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Friday Five: What Happened to America’s Male Workers?

On Fridays, we bring you the week’s best from around the web. This week’s collection includes a reflection on the Christmas season, a hypothesis about the true source of American polarization, and more.

The Vanishing Male Worker: How America Fell Behind by Binyamin Appelbaum, The New York Times

Like turtles flipped onto their backs, many people who stop working struggle to get back on their feet. Some people take years to return to the work force, and others never do.

America Isn’t Polarized About Politics. It’s Polarized About Responsibility by Charles Murray, AEIdeas

Through the end of the 19th century, it was not an issue on which Americans differed. Americans’ assumption of personal responsibility for their actions was a foundation stone of our civic culture, agreed upon by Federalists, Whigs, Republicans, and Democrats. We all bragged about it endlessly. Now we do disagree, and that disagreement surfaces in all sorts of public policies.

A Christmas Wreath from George Herbert by Nathan Huffstutler, Humane Pursuits

With the Christmas season going at full blast, I’m reminded once again that for most of us Americans, Christmas is not a season of quiet reflection, but a season stuffed with stressful activity.

 “Seeking to Make a Profit Is an Act of Citizenship. Here’s Why. by Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work & Economics

When resources are used in a way that benefits others, everyone prospers. Ultimately, an entrepreneurial project benefits the community as a whole because the end result is a product that prices reveal to be valuable.

Low Gas Prices: How the Free Market Benefits America by Tyler O’Neil, Values & Capitalism

Across the country, Americans are filling up for less. In spite of this good news to middle class families, many stories focus on the economic damage the lower cost of oil causes overseas. Despite this negative outlook, the drop in gas prices will benefit America, and the rest of the world, tremendously.