Thus Amanda Hess of Slate observes, in support of her assertion (via Insta Pundit) that marriage is the new middle-class luxury item.
As traditional work and family structures crumble in the United States, middle-class Americans have the money to build relationships, yet remain satisfied as individuals. For working-class Americans, personal stability sometimes requires staying single and avoiding the risk of abuse, abandonment, and even more economic and emotional disruption.
That's the pop social science version, perhaps better summarized by Charlotte Hays (via College Insurrection) on the intergenerational transmission of bad life management skills (it appears as though she's written a polemic on the subject).
Young people who have bad manners (now called "social skills) and dress eccentrically drive high youth unemployment. Time quoted a global study by Talent Shortage Survey from ManpowerGroup that found that one in five employers worldwide can’t find qualified young people to fill jobs.

"Specifically, companies say candidates are lacking in motivation, interpersonal skills, appearance, punctuality and flexibility," Time noted. Such sloppiness shows us that the values of Skunk Hollow have gone mainstream. And if a young person gives off a vibe of believing a job is just another entitlement, he is less likely to get it. It's also not a bad idea to dress appropriately when seeking work.
But self-actualization, without the benefit of middle-class habits, is even less cheap.
I have to depend on the father of my children for a lot, always asking him for money. It would be nice to be able to support my kids on my own. That's why I decided to work. I applied to McDonald's and they called me right away. I was hired right on the spot.
Thus we all have to pay higher prices for a Big Mac (that is, if the counter help, not to mention the drive-through, doesn't mess up the order) so this representative of the fast food strike can toss the baby-daddy out?

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