Posted by Pat Cunningham on Mar 25, 2013 in Uncategorized | 7 comments
Some of the language in this video is a little salty, but the moral of the story is a worthy one.
I want my 15 minutes back. That was well and truly a piece of crap.
Read this instead. Much more valuable information.
Nearly half of American children, 48%, are now born to unmarried women. Among women without college degrees, and of all races, unwed motherhood has become the norm.
This is the crisis of the American family. Whether same-sex marriage proceeds fast or slow, whether it extends to all 50 states or stops with the current nine plus the District of Columbia, the crisis will be the same.
Children born to single parents face much longer odds in life than children born to married parents. (A new study by ThirdWay.org suggests that the harms are especially intense for boys, less so for girls.) “Odds” are not rules, of course. There are always exceptions.
On average, however, children born to married mothers and fathers are more likely to finish college, more likely to avoid prison and more likely to form marriages themselves than children born to single parents. And precisely because the harms of single parenthood tend to be self-replicating, the breakdown of marriage threatens to harden into a caste divide, with some families launched into cycles of downward mobility because of the unstable relationships of parents or grandparents or great-grandparents.
For 20 years, Americans have fiercely debated whether gays — who constitute maybe 3% of the population — should be allowed to marry each other. Meanwhile, Americans have given short shrift to what is happening to the 97% of the population that is allowed to marry, but increasingly opts not to do so.
One reason we’ve given the single-parenthood problem short shrift is that we lack good ideas about how to address it. The core of the problem seems to be the decline of male wages relative to female wages. The New York Times this week quoted an MIT economist, Michael Greenstone:
“I think the greatest, most astonishing fact that I am aware of in social science right now is that women have been able to hear the labor market screaming out ‘You need more education’ and have been able to respond to that, and men have not. And it’s very, very scary for economists because people should be responding to price signals. And men are not. It’s a fact in need of an explanation.”
As men (on average) finish less education, as male wages (on average) decline, men become less attractive as marital partners. As Harvard’s Christopher Jencks — a left-leaning academic, it should be stressed — said in that same New York Times piece: “Single-parent families tend to emerge in places where the men already are a mess.”
This is the master problem of American society, and not only American society. Everywhere in the developed world, the decline of mass-production industries has put pressure on the roles and incomes of working-class and middle-class men. The expansion of government and service industries has opened new opportunities for women, of which working-class and middle-class men seem less able to avail themselves.
It’s important to note that men in full-time work continue to earn more than women in full-time work.
But that bottom-line number conceals a widening divergence between the family patterns of the college-educated top one-third, where family life is increasingly stable, and those of the non-college-educated bottom two-thirds, where family life is increasingly disrupted
doc: What does any of that stuff have to do with the subject of the video above?
It is a much more valuable use of my (and your ) time.
That’s wholly a matter of opinion, exdoc. And I consider the drivel you posted to be alarmist claptrap. Just my opinion, of course.
Example please of “alarmist claptrap”?
I would hate to be seen as alarmist, certainly nobody in the real world views me that way.
In fact I am becoming slowly and inexorably disinterested in this blog and in politics in general. The discussions so often feel like too much time spent on the pediatrics floor in my hospital.
“I want my 15 minutes back. That was well and truly a piece of crap.”
A) Nobody forced you to watch it. You did it voluntarily.
B) Nobody charged you to watch it. It didn’t cost you a cent.
C) If you want to really waste time and money, watch a “Red Dawn” movie or something like that. (I remember the first one where Soviet paratroopers suddenly showed up, dropped by propeller planes, hundreds of miles inside our borders and totally undetected. Talk about a “delusion”.)
Or you could just listen to a Rush Limbaugh broadcast. There’s truly a “piece of crap”.
Pat told me the moral of the story was a worthy one. He is wrong. I should have known better.
By te way, don’t forget the Cubans.
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