The Economist Magazine Surprisingly Discusses Merits of Marriage–Hat Tip to Oklahoma

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It is true that marriage is on the decline. With the divorce rate approaching the 60% mark and married couples having less than two children, it is pretty clear that The Economist’s title “The Fraying Knot” rings true.  However, The Economist, which is skeptical of all things traditional, goes on to present robust evidence that the institution of marriage creates stable family structure.

Even Democrats like Bill Clinton and Daniel Patrick Moynahan (Democrat Senator from NY) have pushed for programs that promote marriage.  In 1965, Moynahan proposed emergency federal intervention in the establishment of a stable Negro family structure; he justified the intervention by the high out-of-wedlock birthrate among blacks.  The 1996 Welfare Reform Act that Bill Clinton signed into law called marriage “an essential institution of a successful society which promotes the interests of children.

One type of program that The Economist (January 12th through 18th issue, p. 27-28) seems to laud for its results is that of the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative (OMI) which helps couples recognize the benefits to marriage.  OMI, started in 1999, has served 315,000 people and is the largest and longest running initiative of its kind.

Many churches sponsor initiatives like OMI but are unable to reach their target audience because they don’t attend church.  OMI is able to reach beyond the church-going population into those demographic clusters that most need its help.  More cities and communities need these type of initiatives to dig deep into the community.  As The Economist recognizes:

you don’t see the same pattern of long unmarried relationships you see in Scandinavia, France or Britain…in the United States, marriage is how we do stable families (Andrew Cherlin, sociologist at Johns Hopkins University).

In closing, here is some food for thought… if marriage creates stable families in America, does it also follow that a stable family structure throughout America’s past helped make the U.S. the wealthiest country in the world?  And, would it also follow that because marriage is on the decline today, the U.S. is approaching federal budget insolvency ?  Get married and stay married–it works.

Why I’m a Conservative…Very Simple Answer

Jelly Bean President

As I start out 2013, I think back to some of the key moments in my life that have shaped my world view.  One such moment was the time a relative (a couple years younger than me) mentioned that I was known as the “throwaway child” in her household. Needless to say, this tidbit my relative shared wasn’t helpful at the time and I wished she had kept it to herself.

However, as the years went on and I had my own children, the image of the “throwaway child” was a robust reminder of how grateful I was for the opportunity to work hard and achieve based on my own merit–only in America (at least prior to 2008).  My achievements allowed me to rise from the self-doubt that emanated from my parent’s lack of affection and care. I always believed that once I was no longer directly affected by my parents’ poor choices, I could reap the benefits of my own choices and perhaps be free of the drama that plagued my parents’ lives.

I am a conservative today because my parents were not.  Without any guidance, I simply made the opposite choices they did and have enjoyed different results.  Simple math. If you’re a throwaway child, you too can triumph in marriage and child rearing, however, it will probably require adhering to traditional beliefs.

If you’re a conservative then you’re most likely a Republican.  However, that relationship is definitely changing. There are many in the Republican establishment echoing the insults of Democrats who call traditional values “tinfoil hat” issues.   These establishment Republicans need us tinfoil hat people if they’re going to win elections (Mitt Romney lost because the tinfoil hats didn’t show up). To sum up, the data doesn’t lie: overall, if you just stay married and don’t divorce, you’ll be wealthier and healthier than those who bail on their marriage and kids.