Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto
“I’m not against getting rich, I have and I’m totally for it. But I’m definitely against a system where the only success stories are twenty-seven billionaires who hate America, which is where we are now.”-Tucker Carlson
“What you’re hired for is to help us. Does that seem clear to you? To help us, not to fuck us up! To help men who are goin’ out there to try to earn a living, you fairy, you company man.”-Ricky Roma
Male labor force participation in this country is plummeting, a trend that began in the late 1960s (I wonder why?) dramatically accelerating in the past two decades, and the effects have been predictably devastating. During the 1996–2016 period, the nonparticipation rate increased the most for younger men of prime working age, those age 25 to 34. In 2016, over seven million men in the key working age range of 25-54 were out of the workforce in the United States. As women mate hypergamously, the perception of viable mates has become badly skewed, with the knock-on effect of fewer families, more broken and dysfunctional relationships (or lack of relationships in the form of, variously, one-night stands and/or casual sexual encounters, or perhaps nothing at all), general dissatisfaction, and other ramifications most recently recounted excellently in Tucker Carlson’s Ship of Fools. There are other factors at play here, too, which I will cover extensively both below and over the next several pieces, but suffice it to say that our “elites’” decision to hollow out the middle of the country has gone about as poorly as can be expected for our social fabric, but wonderfully for their bottom lines. As Douglas Himes writes:
Over the last two decades, the increase in nonparticipation was less pronounced among men at the extremes of the educational attainment spectrum, those with less than a high school education and those with a bachelor’s degree or more education (my note: though this is not to say that these two groups were not also affected). One possible explanation for the larger increase in the nonparticipation rate among men in the middle educational categories is that “job polarization” has decreased the demand for middle-skill workers while increasing the demand for both lower skilled and higher skilled workers. What both the low-skilled jobs (such as food preparation, cleaning, and security and protective services) and the high-skilled jobs (such as managerial, professional, and technical work) have in common is that they are not easily amenable to automation and computerization. In addition, demand for many of the middle-skilled jobs (for example, jobs in manufacturing) has been decreased by technological changes that make workers more productive and by increased offshoring and globalization. [Didem] Tüzemen maintains that this reduction in the demand for middle-skill workers accounts for most of the decline in labor force participation among prime-age men. Sadly, the lack of employment may be the start of a vicious cycle of inactivity, depression, and other health problems that, in turn, become additional obstacles to gainful employment.
Americans have the unfortunate tendency to view economic growth as synonymous with the health of the nation (see Cocktail Hour Episode 26 for a more in-depth discussion of Tomislav Sunic’s notion of “Americanism”), perhaps no more strongly embodied than in the wildly disappointing Trump presidency, which has basically been all of the worst elements of “conservatism” of the past forty years amplified to the proverbial Spinal Tap 11. We probably should have expected this, but a combination of desperation and his persuasive rhetoric sold us. Alas, here we are, but it is essential to understand all of these factors in order to begin to understand the at-first-confusing Yang Gang phenomenon on the Dissident Right. Some of it is absolutely desperation—he is the first and at press time only major candidate to speak specifically to white issues—some of it is that he’s also the only major candidate to be speaking to the dangers of automation, and some of it is of the meta-political variety: sowing chaos in the enemy camp, pushing for a plurality of political options and opinions (see also: Tulsi Gabbard), and some of it is a “flex” to show the Dissident Right’s wildly outsized impact on political discourse from a grassroots level, perhaps best personified by the preposterous and often hilarious Yang memes (much like those of Donald Trump before him).
Neo-liberalism is built on an infinite growth model, but it’s not just runaway population growth that is a problem for all kinds of reasons, from the relatively minute (longer commutes and other inconveniences) to the catastrophic (finite resources combined with dysgenic reproductive habits equating to a veritable Malthusian nightmare of ecological devastation and billions of deaths). Runaway automation and artificial intelligence also presents a huge problem, and virtually no one outside of Elon Musk and Andrew Yang are talking about it. In a nation which has seen its industrial sector and increasingly service sector outsourced, coupled with workforce saturation for the few remaining jobs, a massive under-class is forming, and economic inequalities are growing exponentially. The middle class stands to see its economic standing continue to erode as well, and not just due to obscenely high tax bills to re-distribute their earnings. Yang’s idea of Universal Basic Income (UBI) is sound in the sense that it makes more sense to directly dispense funds to individuals than to have a smorgasbord of programs that often over-lap and are even more often ineffectual or even harmful. They are also financed almost exclusively by whites (and white males at that) for the almost exclusive benefit of basically everyone else.
While Douglas Himes (above) is correct in his assertions regarding the more extreme decline in labor force participation in the “middle” due to the detonation of solidly middle- and working-class jobs as a consequence of automation and outsourcing, though there is ample demand for labor at the higher and lower ends of the specialization/educational attainment spectrum, supply due to factors such as mass immigration and generously-issued numbers of work visas nevertheless out-strips demand. Considering all of these trends, what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning. If the current system remains in place, labor force nonparticipation can only increase and polarization will become even more extreme. As Andrew Yang discusses in his book The War on Normal People, if and when “Intellectual Manual Labor” jobs such as pharmacist, dentist, and even surgeon, which are more or less slight variations on replicable tasks, become automated, many upper-middle-class and higher-educational-attainment jobs will vanish as well. Quoting from Yang:
The Federal Reserve categorizes about 62 million jobs as routine—or approximately 44% of total jobs. The Fed calls the disappearance of these middle-skill jobs “Job Polarization,” meaning we will be left with low-end service jobs and high-end cognitive jobs and very little in-between. This trend goes hand-in-hand with the disappearance of the American middle class and the startlingly high income inequality in the U.S. The vanishing jobs are due in part to the incredible development of both computing power and artificial intelligence.
Despite the fact that tens of millions of jobs may soon be automated out of existence, the vast majority of our political figures, from Tarnald Blormpf to Nancy “Bella Lugosi” Pelosi, are clamoring for “The Greatest Number of Immigrants Ever.” For the low-educational-attainment workers, untold millions of illegal and “legal” aliens have flooded that particular labor market, driving wages down. Many of these jobs, such as fast food restaurant cashier, are not immune from the dangers of automation, either. For the more specialized worker, H-1B visas do a fine job of wage suppression and American worker dislocation as well—and don’t think AI can’t “learn to code” since, you know, it is code. Speaking of which, regarding journalists, Yang continues:
A company called Narrative Science produces thousands of earnings previews and stock updates for Forbes and recaps of sports stories for fantasy sports sites in real-time. The company’s bots won’t be winning any Pulitzers in investigative reporting, but in the coming years, the quality of AI-produced writing will go from acceptable to very good—and those journalists who write routine stories like this will find their jobs increasingly at risk.
Between mass immigration, automation, and outsourcing, the economy twenty years from now at the current pace will be extremely polarized. Think Amazon on steroids. Already, eight men now have as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion people living on the planet combined. Sure, most people outside of Africa have been lifted out of abject poverty by capitalism, but they remain in relative poverty and most will remain there. Arguably even worse, however, is the state of affairs in the “post-industrial” world, where many people now face an existential crisis of meaning in their lives. Look at the results in the United States: “The latest CDC data show that the U.S. life expectancy has declined over the past few years. Tragically, this troubling trend is largely driven by deaths from drug overdose and suicide,” CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield states. Suicides and drug overdoses are the leading causes of death in the U.S. for people under fifty. The odds of dying from an accidental opioid overdose in the U.S. are greater than those of dying in a car accident, according to findings from the National Safety Council (NSC). The lifetime odds of death by suicide are 1 in 88. The lifetime odds of an overdose are 1 in 96 compared with 1 in 103 for vehicular death. Drug overdoses killed almost 64,000 people in 2016 (42,000 of which were from opioids). Drug overdose deaths rose above 70,000 in 2017, at least 47,000 of which have been attributed to opioids.
Overdose deaths are higher than deaths from HIV, car crashes, or gun violence at their respective peaks. For all Americans, the mortality rate for drug overdoses in 2016 was 19.8 per 100,000, an increase from 16.3 per 100,000 in 2015. The drug-related mortality rate per 100,000 in 2016 for whites was 25.3, blacks 17.1, and Hispanics 9.5, meaning whites were roughly 50% and 167% more likely to die from drug overdoses than blacks and Hispanics, respectively. From the CDC:
During 2006, there were 2,088 drug overdose deaths involving heroin (age-adjusted rate of 0.7 per 100,000 population); during 2015, there were 12,989 deaths (age-adjusted rate of 4.1). The rate of drug overdose deaths involving heroin increased slightly during 2006–2010 but more than tripled during 2010–2015; the rates increased from 1.2 to 3.8 per 100,000 for persons aged 15–24 years, from 2.2 to 9.7 for persons aged 25–34 years, from 1.6 to 7.4 for persons aged 35–44 years, from 1.4 to 5.6 for persons aged 45–54 years, and from 0.7 to 3.4 for persons aged 55–64 years. In 2015, the rate of drug overdose deaths involving heroin was highest for persons aged 25–34.
Heroin overdoses among Millennials aged 24-35 quadrupled in the time period 2010-2015. One out of every 12 deaths among people aged 25-34 during that time period can be blamed on heroin. As bad as this is, drug overdose fatalities have absolutely exploded over the past three years, primarily due to synthetic opioids. As Josh Bloom explains:
In 2010 Purdue Pharma, after years of formulation research, got FDA approval for a new version of OxyContin — a high-dose, extended release form of oxycodone. Prior to that, addicts knew that by simply grinding up the pill, they could defeat the extended release formulation, and get as much as 80 mg (16 Percocet pills) of pure oxycodone. The new formulation put a stop to this, since when users tried to grind up the pills, they got a gum which could not be easily used. OxyContin use fell off of a cliff, as desired, but the solution was problematic. Addiction is a demon, cutting off one supply does not cure it, and addicts switched en masse to heroin, and the number of overdoses more than doubled in just three years.
130 Americans die each day after overdosing on opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2017, “an estimated 1.7 million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers, and 652,000 suffered from a heroin use disorder (not mutually exclusive).” About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.,
Fentanyl is 50-100 times more potent even than morphine. Fentanyl is often substituted for heroin, which explains the spike in fatalities. A fatal dose of fentanyl is about 2 milligrams — roughly equal to the weight a few grains of salt. Most fentanyl comes from Mexico and China, and because of its size-to-potency ratio, it is extremely easy to smuggle. This is made easier by the fact that the United States effectively does not have borders. Deaths from fentanyl increased a whopping 45% from 2016 to 2017 alone. Of the over 42,000 opioid overdose deaths in 2016, 33,450 of the victims (79%) were white. The brunt of the opioid epidemic’s toll has been felt most heavily in vulnerable populations, particularly those in economically depressed and rural areas of the country. Economic dispossession and decline is in no small part responsible for the spiking deaths-by-despair among white men in this country. Whites are now more likely to die from either opioid overdoses or suicide than from car accidents. Further, for whites, there are roughly 6 suicides for every 1 homicide; among blacks, there are about 3.5 homicides for each suicide; and the rate ratio among Hispanics is roughly 1:1, with suicide slightly edging out homicide. The suicide rate in rural America (largely white) increased over 40% from 1999-2015.
The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics shows an increase in the death rates from 1999 to 2014 for young whites; 25-year-old white women experienced an average increase in mortality of 3% every year over that time period, while 25-year-old white men had an average annual increase of 1.9%. Mortality rates also went up for whites in the age groups 40 to 50 and 62 to 64. In 2017, the highest U.S. age-adjusted suicide rate was among Whites (15.85). The rate of suicide is highest in middle-age white men in particular. In 2017, men died by suicide 3.54x more often than women. White males accounted for 77.97% of suicide deaths in 2017. Also from the CDC:
Percent of men aged 20 and over with obesity: 36.9% (2013-2016)
Percent of women aged 20 and over with obesity: 38.8% (2013-2016)
Percent of men aged 20 and over with hypertension (measured high blood pressure and/or taking antihypertensive medication): 35.1% (2013-2016)
Percent of women aged 20 and over with hypertension (measured high blood pressure and/or taking antihypertensive medication): 34.3% (2013-2016)
The people are clearly sick, which is also clearly by design. This begs the essential question: what is the purpose of a government if its rulers do not govern in the interests of its people? The answer should be clear.
 Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBHSQ). 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; 2018.
 Muhuri PK, Gfroerer JC, Davies MC. Associations of Nonmedical Pain Reliever Use and Initiation of Heroin Use in the United States. CBHSQ Data Rev. August 2013.
 Purdue Pharma, owned by the Jewish Sackler family, is primarily responsible: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/01/health/sacklers-oxycontin-lawsuits.html