"Only 45.4% of Americans had jobs in 2010, the lowest rate since 1983 and down from a peak of 49.3% in 2000."
"The bulk of those not working has shifted from children to adults. In 2000, the nation had roughly the same number of children and non-working adults. Since then, the population of non-working adults has grown 27 million while the nation added just 3 million children under 18."
"Last year, just 66.8% of men had jobs, the lowest on record. Until the 1960s, more than 80% of men worked."
"'No matter how wealthy you are, you have a problem if half the population is not working and depending on those who are. Wherever you look, we've overpromised.'"
The only states with a majority working population: North Dakota and Wyoming.
We should immediately abolish public schools, the completion of the programs of which are, at best, often irrelevant or in most cases actually detrimental to long term success as a mature adult and a productive member of society. Also, we should repeal child-labor and minimum wage laws, so that children are given the opportunity to earn their keep, in cases where this is appropriate, and actually become prepared to take on real jobs that require significant experience later in life.
Such actions will, in the short term, lower youth unemployment rates and actions legitimately considered criminal (e.g., theft). In the long term, it will also reduce the emerging trend of adults making up the bulk of the unemployed, as young children brought up in a culture where work is not valued, as in today's public schools and mainstream liberal arts programs, are not likely to learn to value work later on, especially when massive welfare incentives exist to support the unemployed lifestyle.
Also, Social Security, originally setup in the form of a forced savings scheme has degenerated into a mere welfare program, as the trustees (i.e., politicians) have spent all of the saved money and now merely transfer directly from those currently working monies to support the 'retired.' Social Security should be immediately abolished in recognition that it is merely a direct tax on the currently productive, whose own social security benefits, if received at all, will have to be financed through the Federal Reserve's counterfeiting operations.
Those dependent on Social Security made a bargain with the devil and (big surprise!) lost. They should be immediately abandoned and forced to return to the workplace, to serve as an indication to future generations that it is not wise to trust the government to save for your 'retirement.' Actual Anarchy would consider support by the government only to those who truly cannot work in their old age and without caring children as a legitimate reform measure, if we could reasonably expect such a half-way system to be administered fairly, with reasonable verification of the indigent status of the aforementioned elderly. Unfortunately, recent experiences indicate that is not a reasonable expectation.
It can be argued that the whole phenomenon of 'retirement' is a mere propaganda scheme anyway, used to buy off 'retired' voters, as most truly productive people worked their entire lives prior to the advent of the welfare state. In fact some studies indicate that retirement can lead to mental inactivity and is thus bad for the brain leading to degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. In addition to its injustice, Social Security is not even a sustainable voter buy-off scheme, as we are seeing that it disincentivizes the work necessary to keep a productive society going by disincentivizing current labor both by those who now instead of working receive benefits and the taxes applied to those who cannot currently retire and are working. It also leads to a lowered birth rate, as raising children is indeed an expensive affair, done often in the pre-welfare state era to guarantee financial security during extreme old age and frailty. Those who can rely on Social Security payments in lieu of support from their children are likely to have fewer children, and we see a corresponding decrease in the fertility of all Western nations with such retirement schemes, Japan being the worst example. Thus does the modern notion of 'retirement' lead to societal collapse and economic stagnation.
We are not getting richer. We are getting poorer. A real economy is not a number like GDP, as the Federal Reserve can always create enough new money to force an increase in that number. Real growth comes from cultural factors and the incentives society chooses to enforce. Currently, the only government incentives that exist are towards unbridled consumption. Uninhibited, this will lead to the utter destruction of humanity. It is only the remnant of natural law that the state has not yet been able to override, and arguably never will, that allows even the semblance of a productive economy to remain. Also, we are heavily subsidized by the use petroleum, which may or may not be a renewable resource. If not, we will have squandered a great deal of Earth's capital not on preparing for a future without oil, but on allowing our fellow men to be uncultured, lazy slobs and disincentivizing their will to life.