High unemployment rates due to severe COVID restrictions plus extra taxpayer dollars for people who have lost their jobs have added to an existing problem of healthy men who refuse to pursue employment.
In some cases, the situation is worse because married men are staying at home being lazy while making their wives work, something condemned by the Catholic Church.
“Women, again, are not suited for certain occupations; a woman is by nature fitted for home-work, and it is that which is best adapted at once to preserve her modesty and to promote the good bringing up of children and the well-being of the family,” Pope Leo XIII writes in Rerum Novarum.
“Almost 1 in 8 men [is] sitting out during his best years,” a recent Wall Street Journal article noted. The newspaper reported “millions of [people] appear to have quit work entirely. The labor-force participation rate was 61.9% in December. That’s 1.5 points below the pre-pandemic level, and barely changed since August 2020.”
The decline began in 1948 and has continued to go downward as more women enter the workplace.
It’s time for men to fulfill their responsibility and go back to work.
And if you do have a job now, start preparing for the next layoff or career change by finding a second source of income as a back-up to carry you over until you find your next job.
Stop using COVID as a reason to stay at home in your bunker
We probably all know healthy men who used a COVID layoff as an excuse to stay at home and continue to this day to claim they are afraid of a virus that is not likely to kill them. Meanwhile, their wives go to work.
If you have two arms and two legs and you honestly cannot find a job, you can shovel snow or cut grass. And there’s no need to fear jab mandates leading you to get fired when you work for yourself. It takes a few dollars to buy some paint brushes and basic tools and look for handyman work around your town.
For people with physical disabilities or serious comorbidities, there’s remote work and jobs you can do from home, like watching people’s pets or buying and selling used items on Facebook Marketplace (like some of that extra junk people bought online shopping during the COVID lockdowns).
Being a responsible father means having a job
Furthermore, being a responsible father and husband means working. Specifically, we can see the problems with fathers not working and the benefits of kids seeing their dads working.
One, it’s the moral responsibility of a man, barring any debilitating condition, to financially provide for his family. Seeing dad stay at home playing video games while mom goes off to work is a terrible model for children, both boys and girls.
It tells daughters not to prioritize childbearing and homemaking while leading boys to believe they never have to grow up into a mature human being.
Second, consider the benefit when the children see dad hustling to make money during slow times at his business, while looking for a new job or just to provide for his family.
Daughters learn to look for similar characteristics in a future husband, and sons are taught the value of making sacrifices for family.
My paternal grandfather, whom I never met, worked innumerable jobs and hours to provide for nine kids and my grandmother. Stories like this, evidently, stick with men through the generations and provide a model for husbands and fathers.
Men also have a saintly model for making sacrifices to provide for our family in St. Joseph. To him should we turn in times of trouble.