Eroding The Foundations Of Prosperity

The most important foundation of prosperity in America is the two-parent family. Unfortunately, the number of two-parent families has decreased in recent years.

This is a chart from the Pew Research Center posted on December 17, 2015:

On April 10, 2014, The Washington Post reported:

It’s clear in America that family structure and poverty are intertwined: Nearly a third of households headed by single women live below the poverty line. And just six percent of families led by married couples are in the official ranks of the poor. Poverty, meanwhile, touches an astounding 45 percent of children who live without a father.

Recent research by Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendron, Patrick Kline, Emmanuel Saez and Nicholas Turner also found that intergenerational income mobility was lower in metropolitan areas with a larger share of single mothers, a bold-faced finding that touched off a new round of public debate over what this relationship means.

But there is another troubling fact regarding the future prosperity of America. On November 2, Bloomberg reported:

Nathan Butcher is 25 and, like many men his age, he isn’t working.

Weary of long days earning minimum wage, he quit his job in a pizzeria in June. He wants new employment but won’t take a gig he’ll hate. So for now, the Pittsburgh native and father to young children is living with his mother and training to become an emergency medical technician, hoping to get on the ladder toward a better life.

Ten years after the Great Recession, 25- to 34-year-old men are lagging in the workforce more than any other age and gender demographic. About 500,000 more would be punching the clock today had their employment rate returned to pre-downturn levels. Many, like Butcher, say they’re in training. Others report disability. All are missing out on a hot labor market and crucial years on the job, ones traditionally filled with the promotions and raises that build the foundation for a career.

The article at Bloomberg includes the following chart:

In October 2015, TIME magazine reported:

For the first time since the Census Bureau began collecting data on higher education attainment, women are more likely to have a bachelor’s degree than men.

Last year, 29.9% of men had a bachelor’s degree, while 30.2% of women did, the bureau reports. A decade prior, in 2005, 28.5% of men had bachelor’s degree, while only 26% of women did.

Young women are driving the change. In the 25-34 age group, 37.5% of women have a bachelor’s degree or higher, while only 29.5% of men do. (Rates of college attainment for men and women in this age group are increasing roughly equally.) But for the over-65 crowd, only 20.3% of women have such degrees, compared to 30.6% of men.

Historically men have been the main providers for their families. Young men have been encouraged to get a good job, get married, and have a family. These ideals have been undermined in recent years by the cultural war against traditional families, traditional roles of men and women, and family values. What has been overlooked by the people fighting traditional values is the role traditional values play in the prosperity of America. The report by Bloomberg is a further indication of the overall decline of our society and the future decline in prosperity.

Debunking The Myth Of White Privilege

In recent years there has been talk about ‘white privilege.’ There has also been some talk on college campuses recently about ‘Christian privilege.’ (rightwinggranny.com) I think we are all forgetting some of the basic aspects of ‘privilege.’

In 2012, the Heritage Foundation posted an article about poverty in America. The article was essentially a study of the causes of poverty in America, stating that one of the main causes was the demise of the two-parent family. The article included the following quote:

Historically, the black out-of-wedlock childbearing rate has always been somewhat higher than the white rate; however, through much of the 20th century, the rates for both groups were comparatively low. For example, as Chart 10 shows, 2 percent of white children and 14 percent of black children born in 1940 were born out of wedlock.

These rates remained relatively low until the onset of Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty in the early 1960s. Then the black out-of-wedlock birth rate skyrocketed, doubling in little more than a decade from 24.5 percent in 1964 to 50.3 percent in 1976. It continued to rise rapidly, reaching 70.7 percent in 1994. Over the next decade, it declined slightly but then began to rise again, reaching 72.3 percent in 2008.

The white out-of-wedlock birth rate followed a similar but less dramatic pattern. It remained almost unchanged at around 2 percent between 1930 and 1960 and then began a slow but steady rise in the 1960s that accelerated in the 1980s, reaching 20 percent by 1990. It slowed in the 1990s but then resumed its upward rise. In recent years, it has been increasing at a rate of 1 percent per annum, reaching 28.6 percent in 2008.

This is the impact of a government program that pays women if there is not a man in the house–there are less men in the house! When the government subsidizes a behavior, there is more of it. When a government taxes a behavior, there is less of it.

whiteprivilegeChildren raised in two-parent, monogamous families do better in school and ultimately achieve more than their contemporaries raised in one-parent homes. There are exceptions–notably Dr. Ben Carson and others.

Until the government stops supporting living arrangements other than marriage, we will continue to have a poverty problem. Until the government stops creating generations of people who have grown up with the idea that they do not have to work for a living, we will have ever-growing welfare rolls. Until the success of welfare programs is measured by how many people leave them and go into the work force, rather than how many more employees are needed to administer them, we will still have growing dependency in black and poor white communities.

White privilege does not exist. It is a term invented to divide people and to discourage people from reaching their full potential. How many great scientists and inventors have we lost because the black culture said it wasn’t cool to study and do well in school? How many brilliant minds have been shamed into not doing well in school because education was ‘a white man’s thing.’ Before you talk about white privilege, teach black children that it is cool to do well in school. Teach the black community to encourage academic success, and encourage those who are successful and involved in the black community to provide scholarship money to students who do achieve, so that they can continue their education.

White privilege is a term that will create problems rather than solve them. It is time we all worked together to make sure all races were privileged by encouraging achievement and bringing back the two-parent family.