Even for exceptional young men it is very hard. I know men who scored well into the upper 90% in math and science and they can't find their way in life. Everyone discriminates against them, and even if they go through the entire rigger of finally landing a good job, they constantly look over their shoulder to be replaced by a H-1B visa worker who will do the job for less.
This is pretty much me. I'm high in the top decile, and in my field it was very difficult to find an engineer with more practical experience and a higher GPA than me as a recent grad. I hired into an engineering firm which contracts for government clients. There's people on the government side who do the same exact thing but they make >50% more with better benefits after just a few years. Shortly after I hired on, a hispanic girl who only knows English as a second language, with a degree only tangentially related to our field and no practical experience, was hired by the government and now probably makes close to 6 figures. There are many similar examples, like a buddy of mine who lost a Naval Academy nomination to an asian girl with worse credentials. During my job interview I was asked if I knew any female engineers who would be interested in the job (I said no and I got the job). I'm at peace with all of this as I think it's a sign that this rat race isn't for me, and I'm gearing up to make a big career change.
Men in younger generations than me will have it even harder. I understand what you're saying @bucky
. In my case I didn't want to go to college. I wanted to do my own thing, but I had everyone in my life - both my parents, my favorite teachers, all of my friends, pressure me into applying to college at age 17/18. Eventually I cracked and applied at the last minute and I got saddled with student loan debt and the false promise that engineering is somehow special. I don't care how smart a 17 or 18 year old is, they're retarded. I was. Hopefully the young men now will be more conscious of that scam than I was.
I still think it's possible to succeed financially as a young man, but realistically not within the white collar power structure. There are many business ideas one could do well in if they put themselves to it, landscaping, tree work, powerwashing, trades, etc.