Bloomberg View: "In the Financial Times this week, Martin Wolf offered a few possible explanations for the outlier status of the U.S. in labor force participation: For women, lack of affordable child care. For men, mass incarceration. For both, a shift in employment from jobs for prime-age adults to flex-work for teens and senior citizens, plus “low minimum wages and high transport costs for workers living in sprawling US conurbations.” I would add impossibly large distances between the rural areas and small towns where economic conditions are worst and the “conurbations” where the jobs are. Even in gigantic Canada, the population is much more concentrated around a few big cities than in the U.S.
...These [other, developed] countries do less means testing, and more broad-based spending (on public transportation, on education, on health, on social programs such as child-care)...."