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

Wendy's iPhone Pics Jan 2013 075

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.

Is America’s Debt Crisis Caused by Our Marital Crisis?

Tax

Isn’t it strange that when you talk with a young, recently married couple that one economic reason for finally tying the knot is that it costs less for two people to share a home, furniture, etc. than it does for two separate people. So, why is it you never hear people talking about getting a divorce discuss how much more expensive it is going to be to bust up their home. Well, it turns out that the damage done to the economy extends far beyond simple living arrangements.

A new study by Henry Potrykus, Patrick Fagan, Robert Schwarzwalder titled “Our Fiscal Crisis: We Cannont Tax, Spend, and Borrow Enough to Substitute for Marriage” explores the economic costs of the breakdown of the family:

Three facts shape our on-going fiscal crisis: Government revenues come from the taxation of our economy. Our economic growth is and will continue to be a fraction of that of the pre-1960’s era because of the breakdown in marriage. All the while, more citizens are pushed into dependency on this government, again because of marriage breakdown.

This slowdown in economic growth coupled with the increased numbers of dependent citizens makes closing the deficit impossible for President Obama or anyone else who uses the present welfare state as the economic model to be sustained. It cannot be. This reality arises from two facts: 1) We have proportionately fewer children 2) Up to 20 percent of these children are unequipped to compete in the modern economy because of a lack of essential skills formed within the intact married family . . .

Because larger families are a greater contribution to the economy than smaller families, U.S. family planning policies have undermined the U.S. economy. The sensible economic policy is to grow intact, stable married families instead of favoring sexual unions that are not child-centered.

  1. A sane government would work to reverse all laws, policies and programs that undermine fertile marriage such as no fault-divorce, abortion, education formation of high-school students in extra-marital sexual intercourse, and family planning services that have resulted in a massive increase in single-parent families, and the loss of well over 50 million workers.
  2. Tax policies should support rather than penalize marriage and family formation.

The long-range solution to our economic difficulties is to grow intact married families rather than growing government.

You know, there are very practical reasons why marriage is a 4,000 year-old institution. Marriage is not some ideology based on flimsy evidence. There will be a price paid for our flippant attitude toward marriage . . . though I think it will take more than a change in government policies to bring back marriage. People will have to take a long, deep look into their souls and make real changes. Going back to church would be a start.

photo by: 401(K) 2013

Apple’s Tradeoff: Maximizing Sales or Contributing to Social Decline ?

Apple

Just got this in my in-box .  Apple just pulled a pro- traditional marriage, pro-life iPhone app from iTunes after gays protest (Manhattan Declaration).   Supporters of traditional marriage are consumers, too, with far more technology users under their roof.

Those who favor traditional marriage like Mormons have tons more children than gay couples.  It is true that intact families are declining in number but have far greater representation in the population than gays who are only 1 percent of the population.  Apple is a business and businesses are interested in maximizing sales.

So, if Apple is, in fact, still a business then why would they anger parents who have multiple iPod, iPhone and computer using children to please gays ?  Is social decline good for Apple’s bottom line or just good for their trendy image ?

photo by: twicepix