Derek Thompson, of The Atlantic, briefly explores logics pertaining to the fact that the inactivity rate for men 25-54-years-old has gone up in each decade since 1970. In some cases, this can grow into a very concerning trend. Strong evidence suggests that high rates of idle males within society can contribute to forms of instability.
One point that Thompson makes is that many men feel that low-wage work is not likely to improve their existing standard of living. Alternative forms of income, public and private, sustain these individuals (who typically have few, if any, dependents). Thompson goes on to make the argument that a decline in "manly jobs" may also account for this trend.
While I don't necessarily disagree with his focus on identity, I would question whether it is a decline in "manly" jobs or a decline in unskilled opportunities that pay a living wage?
The economy is not simply leaving men behind. It is leaving manliness behind. Machines are replacing the brawn that powered the 20th century economy, clearing way for work that requires a softer human touch.