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Discussion: (4 comments)

  1. Todd Mason

    Denmark typically leads lists of countries with the highest rate of upward mobility, with the US trailing many European countries plus Canada. It also leads the US in births to unwed mothers (46 percent to 40 percent.) thttp://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s1337.pdf

    The next table in that census report, single-parent households, explains the discrepancy. In Denmark, Dad is still there, parenting without a ring on his finger. Cohabiting parents account for about a third of births out of wedlock in the US, so step one for Mr. P and company is to differentiate family stability and marriage.

    Obviously the Danes are better cohabiters. Digging deeper in the data provides some nuance. Cohabiting is more common among educated Danes. The opposite is true here. So which came first in the US? Poor education or single parent households?

    Gotta say that fixing education is an easier policy question than getting dad to move back in. And momma might be happier to see him if he could find a decent job.

  2. Instead of hand-wring over split families, why don’t researchers look at one of the majoe causes: alcoholism and addiction? Addiction and its associated maladies, such as adultery and abuse, destroy marriages and families. It is a huge reason why women, in particular abused women, file for divorce. Alcoholism is a progressive disease, destroying the brain, particularly the frontal lobe, which is the area of the brain controlling good choices and moral human behavior.
    On top of that most states, like Texas, have laws assuming both parents are just fine as parents, and judges can blindly award almost 50/50 extended time to drunk alcoholic parents unless there is some gross over-the-top documented evidence of violence and physical abuse. This leads to a cycle of abuse for children and greatly increases their chances of becoming alcoholics as adults.
    Please, please look at the causes for divorce. A marriage tax incentive isn’t going to keep anyone married. Addressing alcoholism – and legislatures dealing honestly with this major societal problem – will.

  3. Benjamin Cole

    Well, this is an interesting post, one that could tug a person in several directions.

    First, we often hear that “Americans are better of than ever.” this is especial a men on the right-wing, btw. And per capita incomes have risen nicely in the last three decades, us puttering in the Great Recession of course.

    Also, very importantly, the national crime rate has fallen, in some major cities (such as NYC and L.A.) to all time lows.

    Okay, so we are richer than ever, and enjoying the lowest crime rates in many a decade. That is the picture of a successful nation.

    There is nothing that defines free market capitalism as “family friendly.” That is not the purpose of capitalism.

    And, libertarians would contend that government should be “family neutral”—the tax code should be indifferent if you are a nuclear family, a gay couple, a polygamous family, or a bunch of dudes sharing a house.

    If someone had asked me three decades ago what the destruction of the American family would mean, I would would have said “disaster.” I even like the idea of extended families.

    But here we are, our families are blown to smithereens, and we richer endless creme prone thn ever. Libertarians would add that many of the “crimes” that are committed, such as drug use and prostitution, are not crimes at all.

    Charles Murray is a sincere guy, and I like his point of view. But he has the answer the question: If a nation is getting richer and less crime-prone, is there really a problem?

    And also, shouldn’t government really butt out of our private lives? Should not people use the drugs or alcohol they want, marry who they want, be in polygamous or monogamous marriages if they want?

    I would like solid families, even solid extended families. But geography and job markets, and human nature seems to play against my ideal.

    And he reality is, America is doing better than ever, with fractured families, and meaningless neighborhoods.

    It makes me sad, but it is also true.

  4. Why is so much time waste rediscovering natural God given law? One man one woman marriage is best. It results in family. Family is the foundation of government. The man is a loving king of the family, get over it, it works it results in lasting family as men bring stability. People must work to eat. Handouts just creates slaves. Stay out of debt. Follow the spirit of the law vs trying to write millions of laws to create robots. Etc… Etc… Etc… BUT you can’t understand any of this until you understand that God is in charge: The beginning of understanding is to fear God (respect God and His design). And the foundation of this is to receive Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the law on one’s heart that leads one to doing these things. EVEN WITHOUT IT BEING TOUGHT! Education tries to replace what comes from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives perfect education, perfect knowledge, and builds the perfect man/woman. Why? Because God is perfect and through Jesus He makes you perfect. It all starts with the heart. You must love Jesus to have they eyes of your understanding open. 100% of societies problems come from a hard heart toward Jesus. Rome/America were great when they embraced Jesus. Israel was great (with King David) when they embraced God (as they waited for the Messiah). Rebellion of all nations leads to failure. But God is merciful and will rebuild Israel and Jesus will be the King on Earth and then the Lion shall lay down with the Lamb: Perfect Peace.

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