Is The US Locking Up Its Available Male Labor Force?

Tyler Durden's picture

A few years ago we noted an extremely disturbing trend, namely that there was never a lower percentage of white men over 20 working in America. The decline in labor force participation rate for males ages 25-54 has accelerated sharply since 1980, and we may have an answer as to why.

Here is the labor force participation rate for men ages 25-54. Although the downward trend is clear since it topped out out 97.9% in 1954, a notable accelerated decline takes place since 1980, which as of May 1, 2016 put the rate at 88.4%.

As the WSJ points out, there is a sharp divergence in participation rates by educational attainment.

Which one could argue is evidence of the declining middle class in America, as blue-collar jobs are disappearing.

There is one more critical chart that the WSJ provides that is notable however, and is something to consider. As the decline in labor force participation for working age males has accelerated its decline since 1980, male prisoners who have been incarcerated has accelerated in the complete opposite direction.

* * *

Is the male labor force collapsing because more and more are being sent to prison? The data certainly shows that is a possibility.

Here is a look at how the US imprisonment rate has grown since 1880 - look at the pop since 1980.

And just because it has been an insane weekend, we'll add to it by reminding readers that despite all of the above, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) is actively advocating that the US has an "under-incarceration problem." Perhaps Cotton wishes to lock up the entire male labor force instead of just most of it.

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Bay Area Guy's picture

Those last two charts are absolutely amazing.  I wonder how many low level narcotics possessions are included in those numbers.  Not possession with intent to sell, but merely possession for one's own use.

AdolphLustig's picture
AdolphLustig (not verified) Bay Area Guy Jun 26, 2016 8:17 PM

Thats edging onto "thought speech" comrade.

Btw, there are people in the states who go to prison for one pill of "legal" drugs.

All hail the law enforcement industrial republican police state!

gatorengineer's picture

much better to let the chimps out of the hole to make more chimps... Lord knows we are running short.  Lets spend more on Medicaid SNAP and Section 8.

Drug crime as a driver is a myth by the way

AdolphLustig's picture
AdolphLustig (not verified) gatorengineer Jun 26, 2016 8:27 PM

The prison industry costs the citizens 74 billion a year.

A total waste of life and economic resources.

Hail to the judeo christian republican law enforcement industrial complex!

AVmaster's picture


1.8 million?

Thats just a drop in the bucket dude against 50 million unemployed...


Try again with your end drug war arguement!

Twee Surgeon's picture

Here in WA I have noticed long term pot smokers kind of moving away from the herb, I guess the glamor wore off. A short walk to the nearest pot shop, I guess it is still big biz, a lot of tourists come for it or so I'm told. All it ever really was is a substitute social circle as sitting in a bar is much too spendy at $5 a glass for overly hopped boutique beer that is more often than not,crap, not to mention that the younger folk are hip to the fact that johnny law is hiding out nearby because the cops have not a thing to do unless some brain damaged meth head goes ballistic.

We can not go ten minutes without seeing one of eight law enforcement agencies that 'serve the public" in this quiet burg of 20,000ish. the jails do a nice business Milking the locals who had a 08 or substance X. The government creates the conditions that make substance abuse seem like a good idea.

Impoverished, future-less and barely employed people with axes to grind.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Sorry Adolph. That's a curve that followed the fall of Christian ethics and the rise of Socialism.

HRH of Aquitaine's picture
HRH of Aquitaine (not verified) AdolphLustig Jun 26, 2016 11:05 PM

The cost to keep someone in prison is about the same as going to a private university.

One of those things that makes you go "hmmmm."

sun tzu's picture

Except most people in prison have the iq of a mothball, so sending them to college is a waste of resources. Take a walk through the average ghetto or trailer park or prison unit and tell me those people belong in a workplace or as your neighbor.

LikeyMikey's picture

Too bad we can't get them to WANT to go to college eh?

Fiction Peddler's picture

Also a drug conviction will result in an expulsion from school, and the "offender" will never be allowed many types of financial aid, much less a decent paying job.

then society says "why aren't they trying to better themselves? why do they go back to crime" ? REALLY? By their policies, it seems policy makers want offenders to be outcast offenders forever.



sun tzu's picture

Bullshit. Nobody is doing hard time for posession of one pill or joint

Déjà view's picture

Gina 'Statutory' gets some in trouble...

But is Britain unusual in maintaining the age of consent at 16, and how does we compare to the rest of the world?

In Europe, countries who have the age of consent set at 16 includeCyprus, Finland, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, theNetherlands, Norway, and Switzerland.

For Austria, Germany, Portugal and Italy it is 14, and in France, theCzech Republic, Denmark, and Greece it is 15.

Spain did have one of the lowest ages of consent on the continent at just 13, but recently agreed to raise this to 16.

Throughout the rest of the world, there are big variations.

In Bahrain, it is set at 21 for women who want to marry without their father's consent, while in nearby Saudi Arabia, all sex outside of marriage is illegal but there are no laws limiting the age at which you can get married.

In China, the age of consent is 14, in Iraq it is 18, while in Japan it is five years lower at 13.

The likes of Brazil, Peru, Paraguay, Ecuador and Colombia all have it set at 14.

And in some countries - such as Chile -  the minimum age of consent is 14, but there are legal restrictions on sexual activities up to the age of 18, and homosexual sex is illegal before that age.

Australia's age of consent varies between 16 and 17 depending on which territory you are in, and the same goes for America where it ranges from 16 to 18 between different states.

In Angola, the age of consent is just 12.

Twee Surgeon's picture

The U.S. drinking age of 21 is also a mystery to many outsiders.

Déjà view's picture

Some EU nations are 16...

Austria, Belgium, Congo, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominica, Germany, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland

Very few are 21...rather odd company...must have things in common...

Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Iraq, Kiribati, Micronesia, Mongolia, Nauru, Oman, Palau, Samoa, Sri Lanka, United States

Déjà view's picture

Legal system thrives on making everything illegal-IN LAND OF THE FREE...

John Stossel's Illegal Everything - YouTube › watch

swamp's picture

33% of thr orison population is ICE identigied as illegal.
ICE identified.

swamp's picture

How many did not go to prison for rape?

Agstacker's picture

Read a few stories about the privatization of prisons, it's a huge business.  The more inmates the more $

AdolphLustig's picture
AdolphLustig (not verified) Jun 26, 2016 8:15 PM

No Worries.
Since it is legal for prisoners in 'merica to work for free, they can just work for the state and the military making money for corporations.

Must be a judeochristian republican thing to wish men to be slaves for corporations.

VWAndy's picture

 A drunk driving ticket will put a regular working stiff under in a year so bad they might not ever recover.

coast's picture

luckily, i have never had a DUI...I know how to ourdrive the police, lol, not really... BUt there is more to your story...Here in Oregon, .08 gets you a DUI.....Thats like one beer for a small framed person such as I.  I could drink 10 beers and still drive better than most people I see, especially these blondes in their convertible, but thats not the point...If you get a .08, you get the same punishment as someone who had a 2.5..... Basically, have a couple beers, and you are screwed for life, have 25 beers and you get the same punishment as a son was drinking one night, and he must have remembered my caution to him, so he pulled over on a country road and went to sleep....The next morning, a policeman drove by, woke him up,  and gave him a frigin DUI....true story....

VWAndy's picture

  20k here in cali they took out billboards to brag about it.

coast's picture

friggin lol andy.....well, its not funny but you made me laugh

AdolphLustig's picture
AdolphLustig (not verified) coast Jun 26, 2016 8:42 PM

Thank DARE and MADD for that.

They worked together on that.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

I once was asked to do a legal blood alcohol on a belligerent man in the ER. Walking into the room I knew from his breathe it was going to be high but because of his agitation I sat on his bed and talked for awhile to put him at ease. From small talk we quickly went to philosophy, economics, science and geopolitics. I was frankly amazed at his knowledge of such a vast area of topics. Deeming me worthy enough to take his blood he finally extend his arm. I damn near fell over when I determined his BA as .43. My highest for a living individual. If it weren't for his breath, I never would have guessed he was under the influence.

In my experience 0.08 is pretty arbitrary. I've seen under that level cause fatal accidents. I've seen significantly over the legal limit killed by those who were legal. After 8 years working graveyards in trauma I've become cynical.


Anti-kleptocrat's picture

... thank MADD and our matriarchial society ... btw, one of the MADD leaders (female) was recently arrested at 3x over the limit ... the only people who really care about the issue are the police-legal-court-industry who profit by it ... 

coast's picture

america the beautiful, for chemtrail skies, and amber waves of GMO, for prsons filled, with non violent kind,  FOr purple mountains owned and controlled by the bankers, from see to shining fucking sea......ANyway, yes, coast has been drinking again, hey its sunday.....I do like it how stats like this, but we have to go bomb other countries for humanitarian reasons.....friggin lol

AdolphLustig's picture
AdolphLustig (not verified) coast Jun 26, 2016 8:23 PM

I have not seen any chemtrails in days.

Maybe the pilots are tired like French cops?

Treason is hard work.

coast's picture

My girlfriend and I were commenting on the same thing adoplh...we havnt seen them either and it was a beautiful site yesterday and today...Lets see what tomorrow brings.....mybe they are running out of money?   I dont know the reason, but no chems for about 3 days...

AdolphLustig's picture
AdolphLustig (not verified) coast Jun 26, 2016 8:51 PM

Refueling and maintenance no doubt.

Plus, you don't always see them during rain storms.

Sometimes they just mist the sky from high up, on non trail days.

Since Thursday I havent seen them.

So nice to see blue skies again.

Phoenix Pilgrim's picture

We had few for almost two weeks. However, they were pounding us all afternoon today. They seem to have changed their strategy and were testing it in select areas last week. They are now turning the trails on and off as they fly then repeating this pretty accurately over the same area multiple times to make more natural looking grouped clouds rather than the obvious line patterns. Doesn't hide the greasy irredescent film at sunset however. Usually the temperature kicks up 5-10 degrees over the metro area on the second consecutive day of spraying. Once we hit record heat, they stop for a day or two until it starts dropping again. Guess since they got caught falsifying records the "gods" are attempting to create global warming.

AdolphLustig's picture
AdolphLustig (not verified) Phoenix Pilgrim Jun 26, 2016 9:53 PM

I have noticed how angry I feel on days when the sky is saturated with chemclouds.

Most people are like this too. Edgy, short, angry, impossible to be around.

Its amazing how insane things have gotten on this planet.

I am sure they just folllow the weather patterns.

Whats amazing is how few meteorologists say anything.

nightshiftsucks's picture

I said the same thing and then today I saw a few in the SF Bay Area.

mtndds's picture

I always see chemtrails when I am up at mammoth mountain in the eastern sierra's.  They always seem to be traveling from east to west.  They come from Nevada and seem to head towards the cali coast.  Lots of them.  Mainly in the mornings.  

1980XLS's picture

Pivot point on that chart seems to go with Nixon taking us off the Gold Standard. Just saying.

Niggas do like gold kinda.

Mena Arkansas's picture

A black male born in 1991 has a 29% chance of spending time in prison at some point in his life.

One out of nine African American men will be in prison between the ages of 20 and 34.

Black males ages 30 to 34 have the highest crime rate of any race/ethnicity gender and age combination.

In 2014, 6% of all black males ages 30 to 39 were in prison, compared to 2% of Hispanic and 1% of white males in the same age group.

The Lifetime chances of going to prison are 32.2% for Black males and 17.2% for Latino males, while only 5.9% for White males.

1 in 3 black males will go to prison in their lifetime.

gatorengineer's picture

It certainly cant be genetics or culture can it?  gotta be that mean old Cracker....

1980XLS's picture

Awesome stats sunshine. I feel much better now. Thanks for the encouraging data

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

Nigger values!  Gots to be jockin tha bitches, slappin dem hoes, smoking the weed to eeez my mine.

AdolphLustig's picture

Blacks make up 36% of the prison population.
Whites make up 32%
Hispanics make up 22%.

You are ignorant white trash, obviously.

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

You stupid nigger, I dont fall for weak-ass Jedi mind trix.  Niggers comprise 13% of the population.  So IF they are 36% of the prison population, they are 3x OVERrepresented.  And it all works back to the nigger values.  If you be disrespkin me, I put a cap in yo azz.

AdolphLustig's picture

Suck muh dick bix nood

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

That's just another stupid nigger come back.  Except you dont have the means to even try to intimidate me like your average Harlem block-banger.  Been there, done that, esse.  You aint got shit, you lost the argument because you were stupid, and God willing, I wont have to kill too many idiots like you in the future. 

AdolphLustig's picture

You are a humorless, ignorant bore.

You ain't killin shit but time, keyboard coward.

Zip_the_Zap's picture

You know about dick sucking? Probably mother fucking too.

Caledonian's picture

Statistics are racist!

Zip_the_Zap's picture

Mathematics is fo crackers.