For all of human history, as far back as we can know anything about social and family structures, a marriage relationship which bound a father to the mother of his children was present, in every society, in every culture, in every land. Whether you believe that our societal rules were handed down to us by a wise and benevolent God, or you think that our societal morés simply evolved, the concept of marriage as the basis of the family and of society was universal. And it has only been our oh-so-enlightened last couple of generations in which we decided that we were just plain smarter than those who went before us, that marriage was really just a scrap of paper that really meant nothing, and — if you were Amanda Marcotte — was just another control mechanism of Teh Patriarchy.
From The Wall Street Journal:
About Half of Kids With Single Moms Live in Poverty
By Josh Mitchel | November 25, 2013, 3:10 PM
Children raised in single-parent households in the U.S. are far more likely to live in poverty than children with both parents present, according to Census figures released Monday. As a result, far more black and Hispanic children are raised in poverty than white kids.
Among all children living only with their mother, nearly half — or 45% — live below the poverty line, the Census Bureau said. For those living with just the father, about 21% lived in poverty. By comparison, only about 13% of children with both parents present in the household live below the poverty line.
The latest data, offering a broad snapshot of America’s households, is the latest to show that children of single parents often have a rougher time financially than those with both parents, a scenario encountered far more by blacks and Hispanics than by whites. About 55% of black children and 31% of Hispanic children live with one parent, compared to 20% of white children and 13% of Asian children.
More at the link.
So, is some form of wicked racism responsible for the better economic performance of white families in the United States, or is it that a larger percentage of black and Hispanic families have chosen lifestyles which are economically disadvantageous? If it is the latter, then how can Affirmative Action or any other government programs change those outcomes?
Our ancestors knew that sex is an intensely powerful drive in human beings, and that copulation has consequences. Every previous society organized itself in a manner in which the vast majority of children would have both a mother and a father present, to rear and support the children. It was so simple and so obvious that it went unchallenged.
Until now. With modern medical technology, we have been able to create various methods of contraception, and such was seen as liberating women to indulge their sexual urges without fear of pregnancy, and thus without the need to be married to the man — or men — with whom she chose to copulate. Reliable artificial contraception would, we were told, free women from the scourge of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.
And just how has that worked out? If we are to believe the Census Bureau report, not so well. Feminism has told us that women should not be discriminated against, that women should be paid the same as men for equal work, and that women are the true equals of men. But the census data show that, when it comes to child rearing, this is anything but true: 33% of women living with their minor children are not also living with a husband, and one in four women living with their minor children has no partner at all, married or otherwise. A far smaller percentage of fathers living with their minor children, 14%, do not have a wife living with them as well, and only 6% have no partner at all. After more than four decades of feminism influencing our culture, American mothers are economically worse off for it.
There has been much talk, and much (supposedly) learned analysis of the difference between economic and social conservatives, often with the socially not-conservative pundits telling the Republican Party that they must eschew the social conservatives, that the social conservatives scare too many other voters. The trouble is that they fail to recognize — or do not want to recognize — that the social conservatives are the economic conservatives.
There are plenty of articles out there which noted that the 2012 election had a significant “gender gap” in favor of President Obama, but I chose this one, from The New Yorker, as a citation, because the author fairly drips with scorn concerning people who voted for Mitt Romney:
In the last couple of days, there has been a lot of talk about how the gender gap cost Mitt Romney the election, and also about how Caucasian males, in deserting Obama en masse, are swimming against history. In certain circles, a commonly asked question is: “What’s up with white men?” Writing in Thursday’s Times, Gail Collins called older white guys “the biggest loser demographic of the election.” Yesterday, one female friend confided to me: “They are strange, white men.”
That may well be true. I, for one, know a lot of weird white dudes, and the fact that Romney led Obama in their demographic by twenty-seven points—sixty-two per cent to thirty-five per cent—amply justifies all the attention it is receiving. But it turns out that, purely on the basis of their voting patterns, a similar question could also be asked about white women, or most of them. One of the least commented-upon aspects of the election returns is that well over fifty per cent of Caucasian females voted for Romney, too. Not as many of them as white men, of course, but a solid majority. Indeed, as a proportion of the total, more white women voted for Romney on Tuesday than voted for George W. Bush, in 2004, or for John McCain, in 2008.
To be sure, these voters weren’t, in the main, the sort of women who write for the Times, or even read it. Among white female college graduates, Obama voters may have been in the majority. (In the versions of the national exit poll that I have seen, that category isn’t broken down.) But the fact remains that white females, taken as a whole, went solidly Republican. While the overall gender gap played a significant role in ensuring Obama’s reëlection, it didn’t have very much to do with white women, who remain one of the bulwarks of the Republican Party.
You don’t believe me? Here are some figures from this year’s exit poll, which the Edison Research company conducts for a consortium of media companies, and from previous ones. In 2004, Bush got fifty-five per cent of the white female vote, and Kerry got forty-four per cent—a “reverse gender gap” (one working in the G.O.P.’s favor) of eleven points. In 2008, McCain got fifty-three per cent of the white female vote, and Obama got forty-six per cent—a gap of seven points. Compared to four years earlier, the reverse gender gap in this demographic had decreased by four points, indicating that the Democrats were making progress in attracting the votes of white women. But this year, that trend turned around again. Far from narrowing further, the reverse gender gap among white women widened to fourteen points. Romney got fifty-six per cent of the white female vote; Obama got just forty-two per cent.
When I first saw these figures, I was surprised, too. How could Obama have done so poorly among white women and yet carried the overall female vote by eleven points—fifty-five per cent to forty-four per cent? The answer is that white females make up a smaller proportion of the overall electorate than they used to—thirty-eight per cent in 2012 compared to forty-one per cent in 2004—and Obama racked up enormous majorities among non-white women, who are growing in numbers. Ninety-six per cent of black women voted for Obama; seventy-six per cent of Hispanic women voted for him; and so did sixty-six per cent of women of other races, including Asians. Since about one in six voters is now a non-white woman, those votes were enough to cancel out the reverse gender gap among white women and turn the female vote as a whole into one of the key elements of Obama’s victory.
What the author ignored was the economic factor: among those who did not finish high school, President Obama had a whopping 64 to 35% advantage, while if you had a bachelor’s degree, the odds were 51 to 47% that you voted for Governor Romney. If your totalk family income was less than $50,000, the odds were 60 to 38% that you voted for Mr Obama, but over $50,000, and it was more likely, 53 to 46%, that you gave your vote to the Republican.
When religion is looked at, regular churchgoers went 59% to 39% for Mr Romney, while those who only infrequently (55% to 43%) or never (62% to 34%) attended church gave their votes to Mr Obama.
All of these things go together. From Gallup:
Economy Would Benefit if Marriage Rate Increases in U.S.
Married Americans spend more than their unmarried counterparts
by Frank Newport and Joy Wilke
PRINCETON, NJ — Married Americans spend more than those in any other marital status category, across age groups. Americans who have never married spend significantly less, particularly for those younger than 50, suggesting that if the marriage rate increases, overall spending in the U.S. may increase and benefit the U.S. economy.
Married Americans report a daily spending average of $102, followed by $98 among those who are living in domestic partnerships, $74 by divorced Americans, $67 by those who are single and never married, and $62 by those who are widowed. As shown in the accompanying graph, across all age groups, those who are married spend more than those of other marital statuses.
More at the link.
The economic benefits of being a couple are obvious, and there is a greater economic benefit to being a traditionally married couple than to just living together.1
We have found in our 30+ years of research on successful marriage around the world that being married has huge economic advantages. Doubters have challenged us to “prove it!” The latest proof is in the just released special report by the Heritage Foundation entitled, Marriage: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty.
Being married has tons of advantages – love, companionship, children, shared responsibility, financial stability, and the like. But in the end, financial stability in the modern era may, in fact, drive almost everything else. We know this – among the principle advantages of marriage, is shared financial stability – now and in the future.
Here are the facts. The number one economic advantage of marriage is income! According to recent data reported by the U.S. Census Bureau and by the Heritage Foundation, the 2009 poverty rate for single parents with children in the USA was “37.1 percent.” The poverty “rate for married couples with children was “6.8 percent.” The Heritage Report goes on to say that being “raised in a married family reduces a child’s probability of living in poverty by nearly 82%.” Need we say more about being married and its positive impact on our children?
The sad reality is this – in 1964, more than 9 out of 10 children born in the USA were born to married parents. In 2010 that number had dropped to 6 in 10 – a one-third drop. If you wanted to know the single greatest cause of childhood poverty, look no further.
More at the link.
The voting results from 2012 — as well as from past years — demonstrate what ought to be obvious: both the “social conservatives” and “economic conservatives” voted the same way, because they are the same people! Married adults are living in a more traditional, more conservative, social arrangement, and are more likely to vote for the more conservative candidates. People of greater economic means are also more probable to vote for the more conservative candidates. The linkage is that those living in the more socially and religiously conservative arrangement of marriage are also the most economically successful; behaving more socially conservatively leads to greater economic success.
This is why the notion being pushed by so many of the political pundits — so many of whom seem to be from the left — that the Republican Party has to stifle the voices of the social conservatives, and pay more attention to the economic conservatives. It is very true that different people can make different arguments, and for some conservatives, the social issues seem to be more important, while for others, the economic issues take precedence, but, regardless of individual agendas, the social and economic conservatives are still the same people. An economic conservative may not really care all that much about whether homosexuals are allowed to marry, but the chances are that he is in a traditional heterosexual marriage himself; a social conservative might not make as many arguments in favor of conservative economics, but the chances are that he is living an economically conservative lifestyle himself.
The liberal pundits might not see the economic and social conservatives as being coterminous, which would account for their arguments, or they might realize that the economic and social conservatives are the same people, but just lie about it to better push their agenda.
There are two points which have to be taken:
- The arguments of the liberals concerning social and economic conservatives should be ignored, because they proceed from a false premise; and
- The policies of the liberals, when followed, lead to less economic success.
It doesn’t matter how nice or how noble or how compassionate the liberals are or think they are or claim to be; their positions and their policies are prescriptions for poverty and failure.
- Trent Hamm of The Simple Dollar posted two articles on why, for men, being married is a superior economic arrangement to cohabitation. Lisa Arnold and Christina Campbell published an article in The Atlantic noting that single women wind up with significantly greater economic and even health care costs than married women. ↩