ON-Lion Letter
By one reading, things look pretty good for Americans today:  the country is richer than ever before and the unemployment rate is down by half since the Great Recession -- lower today, in fact, than for most of the postwar era. 

But a closer look shows that something is going seriously wrong.  This is the collapse of work, most especially among America's men, Bradley Prize recipient Nicholas Eberstadt argues in his new book, Men Without Work:  America's Invisible Crisis.

Eberstadt holds the Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, D.C..  

His Men Without Work shows that while "unemployment" has gone down, America's work rate is also lower today than a generation ago -- and that the work rate for U.S. men has been spiraling downward for half a century.  Astonishingly, the work rate for American males aged 25 to 54 -- or "men of prime working age" -- was actually slightly lower in 2015 than it had been in 1940, at the tail end of the Great Depression and before World War II.

Today, nearly one in six prime working age men has no paid work at all -- and nearly one in eight is out of the labor force entirely, neither working nor even looking for work.  

So who are these men?  How did they get there?  What are they doing with their time?  And what are the implications of this exit from work for American society?

Nicholas Eberstadt lays out answers to these questions and Jared Bernstein from the left and Henry Olsen from the right offer their responses to this national crisis.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation Milwaukee substantially supports AEI and Olsen's work at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in D.C.

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