American Society Is Moving In The Wrong Direction

CNS News is reporting today that the U. S. fertility rate has hit a record low.

The article reports:

The fertility rate is the number of births per 1,000 women aged 15-44. In 2012–according to the Dec. 30, 2013 CDC report “Births: Final Data for 2012″–the U.S. fertility rate was 63.0. That was down from 63.2 in 2011, the previous all-time low.

“The 2012 general fertility rate (GFR) for the U.S. was 63.0 births per 1,000 women aged 15–44, down slightly (less than 1%) from the record low rate reported for the nation in 2011 (63.2),” said the CDC report.

The U.S. fertility rate has dropped from year-to-year for each of the last five years. In 2007, it was 69.3. In 2008, it was 68.1. In 2009, it was 66.2. In 2010, it was 64.1. In 2011, it was 63.2. And, in 2012, it was 63.0.

Since 1960, the fertility rate in the United States has declined 46.6 percent. In that year, 118 babies were born per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44.

Of the 3,952,841 babies who were born in the United States in 2012, said the CDC report, 1,609,619—or 40.7 percent–were born to unmarried mothers.

The family is the foundation of American society. The fact that 40 percent of the children born in the United States in 2012 were born to unmarried mothers does not say good things about the future of the family. Children who live with their two original parents generally do better in school, do not get in trouble with the law, and generally fare better in life. Also, children in two-parent families are generally better off financially. Two-parent families are generally not dependent on the government for support. The number of babies born to unwed mothers is both a financial and societal problem for America–it costs the government money and will eventually result in higher crime rates. It is not a good thing.

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The Personal Impact Of The Budget Deal–One Person’s Story

Somehow because of the size of our government and the amount of money taken from taxpayers to run it, we sometimes forget what some of the spending represents. Every now and then it’s a good idea to look at a story that illustrates where the money goes and why. Here is a story that explains one aspect of government spending.

Stacy Huisman posted an article at Militaryspouse.com recently. The article explains how the recent budget deal will impact her husband’s retirement pay and her family. The money cut from his retirement pay was the money they had planned to use to pay for their children’s’ college education. Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It illustrates beautifully the price our military families pay when one of their family members serves in the military.

There are a few aspects to the cut to retirement pay. First of all, that retirement pay was promised to our military when they signed up–they earned it. It was assumed that the cost of living increases in that pay were included in that promise. There is also the aspect of the price military families pay for having a family member in the military for twenty or more years. One on my own granddaughters is in fifth grade. She started attending her third elementary school in six years in September. Another granddaughter is in third grade. She is attending her second elementary school in three years. That is a high price to pay. She is living near her grandparents (my husband and I) because we chose to move to be close to her family–not because her family had a choice as to where they would live.

The thing that really bothers me about the budget deal is that military retirement was cut, but civil service retirement was not cut. Public sector workers make more than private sector workers to begin with. The public sector workers are now required to contribute a small amount to their pensions–something private sector workers have been doing for years, but they are still better compensated than the private sector.

The chart below is taken from a 2010 post by the Congressional Budget Office. As you can see, unless you have an advanced degree, it pays to work for the government.

 

The budget did not need to be cut at the expense of our military–there was enough pork in the public sector to avoid breaking a promise to those military families who serve our country.

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This Was Posted On Facebook By One Of My Daughters

One of my daughters posted the following on Facebook. It made me very proud:

I am the spouse of an active duty Marine…who will one day be a veteran. I move my children, my household goods, my pets, two cars, a motorcycle and my life every two to four years, whether I want to or not. I leave behind friends that have become my family and family that I never expected would be far from home.
I have no retirement plan. I can never stay in a job long enough to become vested in a 401K or any other plan. I receive no pay from the military for my sacrifices, instead I support a husband so he can stay focused on his job—defending our freedom.
I am forceful, independent, and fiercely loyal. I come on like a rabid dog when I move to a new place, hoping to find that one person who can help me replace those I left behind. I never really replace those I leave behind, I only add, or subtract as life changes, and friendship changes.
I have chosen this life. Do not pity me. Do not cry for me. Do not think that I cannot handle it. I knew what I was getting into on that day I said “I Do.” I knew the pay scale. I knew it would be hard to find a job every few years. I knew I would leave one job making great money to only find the same job making a lot less somewhere else. I clip coupons. I use Groupon. I shop at the end of seasons for the following seasons. I have to say “no” sometimes, even when I don’t want to. I have to sometimes go without so that my children or spouse can have just that much more. But I am happy, happy that the sacrifices my husband makes allows me to make sacrifices for him and our children.
Would I do it again? Yes. Would I have my children do it again? Yes. I have the most temperamental, frustrating, well rounded, worldly children you will ever meet.
Do have compassion for my children. Do have compassion when I am having a bad day. Do have compassion when I have not seen my spouse in months. Yes, I am used to him deploying, going on trips, being gone for a week, a month, a year, but that does not mean that I miss him or love him any less.
Most of all, one day, when he becomes a veteran, remember he started out as a child of 18, fresh in the military, and has now, a veteran, made way for another child to take his place, to lead, to fight for our country, and to have a family that makes sacrifices for us all.
The circle is never ending. Whether you fought way back when, are fighting now, or have yet begun to fight, there are sacrifices that have been made, are being made, and will be made.

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Bad Things Happen When People Are Not Free

CBN.com posted a story today about Spanish babies who were taken away from their mothers at birth and sold on the black market.

The article reports:

Beginning during the Franco dictatorship in 1939 and continuing until the 1990s, newborns were stolen from hospitals and trafficked by a secret network of doctors, nurses, priests, and nuns.

It began as a system for taking children from families considered politically dangerous to the Franco regime to re-educate them.

The story came to light as a result of a deathbed confession:

What began as a system of political control gradually turned into a giant money-making operation. And it never came to light until a man named Juan Luis Moreno sat by his father‘s deathbed and was told that both he and his childhood friend Antonio Barroso were both purchased from a nun.

“It was horrible, first to know that my father was dying, but then to learn that my father wasn’t really my father and that my best childhood friend was stolen just like I was,” Moreno told CBN News.

Barroso recalled, “When I was a boy, other boys at school said that my mother wasn’t my real mother. So I asked my mother, and she said, ‘of course you’re my son.’ But when I did a DNA test with my mother, the probability of maternity was 0 percent.”

The article concludes:

The victims’ group Anadir has filed more than 900 lawsuits over stolen babies, but most have been thrown out because of lack of evidence.

Even if the Spanish legal system gets to the bottom of this crime, it can never repair the damage done to so many Spanish mothers and the children they never knew.

This is the video covering the entire story:

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