According to Tucker Carlson, "study after study" proves that women earning more than their male counterparts causes alcoholism, drug abuse, out-of-wedlock births, and prison. On his show last night, Carlson made the stunning assertion, rejecting the notion that rising women's wages is a "victory for feminism":
Male wages declined. Manufacturing, a male-dominated industry all but disappeared over the course of a generation. All that remained in many places were the schools and the hospitals, and both of them are traditional employers of women.
In many areas, women suddenly made more than men.
Now, before you applaud that as a victory for feminism, consider some of the effects.
Study after study has shown that when men make less than women, women generally don't want to marry them. Maybe they should want to marry them, but they don't. Over big populations this causes a drop in marriage, a spike in out-of-wedlock births and all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow.
More drug and alcohol abuse, higher incarceration rates, fewer families formed in the next generation. This is not speculation, it's not propaganda from the evangelicals. It's social science. We know it's true. Rich people know it best of all, that's why they get married before they have kids. That model works.
Wading through this steaming pile of horse manure would take a lifetime, but it is worth asking Carlson some questions. Firstly, which studies prove that when men earn less than women, they end up drunk and in prison? Secondly, rather than framing this as an issue decrying men's inability to earn more than women, why not look at the obvious issue here. Why is it that our culture believes men should, by the sole virtue of their gender, earn more than women?
The answers to the above questions aren't difficult to come to. Firstly, Carlson is pulling this straight out of his ass. There are no studies that definitively show men end up as alcoholics and in prison because their spouses earn more than them. Secondly, Carlson won't ask this question because it undermines his own position in society and within his own family. As an unfathomably rich, conservative white man who believes he and others like him are Master of the Universe, it is an unthinkable proposition. Tucker can't envision himself earning less than his long suffering wife, because that would destroy the clear vision he has of himself.
Carlson is most certainly highlighting a real problem in America. Men, particularly white men, are in a state of crisis. There are multiple factors at play here, and Carlson correctly states that deindustrialization and declining wages have essentially laid waste to what was the middle class in America. But there is another element Carlson refuses to acknowledge, and it has everything to do with his own nasty view on race and ethnicity in America.
There has been a huge myth perpetuated by people like Tucker Carlson in the wake of Trump's election, and it is based on the idea that white people voted for him because of economic anxiety. This however, simply isn't true. The majority of people voted for Trump because they are racist xenophobes. Public Policy Polling released a poll in 2015 showing exactly this:
Our new poll finds that Trump is benefiting from a GOP electorate that thinks Barack Obama is a Muslim and was born in another country, and that immigrant children should be deported. 66% of Trump's supporters believe that Obama is a Muslim to just 12% that grant he's a Christian. 61% think Obama was not born in the United States to only 21% who accept that he was. And 63% want to amend the Constitution to eliminate birthright citizenship, to only 20% who want to keep things the way they are.
Trump's beliefs represent the consensus among the GOP electorate. 51% overall want to eliminate birthright citizenship. 54% think President Obama is a Muslim. And only 29% grant that President Obama was born in the United States. That's less than the 40% who think Canadian born Ted Cruz was born in the United States.
The average Trump supporter is comfortably middle class, and is mostly worried about non-existent illegal immigrants making America less white. Sound familiar? Carlson, who is considerably better off than 99.99999% of Americans, spends all day, every day ranting about immigrants making the country dirtier. He believes America is a white, Christian nation that should be controlled by men. When he sees anything reversing that trend, he sounds the alarm goes on the attack. Usually, he goes after those with brown skin. Now he is going after women who make more money than men.
There are straight forward ways to combat the crisis happening with white men in America. The first is to bring them into the 21st century, where women have equal rights and are sometimes better at things than they are. This might be a difficult adjustment, but just as whites did not like blacks going to their schools before the government mandated it, they need to suck it up and accept it as a new reality. The second is to vote for politicians who will do something about declining wages and deindustrialization. That means voting for Democrats, not Republicans. It's really quite simple, yet as always, Carlson has turned it into a treatise on the ills of immigration/feminism/liberalism etc, etc.
Hopefully, more advertisers will flee Carlson's show after this nasty little rant. He's already lost dozens due to his incessant race baiting, so here's hoping those still left depart the sinking, racist ship.