory “everyone’s a replacement cog in the machine” mentality and move towards humanizing education and the world in which we live.

    This is the 21st Century, not the dark ages.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Last summer my son (who is a total wiggly-boy) did this amazing camp at the local Natural History Museum that was totally focused around bugs… Which were his obsession then.

      He learned SO MUCH then, and they barely sat still, they barely did anything they do in a classroom, but when he came back, he could read and write — but only the bug stuff! He WANTED to read and write those things, and that’s how he started to read and write.

      I wish we could find a way to tap into learning like this, especially for boys, who are just so hands-on, instead of shaming them for being grabby.

  7. The reason it got so slanted was the false claim that there was a girl crises back when it was roughly equal. That’s how disproportionate resources and help ended up being given to girls. Many teachers believed the bs and started discriminating against boys and in favor of girls and so on. I think the way to fix it is to root the gender ideologues and title X out and replace them with professionals and better polices.

    • Eh I wouldn’t say they were equal. More like there was a problem with the way girls were being taught in school and people got up in arms about it and something was done. The problem now is that now people are saying something about the way boys are raised in school we are suddenly supposed to believe the everything is fine now.

  8. Anthony Zarat says:

    The solution is simple:

    *** Public schools must stop discriminating against boys ***

    Implementation will be much harder:

    1) ~50% of K-12 teachers must be male
    2) K-12 classrooms must be organized in a gender equitable way. Boys perform well in teacher-centric learning environments (eg forward facing tablets) and poorly in peer-centric learning environments (eg circle-1 and face-to-face four pack).
    3) The curriculum must be gender equitable. Boys perform badly in cooperative group activities and study centres, and well in competitive individual assignements.
    4) Schools must stop using Ritalin/amphetamine to “cure” boys of their masculine “disease”.
    5) Elementary schools must encourage two (not one) energy sink recess breaks per day. A mid sized school should have a lengthy quarterly injury report, including one or more moderately serious injuries (sprained ankle, broken wrist, dislocated shoulder, etc). Schools that have 1-2 nursing station visits per quarter for scraped knees are killing their boys.

    There is more, much more. The extent of discrimination against boys in K-12 is staggering, calling for a multi-strategy fix. Sadly, right now nothing at all is being done.

  9. I have an 11 yo boy who has ADD and some learning difficulties, although for some parts of IQ testing, he got a 126! (He was able to state that the similarity between socialism and fascism is that they are both forms of government! Go figure!)….

    Anyway, I have him enrolled in LEGO Robotics and have encouraged him in his areas of interest, including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)…. I just want him to be happy and interested in something really cool that he can expand on as he gets older…hopefully, he will always try to learn something new…

    That said, I find it interesting after having met up with an old friend (we both attended an elite ultra-competitive high school) yesterday that her career is up in the air….she has multiple degrees (one of them a PhD. in English Literature) but she has been working odd jobs here and there: teaching English to 5th graders, freelance writing, memoir writing, and interviewing people for a matchmaking service (she quit that last one in a huff!)…. she’s currently traveling around and hooking up with old friends and family and having fun, but it does point up the fact that a degree (or multiple degrees) in the arts is no guarantee for money-making success…

  10. PursuitAce says:

    Everyone does realize that all of the education and smarts in the world won’t enable you to outrun the coming technology which will make your function and career obsolete. It’s just a matter of time. You can’t beat the collective minds of hundreds or thousands of people no matter how smart you are. (See Gary Kasparov vs. Deep Blue). If your worth is directly linked to what you do you may have trouble adapting. These are exhilarating and terrifying times.

    • If you want to eat and keep a roof over your head, you might have trouble adapting…

      The problem isn’t that machines are taking over, it’s that machines are taking over and people are being displaced without being taken care of. The powers that be have a ‘fuck ’em, We Got Ours!’ attitude. They don’t expand the welfare state. They don’t expand education opportunities. They just let the rest of us fester so that their kids can get all the decent jobs without any competition.

      Your analysis misses that.

    • Soullite522 says:

      Speak your mind. LoL.

      More like ‘say what the moderators want you to say or get every comment deleted.’

      What a sham.

      • GMP Moderator says:

        It’s unfortunate that you feel that way Soullite. The mods are made up of several men and women with varied backgrounds and opinions. If we wanted a one note song, we’d be in the wrong place for it.

    • Then schools should be instilling adaptability skills too… and indeed, picking up various types of knowledge-pursuits each semester, exploring them, and then moving on to a different subject later is one way of doing just that.

  11. I think the powers the be should stop sabotaging male dominated jobs. In my area, there will be cuts to the local shipyard, which is one of the best employers on the coast. I’m not sure what the logic is since us naval ships are aging, and wars are often won or lost depending on the strength of the navy.

    There used to be a glass factory in a nearby city a couple decades ago, it’s gone now.

    I was riding in a cab one day, and the driver told me he used to work at an oil rig. Now the rig is gone, and I’m willing to bet he’s making significantly less driving a cab.

    I dont think boys should be goaded into college. I think there are better way such as going into a blue collar profession. I also think we should get rid of credentalism. For example, grade school and high school teaching. Instead of requiring a degree, you take an exam and pass a stint as a student teacher. That way the most knowledgeable and competent people can be teachers not necessarily the ones with the most paperwork. This would benefit so many men-they can teach what they love but dont have to go to a feminized college.

  12. Where do we start? With parents, with the educational system, or with the jobs market? What needs to change?
    I say start with the boys. While boys are lagging behind in education boys are also more likely to get into disciplinary problems and are more likely to be diagnosed with behavioral disorders. I think that for too long people have been okay with just slapping them with a label (“delinquent”, “crazy”, etc….), leaving them by the wayside and then throwing their hands up wondering “what went wrong?”. I think that once someone takes a closer look at these boys society at large will recognize that its own outlook on boys needs to change.

  13. Starting at the very earliest stages, we need to make primary schools and middle schools more boy-friendly. And that means that we stop trying to ‘correct’ boys’ behavior with drugs or trying to turn them into girls behaviorally. It means studying how boys behave, interact, and learn, and then customizing the education process to take advantage of those traits rather than condemn them.

    • ITA. I also think kids should spend less time in school. more like in some European nations. Seriously, what child especially a little boy can sit still and be quiet for hours on end?

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