The problem is that a big chunk of it is college-educated knowledge workers having their wages driven downwards and not understanding that they have class interests. Instead, many of them buy into titles-over-pay and are happy to receive lower pay over time adjusted for inflation so long as they earn just a bit more than non-college workers. And it is “just a bit” after you’ve bothered to adjust for the costs of the education ratchet and the fact that increasingly these knowledge workers are talking themselves into 2-3 degrees before getting that first job.
It doesn’t have to be this way, they could demand to be paid in money rather than ego-boost of making a few pennies more than those despised not-college types who probably don’t even have decent politics. But it would mean they’d been bad at being smart and were instead talked into, er, voting against their own interests.
This is, by the way, misleadingly represented on the fringe socialist left as “professional managerial class” or “pmc”.
The fixation on college degrees is endemic among conservatives, for all that they claim to not be like those wacky liberals on the matter. This is especially true among homeschoolers, who are just as wedded to the SWPL-liberal notion of college as crucial to financial success as any Tiger Mama. But promoting apprenticeships and certifications is a way to sidestep the entire college cargo cult and provide economic opportunity for even not-bright men to save up and build a life and support a family.
At present in America, about the only groups promoting apprenticeships or certifications successfully are a few old-line heavy trades unions (who remain white-ethnic to a degree that is astonishing in modern America) and a few highly abstract professions like actuaries and accountants. The key is to have either or both of apprenticeships and certifications be directly relevant to the industry work in question. IT failed to do this, so those certifications lost value over time and are now not as reliable or useful to acquire.
Conservatives and pro-family people more broadly need to look at developing useful apprenticeships and certifications on a formalized scale for other industries and then hiring based on those. Will there be disparate impact and legal issues? Honestly, probably not. Disparate impact is increasingly determined by what kinds of jobs the professional managerial class (PMC) wants to keep open for their own mostly white adult children.
This is one way to sidestep the college treadmill but still employ the men (and widows, for that matter) so they can support families and offers a robust approach that can last for generations to come.