Even before the pandemic hit, growing public aid programs undermined employment by offering open-ended assistance to men capable of working. It is no wonder that many prime-age men took to heart the message that work was expendable.


Birthrates and marriage rates are approaching historic lows in the U.S., undoubtedly fueled by prime-age male idleness. Declining marriage rates and birthrates will contribute to demographic and economic challenges that threaten prosperity for future generations.

Source: Perspective: America needs prime-age men to be working

I just looked at some data on “transfer payments”. A “Transfer payment” is personal income received without a corresponding contemporary return of a service or product.

Social security income, retirement income, government benefits programs are examples of transfer payments.

In many, if not most counties, transfer income accounts for a significant part of total personal income. It is 27% in one county I just looked at. This is up from below 20% a dozen or more years ago. The result is government incentives not to work, which appears to lead to more problems down the road, such as our labor shortage problem.

The author of the above column has a PhD in public policy and is the former deputy commission of social services in NYC – she is an expert on this topic.

I assume her reference to “prime age men” is because of past data collection issues, particularly with regards to comparisons to the Great Depression era.