ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no secret that men have been hit hard by the recession. From November 2007 to November 2008, the U.S. economy lost over 2 million jobs — 82% of those losses were male jobs and only 18% female jobs. The reason is because men are concentrated in the sectors devastated by the downturn: manufacturing and construction.
This employment gap prompted University of Michigan economist Mark Perry to dub the downturn a Ã¢â‚¬Å“man-cession in the lipstick economy.Ã¢â‚¬Â
So in his Inauguration speech, Barack Obama glowingly promised, Ã¢â‚¬Å“We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Within days, the newly-installed president unveiled his stimulus proposal, vowing it would create millions of Ã¢â‚¬Å“shovel-readyÃ¢â‚¬Â jobs. And on February 17, Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.
That would get men back on the job and ready to rebuild the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s infrastructure, persons assumed. And if you visit the governmentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ARRA website — www.recovery.gov Ã¢â‚¬â€œ youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll see upbeat pictures of hard-hatted carpenters, energy-efficient courthouses, and gleaming hospitals.
But following passage of ARRA, unemployment continued to rise and the gender gap worsened. By May of this year, 10.5% of men, compared to eight percent of women, filled the ranks of the unemployed. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the worst gender gap reported since 1948.
So where did the $787 billion economic stimulus package go wrong?
Part of the problem is the crass influence of pay-back politics. According to a July 8 USA Today report, counties that supported Obama in the November election received $69 per person, compared to $34 per capita in counties that voted Republican.
Another reason is the hefty outlay of stimulus money to state governments at the expense of local groups. Ã¢â‚¬Å“You donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t fertilize a tree from the top down,Ã¢â‚¬Â quipped Democratic senator Tom Harkin of Iowa. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Too much of this is going to the top.Ã¢â‚¬Â
But far worse is the fact that the Obama Administration sold out to the feminists. Christina Hoff SommersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ recent exposÃƒÂ©, Ã¢â‚¬Å“No Country for Burly Men,Ã¢â‚¬Â offers a stunning account of the legislative transmogrification: www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/016/659dkrod.asp
As soon as Obama released his stimulus proposal, the National Organization for Women and other feminist groups swung into action. They knew the head of ObamaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Council of Economic Advisors, Lawrence Summers, would be a push-over following the putsch at Harvard University.
So following a flurry of closed-door meetings, emails, petitions, and op-ed columns that derided ObamaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“Macho Stimulus Plan,Ã¢â‚¬Â the White House staff set out to revamp the proposal. They released a report assuring that 42% of all jobs would go for females, openly admitting the new approach Ã¢â‚¬Å“skews job creation somewhat towards women.Ã¢â‚¬Â
When the final bill was signed into law, the feminists were ecstatic. NOW president Kim Gandy exulted how the law contained many of the Ã¢â‚¬Å“very specific proposals that we had madeÃ¢â‚¬Â with price tags carrying Ã¢â‚¬Å“numbers that started with a Ã¢â‚¬ËœBÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ (as in billion).Ã¢â‚¬Â And $325 million was allocated for family-busting domestic violence programs.
Less than four months later the Associated Press would report, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Most of the roughly $300 billion coming directly to the states is being funneled through existing government programs for health care, education, unemployment benefits, food stamps and other social services.Ã¢â‚¬Â In Georgia, two-thirds of the state governmentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s stimulus money would pay social programs. In Mississippi, only 13% of the stimulus money is projected to go for road construction, according to the AP.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We talked about Ã¢â‚¬Ëœshovel-readyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ since September and assumed it was a whole lot of paving and building when, in fact, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not the case,Ã¢â‚¬Â complained Chris Whatley of the Council of State Governments.
The irony is the male vote was a decisive factor in ObamaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s improbable quest to reach the White House. During the primary campaign, the white male vote propelled Obama to victory in 10 out of 17 states: www.renewamerica.us/columns/roberts/080624 . And last Nov. 4, males again played a crucial role, with 49% of men casting their vote for Obama, compared to 48% siding with McCain.
Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly believes the goal of the reverse discrimination that lards ObamaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s stimulus plan is to Ã¢â‚¬Å“make men, husbands, and fathers irrelevant as family providers.Ã¢â‚¬Â According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 7.5 million American males are now listed on the unemployment rolls. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a lot of irrelevant men.