Friday, May 29, 2009

Media Failure Part One: Radio and the Death of Indie 103.1 FM

A lot of talk in the blogosphere and in newspapers and magazines has been about the incipient failure of newspapers. The Christian Science Monitor has gone online only. The same has happened with the Seattle Post Intelligencer and other papers around the country, from Wisconsin to Tuscon. Television too, has had a rapid decline in viewers, with NBC posting the smallest ever average Prime-Time weekly audience (4.4 million viewers) outside the Summer doldrums since the dawn of Television in 1948. Clearly, all media are in trouble.

But it's in Radio that at least part of the problem, the demographic decline of young White people, is clear, and unmistakeable. Likely, no better example can be found than in LA's "Indie 103.1" short lifespan, and replacement by Spanish-language format.

Indie 103.1 began broadcasting it's Punk/Alternative mix in late December 2003, and flipped to Spanish Language radio in January 19, 2009. Over the short, five year lifespan, the radio station was featured on the Fox show "the OC" and on the MTV prank show "Punk'd." Always in competition with rival station KROQ 106.7 FM, the station nevertheless featured Punk/Alternative personalities like Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, Joe Escalante of the Vandals, and Dickie Barrett of the Mighty, Mighty Bosstones as DJs or on-air personalities.

With a population of 17 million or thereabouts, it would seem that there would be more than enough listeners for both KROQ and Indie 103.1 to survive. After all, Los Angeles has two all-news AM stations, KFWB and KNX. Why not two Alternative/Punk stations? The answer is simple, there simply are not enough young (White) people in the LA Metro area to sustain two stations.

To get a flavor of the full list of LA Radio stations (familiar to anyone driving in and around Los Angeles), I've compiled the listings below from the sources here, here, and here. The listings below give the FM stations (note some, like KUCI 88.9. FM are clear only in limited areas, while others have strong signals). LA's mountains and valleys make reception iffy in some areas, and transmitters may operate under reduced power making geographic spread smaller than in say, flat and open Dallas. Reduced signal strength allows both KUCI and KTLW (operating out of I believe, Antelope Valley) to share the same frequency. The LA Metro area is a big market. Some stations also broadcast over the same frequency but with different call signs, but the same simulcast programs.

FM Stations:

Call Letter Frequency Language Format
KKJZ 88.1FM English Jazz, Blues
KCSN 88.5FM English Classical
KUCI 88.9FM English College
KTLW 88.9FM English Christian
KXLU 88.9FM English College
KPCC 89.3FM English Public
KCRW 89.9FM English Public
KBPK 90.1FM English Adult Contemporary
KSAK 90.1FM English College
KPFK 90.7FM English Public
KUSC 91.5FM English Classical
KHHT 92.3FM English Urban Contemporary
KLIT 92.7FM English Adult Contemporary
KCBS 93.1FM English Classic Rock
KDAY 93.5FM English Hip Hop
KMVN 93.9 FM Spanish Spanish
KEBN 94.3 FM Spanish Spanish
KBUA 94.3 FM Spanish Spanish
KTWV 94.7 FM English Smooth Jazz
KLOS 95.5 FM English Classic Rock
KFSH 95.9 FM English Christian
KXOL 96.3 FM Spanish Spanish
KFXM 96.7 FM Spanish Spanish
KLSX 97.1 FM English Adult Contemporary
KLYV 97.5 FM Spanish Spanish
KLAX 97.9 FM Spanish Spanish
KYSR 98.7 FM English Adult Contemporary
nina 99.1 FM Spanish Hip Hop
KKLA 99.5 FM English Christian
KOLA 99.9 FM English Adult Contemporary
KKBT 100.3 FM English Hip Hop
KRTH 101.1 FM English Oldies
KSCA 101.9 FM Spanish Spanish
KJLH 102.3 FM English Urban Contemporary
KIIS 102.7 FM English Top 40
KDLE 103.1 FM Spanish Spanish
KDLD 103.1 FM Spanish Spanish
KOST 103.5 FM English Adult Contemporary
KRCD 103.9 FM Spanish Spanish
KBIG 104.3 FM English Adult Contemporary
KKGO 105.1 FM English Country
KBUE 105.5 FM Spanish Spanish
KOSS 105.5 FM Spanish Spanish
KPWR 105.9 FM English Hip Hop
KGMX 106.3 FM English Adult Contemporary
KALI 106.3 FM Spanish Spanish
KROQ 106.7 FM English Alternative
KSSE 107.1 FM Spanish Spanish
KLVE 107.5 FM Spanish Spanish
KTYS 107.9 FM English Hip Hop
KQVM 107.9 FM English Dance

The AM stations are listed below:

Call Letter Frequency Language Format
KTVO 530 AM English News
KMBR 530 AM English Easy Listening
KGIL 540 AM English Talk
KLAC 570 AM English Sports
KAVL 610 AM English Sports
KFI 640 AM English Talk
KIRN 670 AM Asian Asian
KXTRA 690 AM English Talk
KSPN 710 AM English Sports
KBRT 740 AM English Christian
KABC 790 AM English Talk
KLAA 830 AM English Sports
KRLA 870 AM English Talk
KALI 900 AM Spanish Spanish
KHJ 930 AM Spanish Spanish
KFWB 980 AM English News
KTNQ 1020 AM Spanish Spanish
KNX 1070 AM English News
XEPRS 1090 AM English Sports
KDIS 1110 AM English Kids
KXTA 1150 AM English Talk
KXMX 1190 AM Spanish Spanish
KHTS 1220 AM English Adult Contemporary
KYPA 1230 AM Asian Asian
KGIL 1260 AM English Talk
KSUR 1260 AM English Oldies
KFRN 1280 AM English Christian
KAZN 1300 AM Asian Asian
KWKW 1330 AM Spanish Spanish
KWJL 1380 AM English Oldies
KLTX 1390 AM Spanish Spanish
KMRB 1430 AM Asian Asian
KTYM 1460 AM English Christian
KUTY 1470 AM spanish Spanish
KVNR 1480 AM Asian Asian
KSPA 1510 AM English Sports
KMPC 1540 AM Asian Asian
KBLA 1580 AM Spanish Spanish
KFOX 1650 AM Asian Asian

Immediately, two things pop out from the list. One is the predominance of Spanish-language in the FM band, a band formerly reserved for well, Anglo music, be it Rock, Classical, or Jazz. Secondly, the dominance of Spanish language and Asian language radio in Los Angeles's AM bands.

The two graphs below illustrate this:

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[click Image to enlarge]

Several other things stand out. As anyone who has listened to KCRW, or KKJZ knows, public radio stations are not exactly commercial free. They have frequent pledge breaks, where say, KCRW General Manager Ruth Seymour urges listeners to pledge dollars for various goodies and so on. In between music, public affairs program (such as "To the Point With Warren Olney") or news, sponsors run frequent "image building" ads touting their "responsibility." It's straight out of "Stuff White People Like" (the blog and book) or ABC's "the Goode Family."

Nevertheless, without the Public Broadcasting presence on the FM band, it would probably have more Asian and Spanish language stations in the LA area. There are at least five Public stations on the FM band in LA (KUCI, KCRW, KUSC, KKJZ, KPFK, are the ones I know). It is telling that in a metro area of 17 million people, there is only one major Classical station (KUSC-FM) and one major Jazz station (KKJZ, formerly KLON-FM, Long Beach). Both broadcasting out of universities (USC and Cal State Long Beach, respectively) as Public Broadcasting Stations.

Next, it's the nature of the successful radio stations on the AM band, that are NOT either Asian or Spanish language. There are six sports talk stations, and seven talk radio stations that are in English in the AM band (station XEPRS 1090 AM is included because South Orange County picks it up from San Diego). Those are nearly the numbers of the Spanish and Asian languages, and account for 56% of the English Language AM stations. That number rises to 65% if you throw in the two all-news stations, KNX and KFWB.

What does this tell you?

In a marketplace (AM, which is totally commercial, no Public Radio) where reaching listeners equals operating profits or losses (if your station does not reach listeners), owners choose mostly English language Sports, Talk/News, or Spanish language, or Asian language formats, with a smattering of oldies or Christian formats in English thrown in.

The LA Almanac here has some interesting data. You can see that several things are immediately apparent. First, that there are more Hispanics than Whites in LA County (unfortunately, there is no source that aggregates the multi-county areas of LA Metropolitan region, including LA, Orange, Riverside, San Bernadino, and Ventura counties). This alone drives up Spanish Language stations, and under-reporting (lots of illegal aliens not counted) could lead to substantially higher numbers of Hispanic/Mexican consumers that advertisers selling cola, candy, and other low-cost consumer goods would want to reach. There are also a substantial amount of Asians, more than Blacks in sheer numbers, accounting for Asian radio. It's likely that the amount of Asians has only increased since the 2000 Census.

But also, well just how OLD LA County is with respect to it's White population.

The graph below (aggregated ages 20-21 for sake of smoothing out age cohorts) shows WHY Indie 103.1 failed. Men and women aggregated together do not cross the 200,000 threshold until the late 20's at least. Moreover, there are few young people in the pipeline, take a look at the younger White Angelino cohorts. There's not that many of them. Even assuming that the cohort increases post college (people move to the LA Area), there still is not that many of them. Note also, the slight but decided greater numbers of men, particularly in the late twenties through thirties, over women, among LA County Whites.

[click Image to Enlarge]

Many things Indie 103.1 did during it's broadcast existence puzzled me. The emphasis on Trader Joes sponsored Morning Show Wine Tastings. The use of minor celebrities like Timothy Oliphant and David Lynch to do morning sports and weather. Looking at the demographic breakdown by age cohort, it makes perfect sense. Indie tried to grab the small amount of Yuppie Whites in their thirties and forties and FAILED. EPIC FAIL.

Yes, no doubt Satellite Radio played a part in the demise of Indie 103.1. But note that the station posted negative results in the Arbitron ratings after the recession started to hit, just when people would be looking to escape from costly Satellite Radio into free FM.

It seems there just weren't enough Alternative Yuppies to make Indie 103.1 a go against KROQ, and certainly not enough younger kids (Indie 103.1's 80's Nostalgia Wave makes retrospective sense) to drive newness and sensation seeking to the station. The stations that ARE successful are those that cater to the demographic bulge, around the thirties through the fifties, and the older population that is at least as big as the younger one. Itself a shocking change from what we conceived as "classic" America from say, the 1900's onward through the 1960's, with each generation of young people getting bigger than the cohort that went before.

Now, it gets smaller each generation.

For those traveling through Los Angeles, who wonder why LA radio is a barrage of Spanish, Asian, and not much else, the graph below shows it all:

[click Image to Enlarge]

What are the broader lessons from the failure of Indie 103.1 FM?

One: Your demographic slice your media targets must be large enough.
Two: White America is older and more conservative than the Yuppie model of "Stuff White People Like."
Three: There are not many young Whites, most young people are Hispanic.
Four: Youth-oriented media mostly fails.
Five: Betting it all on Yuppies with lots of money is a bad long-term bet, because there just isn't enough base population of Whites to generate enough Yuppies with money. A recession can kill the business.
Six: The biggest slice of Whites ages 30-59 seem to like Sports and Talk Radio, much of the latter overtly conservative.
Seven: Radio is the reverse image of Television, it's male dominated, with male personalities in Sports and Talk (and even Alternative Rock DJs during drive time). There is nothing like "the View" on AM or FM LA Radio.
Eight: Much of the Yuppie entertainment infrastructure in current radio is a Public Broadcasting anomaly. Making the Yuppie Radio presence bigger than it appears. Since most Public Broadcast stations depend on pledge drives plus NPR subsidies to operate, not ad revenues based on ratings.

But it all boils down to much of White America is older, and more conservative, than you'd think. Certainly compared to the Hispanic population, which is much, much younger.
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Friday, May 15, 2009

NBC’s: Mercy: Women’s Shifting Attitudes Towards Love and Marriage

NBC announced a new hour-long drama, recently, for their Fall 2009 Schedule. Among the pick-ups was the show “Mercy” an amalgam of various other female oriented doctor shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice.” This time of course focusing on nurses.

What’s interesting about the show, which is otherwise unremarkable (Doctor/Hospital shows have been standard fare aimed at women since the days of Radio Soap Operas in the 1930’s) is the shifting attitudes towards love, marriage, sex, and commitment held by women.

Looking at the clip, you can see a number of female fantasies that are obviously not true, such as older, “harder” looking women are more attractive than younger, nicer women, or that being “smart” is a draw back for women regarding their attractiveness (it is not, only for men is this so). The older women clearly have multiple men of high status interested in them, the younger, more physically attractive woman who is “smarter” or at least has a very mentioned “Master’s Degree” from Penn, is made to look unattractive. A typical female fantasy aimed of course at women past their mid twenties at least. The usual TV cliches of the “wise old dying woman concerned most about the hero’s self-confidence” and “wise Black Doctor” are also present, to the show’s detriment. [Black Doctors according to the AMA number 3.5% of total physicians, making the character of the “wise Black Doctor” extremely uncommon and thus PC, asserting something is true when it is manifestly not.]

There is also the usual buffoonish characterization of men, found in female-oriented TV dramas. Either handsome, powerful studs (the new Doctor, the bartender), gay co-workers, or cartoonishly inept ordinary men shown up by the women. These are the roles that men play in much of women’s television shows and movies.

But what is most interesting is how attitudes about love and marriage and sexual attraction play out in the clip. It would have been unthinkable fifteen years ago, in 1994, for a TV show aimed at women to depict the central female lead who is married, happily, to a guy shown as nice and decent, to instinctively make out with an old flame the moment she can get him alone. Much less to contemplate an affair, with the encouragement of her co-worker friend. Or flirt shamelessly with a bartender after work, again with the encouragement of her friend.

This represents what amounts to a sea-change in female attitudes towards sex, love, and marriage. Marriage for the most part is seen as an “at will employment contract” and it’s notable that the lead female character experiences no sense of shame or betrayal in making out with her old flame or contemplating an affair. Because the old flame is “hot” and has a superior social position to her husband, who is presented as an amiable but unimportant guy.

Moreover, the female lead is not criticized by her female pal for pursuing the old flame or flirting with the Bartender. The behavior is “excusable” because the guys are “hot.” In marked contrast to the either cartoonish bumblers around her or the “fabulously gay” pal who works alongside her (most male nurses are either hard-working and married Filipino men or ex-Navy Corpsmen, tough and most assuredly not gay). Thus none of the male co-workers particularly those of exactly equal status are bearers of inconvenient sexual desire or figures of romance, either.

The pilot for this show very likely cost around $5 million. It’s likely that production costs will drop somewhere between $3 and $4 million per episode, making the total outlay for the production company between $41 and $51 for a 13 episode run, and $68 to $89 million for a full 22 episode run. NBC (assuming this is an outside, not GE-Universal production company) will be on the hook for likely $2 million per episode, licensing cost, so that’s $26 to $44 million dollars depending if only 13 episodes are ordered or “the back nine” are added on a for full season’s run.

Catering to a female oriented audience in a pilot like this is not left to chance. Study and focus groups galore, market research, the favorability index of actors and actresses, all are tested and analyzed in exhaustive detail. Because there is a lot of money on the line. The production company hopes to make up deficit financing by syndication and DVD sales, the network to sell ads at higher rates than the licensing costs (and not have to engage in “give-backs” where if targets are not met, advertisers get more ads running).

NBC and the production company are making huge bets involving millions of dollars that these themes are what women want to see. And what women want to see is largely, a female sexual utopia of hot men around every corner, men who’s status only improves with age and who’s desire for them only increases as they get older, and with whom they can indulge romantic and sexual interludes with no more consequences than terminating an at-will employee. Variations of these themes can be found in “Desperate Housewives,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Private Practice.” The market for them is quite lucrative, though bounded by the fact that no (straight) man will watch them.

Nothing takes place in a vacuum, however, and cultural shift in women (always the sexual gatekeepers) towards a more “gay” viewpoint on sex and marriage (i.e. “hotness” of the prospective sex partner outweighs any boring old marriage vows) creates it’s own problem for women.

In reality, men do not find older women more attractive than younger ones. Men prefer more not average intelligence in women (higher IQ correlates with greater future time orientation, less desire to fulfill an immediate sexual desire at the cost of a relationship/marriage). Women of course prefer average IQ over intelligence, as intelligence in men correlates with lower testosterone levels, a man of an IQ of 70 having the same testosterone as a man of 130 IQ.

The cosmetics industry may have a 1.9 billion set of reasons to tell women that as they age they can be just as attractive as younger women, but the reality is different. So too is the idea that men view women’s intelligence the way women view men’s (i.e. most desirable by being “average.”)

Sadly, the female fantasies are the flip-side of all those Hollywood movies and television shows featuring kick-ass hot women and nerdy nice guys who win over the hot babe by being “nice,” “sensitive,” and of course, “smart.” Qualities which women find either annoying or irrelevant or “gay” in men. The women in question of course being fascinated by kicking ass and taking names, not obnoxiously girly stuff like shopping, fashion, and hanging around their female friends (in other words, the ass-kicking waifs and babes are completely devoid or real female characteristics).

Neither the male-oriented “kick ass fantasy girl” shows (“Chuck,” or “Eleventh Hour” or “NUMB3RS” or “Terminator”) nor the female oriented sexual fantasy shows offer realistic approaches to men and women groping around for strategies that provides some measure of success and happiness in romantic life.

Women are flat out lied to regarding their sexual power: strongest in their youth, fading fast afterwards, and subject to inconvenient male desire from co-workers and others of equal status. Nearly all their male co-workers will be straight. Hunky doctors will not find them objects of intense passion, and once divorced it will be much harder for them to find a man willing to marry them (as unlike for men, a complex sexual past makes women less not more desirable). Female fantasy shows generally lie to women about how men’s attraction works, showing a model that is just like women’s, depending on validation by other men, instead of the truth which prizes beauty, intelligence, and a lack of any meaningful relationships and complex sexual past.

Men of course are lied to as well in their fantasies, with the model of simply hanging around being “smart” and compassionate wins the girl, who will in any case be devoid of annoying girly tendencies that drive very masculine nerdy guys nuts. Instead of the truth regarding “at will” contracts requiring constant sexiness regarding the next best alternative, and masculine dominance/status forming the basis for attraction and love.

What is telling is that none of the male or the female fantasy shows have any ability to tell men and women how to behave in order to be relatively happy in life, given the big shifts in women’s views towards love and marriage.

Love is now defined (by the only ones who matter, the gatekeepers of sexuality, women) as whoever is sexiest the most, and most recently. “Passion” which is short-term sexual desire, over-rules marriage and fidelity. The modern work-place, with spouses absent and particularly in female-dominated ones, offer splendid opportunities for women to be desired and taken by high status, dominant men (who are also handsome). No condemnation of embracing desire over marriage vows will be forthcoming from female friends and peers.

All this points to a very chaotic, short-term series of relationships and partnerings. Nothing particularly stable, and indeed a perfectly good marriage, though to a “boring nice guy” is considered disposable. Everything points to women having no need to hedge long-term, viewing their futures romantically speaking as bright. So bright that any opportunity can be pursued without any significant downside. This too, an orientation towards short-term maximization because long-term outcomes are “guaranteed” is a big shift.

What is still unexplored is how men react in turn to the short-term orientation of women’s romantic desires. Will men become Pickup Artists (PUA) out of necessity? Will men increasingly abandon any desire for a nuclear family, akin to employee strategies in an employment market dominated by short-term jobs? On balance I think both outcomes are increasingly probable.
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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Obama’s Economy: Men, Women, and the Welfare State

Recently, Business Week had a story on how Male Unemployment has reached post-War highs. Richard Florida (the “creative class” writer) has written about the subject also in the Atlantic. Both Business Week and Richard Florida wondered about the policy challenges this gap creates. Quite likely they were afraid to ponder the implications.

Which is bluntly that men have no investment whatsoever in Obama’s Economy or his Welfare State, and men are guaranteed, most of them, to want to destroy it. Completely, root and branch.

The Business Week story has the following graphs, illustrating the gap between Male and Female Unemployment (most Male age cohorts are at or near post-War highs).

[Click Image to Enlarge]

[Click Image to Enlarge]

This is nothing new. Older Americans who remember the Depression knew that Male unemployment was far higher than female unemployment, as employers would pay women less than men, and many occupations even then were considered “female” such as retail clerking, book-keeping, and other occupations where some part-time labor was needed. Meanwhile male-dominated manufacturing and resource extraction (mining, timber, etc.) were cut to the bone as inventories went unsold. The old photos of breadlines and unemployment lines had nearly all men. Women could and did get by, often as principle breadwinners for families, although their reduced wages made this a highly stressful proposition.

The danger for Obama and Democrats, however, is that the rising Welfare State, is unsustainable without benefits for men. Bluntly put, men need to receive enough advantages for them to support Welfare Spending, and higher taxes. Now they receive nothing, and in fact are positively hurt by Obama’s Economy, which is roughly the Welfare State super-sized. What neither Obama nor most Democrats understand is that the “cushion” of the 1990’s is gone.

As this Real Clear Politics story from 2007 makes clear, the 1990’s were not all a bed of roses, particularly for men. Wage growth was outpaced significantly by economic growth, until the boom times of the late 1990’s around 1995, where employers desperate for workers, bid up wages and various bubbles including the Dot-Com bubble pushed up wages significantly.

But the 1990’s were different for men than for women. The Real Clear Politics link, citing US Census Bureau data on “Usual Weekly Earnings” (basically all income but capital gains and benefits) produced the following graphs:

[Click Image to Enlarge]

[Click Image to Enlarge]

Men up to the 75th Percentile (low/middle wage earning men) showed significant declines in Usual Weekly Earnings from 1993 to 1995. For 2002 to 2006, the same low/middle wage earners had declines that were much lower than the early 1990’s. While men in the 75th Percentile and higher (high income men) had modest gains in the 1990s, but won REALLY big in the 2000’s under George Bush. This is particularly true for the 75th Percentile men who had very little earnings gain under Bill Clinton but very good gains under Bush.

Meanwhile, only the 10th Percentile (the bottom income earners) among women lost wages in the period 1993-1995. Women showed modest gains (25th and 50th Percentile) to spectacular gains, on the order of nearly 9% (90th Percentile, the super-rich) under Bill Clinton. Women did slightly less better under George W. Bush, across the board, excepting the 25th Percentile (just under the middle wage earners, but not the poorest) which did quite better under George W. Bush.

What does this mean? That for most men, and particularly middle income and upwards earning men, George W. Bush and his economy did better for them than Bill Clinton. While for women, the effect is reversed but not quite as strong.

Structurally, the economy has only “worked” to increase men’s wages in boom times. Which would describe the 1990’s, and the period 2002-2006 (to a lesser extent). Women’s employment and wage growth seem to occur best in Welfare Spending eras, when job and wage growth is confined to things Democrats and Liberals spend on, such as Education, Welfare, Health Care, Social Services, and the like. In short, men “win” when they economy is oriented towards boom-stimulated exports, construction, manufacturing, where workers are needed “now” and training is done on the fly, with an emphasis on flexbility in getting the job done. Women win when the economy is based on qualifications, crucially including gender and race preferences, in female-dominated social services, funded by tax revenues.

This puts forward the big risk to social spending: men don’t win by it, and will only put up with it if the general economic environment is so favorable that it’s easier “not to make waves” while times are good.

Welfare Spending of course degrades the ability of the “beta provider” to compete with other men for the exclusive sexual access to a woman. One of the driving factors in single motherhood and illegitimacy (rising from 17% in 1980 for Hispanics to over 50%, from 4% for Whites in 1965 to 28% or 41%, depending on whose numbers you use, or 24% in 1965 for Blacks to over 70% nationally and over 90% in the Black Urban Core today) has been the inability of a “beta provider” male to compete with either Welfare spending outlays (poor Blacks and Hispanics) to income growth (generated by Welfare-Social Service employment) for White professional women. If a White Woman, of professional social-economic status, makes enough money as a “creative class” worker or through social spending (Health, Education, Welfare, Environment, etc.), she does not need the income of a “beta provider” who is at any rate likely to earn less than her, nor does she need his services. Which can be replaced by the stereotypical nanny from El Salvador, or other places sending many illegal immigrants.

[This is why women fare more than men support Open Borders/Amnesty. Not only do White Women find no competition in the “creative class” category but very little in the social spending employment jobs. Meanwhile, lots of illegal aliens means lots of cheap nannies and other labor to replace a husband or boyfriend in child care and household tasks.]

But Barack Obama’s Economy is more than just a structural imbalance tilted towards women. It positively punishes most men, with wage losses and declines, particularly on high-end men, making powerful enemies. Machiavelli advised to kill enemies before making them poor, and that a man might forgive the murder of his father quicker than impoverishment. Obama’s economy, with high taxes, sluggish job growth, no booms in anything requiring male workers “right now” and thus competition for workers driving up wage growth, promises to take men who made a lot of money and make them poor.

What this means is that men who competed for the most important thing in their life: women, went from ordering $200 bottle service at some nightclub to impress women, to hanging around dateless and poor. While the story about “Dating a Banker Anonymous” was indeed a hoax (and the NY Times fell for it), the general outlook expressed by the women (their men were not desirable after losing jobs/income) is nevertheless broadly accurate.

Men from the 50th Percentile upwards used spare wealth from real wage growth to pay for signaling devices like Iphones, Macbook Airs, bottle service at clubs, and other displays to compete for women who no longer need merely “beta providers” of steady, faithful income and companionship, but flash, excitement, wonder, and greater wealth and social power than their own. These men have suddenly become poorer under Obama, as 82% of Obama-era layoffs are men. With little prospect that any will be hired, much less at wages equalling or exceeding their old jobs, in Government sponsored spending such as Social Services, or the Environment.

Indeed, Robert Reich on his own blog, and in testimony before Congress (and Nancy Pelosi who approves).

No money will be spent in ways that benefit “White Men” according to the Obama Administration. It will all go to White Women, unsurprising since Single Women voted for Obama 70-29.

But this imbalance creates a large mass of opposition towards Obama. Men who were middle wage earners or better, who find declining wages, or no wages, no help for them from Obama, continued preference for Women and non-Whites, and most importantly, lack of success in the dating/mating market. Even putting aside Robert Reich’s words, when was the last time anyone saw a Straight White Male working at the DMV, the local Library, or any government office?

During the Depression of the 1930’s, FDR made move after move that only made the Depression worse. He was re-elected to massive majorities because he took care of patronage, and specifically male patronage. FDR ordered the deportation in massive scales of anyone who might be in the country illegally. Non-citizens were excluded from all social benefits and programs. Blacks were suppressed in unionizing and largely excluded from government programs. White males, the most important demographic group and the only one capable of explosive action (witness the Bonus Army) threatening FDR’s rule, were “taken care of,” in the sense that they got a very public “first call” on benefits even if the net result of FDR’s policies was continued massive male unemployment.

Moreover, the society of the 1930’s was not what today’s is, in terms of male-female relations. Women still preferred the “beta provider” who would be steady and reliable, rather than a series of exciting bad-boy playboys. Women shared the apprehension of a society on the brink of chaos and the threat, very real, of revolution.

Today, most women’s lives have not been affected at all. Most women today are single, not married, a change seen first in 2007. Without an unemployed husband, most women are not affected by either layoffs (focused mainly on men) or wage losses (so far not affecting women much). Since women no longer need or want a “beta provider” the economic downturn has reaped benefits, winnowing out the non “Alpha” or socially dominant men from their lives.

But this creates a false sense of security. Men who made good money, and through that money had a girlfriend, now find themselves with neither. Obama offers not only no hope, but hostility expressed daily to the formerly well off White men who now have little hope of recovery. What does this dynamic create?

It creates a whole class, with no connection at all to the Welfare State, who would instead wish to destroy it. Destroy it on the upper end, so that the economic basis for women’s preference for bad boys is erased. Few men of middle to upper income can quickly turn themselves into thugs as happened to the men in the Black Urban Core, or low-income Hispanic men, or the White British Underclass (the latter famously chronicled by Theodore Dalrymple “Life at the Bottom” and other books). Becoming a violent thug as the only way to compete for women absent the beta male provider is certainly a strategy that works. But it has too many costs (the very real possibility of ending up dead or in prison) that most will not take it. However, all the time and energy (the men will not be dead, as Obama merely made them poor) men who used to have “lives and women” and now have neither will be focused somewhere. Very likely on the destruction of the Welfare State. Taking away women’s economic independence and forcing a choice between bad boys and poverty, or exclusivity to beta providers.

At the very least, we will see pretty much all White Men except those who remain very, very rich become Conservative voters, mostly Republican. Kerry won 38% of the White Vote. Obama slightly less. But even with Obama’s 70-29 edge in single women’s votes, if his share of White Male voters goes to say, 4%, neither he nor Democrats remain in office.

Men don’t have a stake in the Welfare System. Indeed since they pay for it in taxes but get nothing for it (but payment to women to enable the bad-boy selection), they are better off without it. Without the Welfare System, and with a low-tax, high boom/bust economy, they at least have the chance to ride another boom wave and create a life that includes women. Obama offers men nothing but poverty and sexless isolation from women.

Men are likely to reject both Obama and Democratic policies en-masse, and dismantle as much as possible the Welfare State.
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