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How can you actually avoid poverty?
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Well it has nothing to do with government or government programs even if the Democrats are presently engaged in trying to expand a children's health insurance plan for the poor to include much of the middle class.

Instead, avoiding poverty can be as simple as finding and holding a job and getting and staying married:
One thing we probably won’t hear much of in this regard, however, is what the government can and should be doing to encourage the two most effective antidotes to poverty: work and marriage. Many government programs do little if anything to encourage the poor to get and keep jobs or to encourage fathers to marry and support the mothers of their children. Too often, government programs are actually hostile to these core values of building successful families and communities.

The data here are rather startling. As The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector and Kirk Johnson point out, the typical poor family works only 800 hours per year. Just by expanding the hours worked to the full year of 2,000 hours — that’s one adult working 40 hours a week — Rector and Johnson estimate that three of every four children officially classified as in poverty would be lifted out of that status.

Similarly, based on Census Bureau and other federal data, the scholars at the conservative think tank estimate that if marriage became the norm among poor couples rather than absent fathers, two-thirds of the children in these communities would be lifted out of poverty.
It would seem to me that if those in government or running for office are truly concerned with poverty - real poverty - they'd be advocates for both work and marriage. I mean real advocates, not just give each merely lip service while subsidizing not working and single parenthood.
As Rector and Johnson observe: “While work and marriage are steady ladders out of poverty, the welfare system perversely remains hostile to both. Major programs such as food stamps, public housing, and Medicaid continue to reward idleness and penalize marriage. If welfare could be turned around to encourage work and marriage, remaining poverty would drop quickly.”
Yup. And so would all the political power the poverty platform brings certain politicians such as LBJ in the past and Mr. Two Americas today. They're not interested, particularly, in solving the problem of poverty as much as they're interested in leveraging its emotional appeal into political power.
 
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It would seem to me that if those in government or running for office are truly concerned with poverty - real poverty - they’d be advocates for both work and marriage.
Work - of course.
Marriage — I don’t especially like government/politicians getting involved in peoples’ personal lives like that. Perhaps making marriage easier, cheaper, and broader (e.g., allow same sex marriages) would be fine, but politicians and government generally should tread on people’s personal life choices only when absolutely necessary.

 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
McQ, you need to understand where the Democrats are coming from by looking at their leading advocate for the poor, John Edwards. But before you can do that, you must understand the definition of the word ’poor’.

’poor’ means ’the second half of Edward’s Two Americas’. Roughly translated, the first half is John Edwards, and the other half is ’Everyone Else’.

Once everyone starts using the same definitions, it suddenly becomes easy understanding where Democrats are coming from when they say ’we’re looking out for ’the poor’.
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
What you’re suggesting, of course, is commonly referred to as "family values".

The fact is, that that rejection is precisely why we have the number four we do. Of course, the effects are not merely financial, but social, as well. in other words, precisely what we’ve been saying for the last 35 years and longer. Ideas that have been shot down by the left on every single occasion. This study would seem to suggest that there was merit in those ideas, after all.

Let’s just say that it wasn’t exactly a shock to see Erb reject the notion.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
I think I ought to point out, more specifically, that these are cultural values; cultural values that are the specific reason why America has been the success it has been up until recently. I say this because this particular quote from the story sets my eyebrows up a little:

One thing we probably won’t hear much of in this regard, however, is what the government can and should be doing to encourage the two most effective antidotes to poverty: work and marriage. Many government programs do little if anything to encourage the poor to get and keep jobs or to encourage fathers to marry and support the mothers of their children. Too often, government programs are actually hostile to these core values of building successful families and communities.
I have said repeatedly that the primary purpose of any government that wants to last for any length of time is to reinforce and if possible expand the influence of the culture that gave it life, by reinforcing its values. The negative influence on society of not reinforcing those values as it should, is now evident. The solution to the problem is, as well.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Government is never going to promote this because the jobs of government bureaucrats, and the power of those bureaucrats to indulge their desire to run others lives would be diminished if there were fewer poor.
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
As the husband* of a LA County Public Defender, I agree with some but not all of the post.

1. To start with, many public schools suck. The teachers union bears some blame, but a lot of blame belongs to the parents and to taxpayers as a whole. (See Brad DeLong.) The Green Dot charter program uses the existing teachers to open new schools and has had truly remarkable success once they got rid of the bureaucracy.

2. Blue collar jobs have fled inner city LA. LA used to be a major hub of defense department manufacturing. That’s almost entirely gone. Also, major components of construction work (among other blue collar work) are entirely controlled by illegal aliens. This is not a community that is easily mobile — see Katrina — because they lack the capital and the community experience of moving to where work is.

3. Crime pays. If you want evidence that the drug war is unwinnable, go sit in a Compton courthouse for a week or three.

4. I’ll defer to experts, but it was my understanding that the Clinton admin. changes to welfare removed a lot of disincentives to work. AFDC was eliminated, welfare-to-work rules were imposed as were time limits, the EITC was restructured so as not to penalize getting better pay. (Losing access to Medicare is a real issue.)

5. Many of the young women see that they are facing hard lives with little chance for improvement. Is it any wonder they get pregnant early?


ps: ftr, men spell my name with an i, women with an e. Certain commenters on the fish post down blog gave me an unwanted sex change.
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
Let’s just say that it wasn’t exactly a shock to see Erb reject the notion.
What notion do you think I’m rejecting?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Maybe some of those people facing "no hope" or chance of moving or further education should join the military. You’d definitely be based outside of Compton, have a job, learn some skills, and there is the GI Bill as well.

and seriously, we have a huge system of community colleges designed specifically to make up for poor HS educational choices.

But in the end, you can bring the horse to water but can’t make ’em drink. We have perfectly healthy beggars and layabouts in Asia where there are factory jobs galore but they don’t want to work. (I guess you could call begging a job, though.) Less than in the US, but I thinks that’s cultural, too. No social security or welfare either.

Just an example, but we have something we foreigners call "the brother-in-law problem" in Taiwan. It seems I know about 5 people whose brothers in laws managed to rack up huge gambling debts, but when offered steady jobs find one reason after the other to reject those jobs. (I can’t work below my cousin. He’s younger than me so I lose face.) The families take care of them this way or that way, but essentially these are people who opt out of employment.

Perhaps a lot of the poor truly value leisure time over material prosperity? In which case you will have to find ways to destroy that incentive.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://

What notion do you think I’m rejecting?
Exactly what you said, Erb...what else would I ahve to judge you by but your words, after all? You object to the idea of people in government being advocates for both work and a committed marriage. AS in:
It would seem to me that if those in government or running for office are truly concerned with poverty - real poverty - they’d be advocates for both work and marriage.
Work - of course.
Marriage — I don’t especially like government/politicians getting involved in peoples’ personal lives like that.
Oh.. and of course, instead of you taking the position of upholding the culture, you propose using government to promote CHANGE with that culture. AS in:
Perhaps making marriage easier, cheaper, and broader (e.g., allow same sex marriages) would be fine,
I note that you leave your most important point for last. You are predictable, I’ll give you this much.

The two points that the report brings up, work and a committed marriage, were dismissed by liberals as being too judgmental, back in the day. Just words from’the man’ to be ignored.

After all, they reasoned, who are we to judge such matters, in a free society? I assume that you make the comment about marriage being "broader" on the same basis. I’ll bet that if I held you down and tickled your feet, you’ll even say the word "freedom" in conjunction with it all.

The report, however, would seem to suggest that there is in fact a reason why those points became the social norm. Over time, man figured out that that’s what worked. Those that didn’t stick to those social norms, even if the rest of society didn’t attack them for it, tended not to be as free, in reality... both in terms of finances, and in terms of peace of mind vis a vie’ the broken family.

The rest of society, ends up paying for it financially (both in direct payments to support those not working, and in terms of lowered productivity) and socially.. (In terms of broken families, and the financial and social burdens imposed, Such as the burden of the huge increase in single parent families. ) In other words, the rest of society is less free. Wasn’t freedom the goal ?

If one wants a quick look at the destructiveness of governmental largess supporting social change in terms of both joblessness and the lack of a committed relationship, (All in the name of "equality" and "freedom", of course ... ) one need look only so far as the black population in this country, where better than 70% of black babies are born to single parent households. The social and financial burdens of that, have basically ruined any immediate chance for black advancement. This is not limited to blacks... however , it is the most outstanding example of the consequences.

It’s not just their freedom that’s being messed with; it’s mine and yours when we are asked to pay for it, and to deal with the social changes that those things impose.

So if the law of unintended consequences leaped up and made such a disaster out of taking the stigma away from divorce and joblessness, what do you suppose the law of unintended consequences is going to do in terms of making the definition of marriage "broader"?

The social left already has one disaster, and a lot of blood on its hands . Is it really so desirous of another?




 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
I have a friend who in Taiwan deliberately worked the bare minimum to keep up a party lifestyle and travel. He preferred that to working more hours and saving more money, etc. We’re talking 12 hours per week.

Meanwhile someone else might prefer to work 30-40 hours a week. They like money more than leisure time.

How can we say the first person "needs more help" because they don’t earn as much as the second person? For some people it may be a personal choice to be poor in the USA. I mean, you still get to watch TV, drive a car, etc. But you also get to hang with your buds every afternoon and drink beer, shoot hoops, etc. And maybe if your other choice of hard work won’t really deliver too much, why not be semi-unemployed?

(Also note the tax system is based only on how much you work, even though the benefits to each person will be the same, i.e. both teachers could use the national health care system, the same roads, etc., the first person was effectively gaming the system in being able to get the leisure time they wanted and all of the benefits mainly paid for the second person.)

 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Agreed. Marriage should be encouraged.

But government benefits don’t discourage marriage. They are simply tied to household income, which tends to increase with marriage. Don’t confuse causation with correlation.

But even if they did, which side of the political spectrum has been busy at work over the past several years passing laws directly limiting the ability of consenting adults to marry? Inquiring minds want to know. There are literally thousands of people who want to get married, but who are not allowed to because of laws supported mostly by conservatives.

Even more interesting, if you look at the major presidential candidates, at least on the Dem side, they are all still married to their original spouses. Hillary, Edwards, Obama. It’s not just that they are married, it’s that they stay married. Getting married is easy. Staying married is hard. But it’s staying married that increases stability and, hence, economic secuirty.

Rudy, John, and Fred, by contrast, aren’t married to their original spouses. And so if marriage were really that important, and something to be encouraged, one would think it would be a major impediment to any of them getting elected. But it’s not. Indeed, Rudy was very recently openly having an affair while he was married to his previous wife, and yet he is the frontrunner on the GOP side.

Moreover, divorce rates tend to be lowest in the Blue states of the upper midwest and New England. Not coincidentally, these states tend to have the lowest poverty rates. In other words, Dems have already figured out that marriage increases one financial prospects. Those in the Blue states are waiting for those in the Red states to figure this out.
It would seem to me that if those in government or running for office are truly concerned with poverty - real poverty - they’d be advocates for both work and marriage. I mean real advocates, not just give each merely lip service while subsidizing not working and single parenthood.
As Christ taught, setting a good example is the best advoacy there is. The Dem candidates are doing it. The GOP’ers are not.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
MK;

LOL
As Christ taught, setting a good example is the best advoacy there is. The Dem candidates are doing it. The GOP’ers are not.
Monica Lewinsky.
Kennedy/Dodd and the Waitstress Sandwich
Gary Hart
Gavin Newsom
Barney Frank
Gery Studds
Ted Strickland...(NAMBLA, reportedly)

And so on.

You sure you wanna play this game?
I haven’t even scratched the surface on this one.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Exactly what you said, Erb...what else would I ahve to judge you by but your words, after all? You object to the idea of people in government being advocates for both work and a committed marriage.
I don’t trust the power of government the way you do, Bithead. Marriage isn’t going to suddenly become stronger or more popular if politicians start ’promoting’ it. It’s that kind of thinking — that government is the key to every issue and government has the power to socially engineer society — which has caused so many problems.

Also, note that I did say government could do effective things like make marriage cheaper (more tax breaks, especially with children), and increase incentives to marry. That will do a lot more than a bunch of politicians pontificating. Politicians pontificating is irrelevant and impotent.

And Bithead, in response to the claim about democratic candidates setting a good example you respond by citing NO democratic candidates and some people with scandals from the past (and believe me, there are GOP scandals to match, such as Senator Widestance). You’re admitting the poster’s point by being unable to cite anything from current candidates. Meanwhile, you’ve got Rudy’s divorces, and things like that to deal with.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Monica Lewinsky.
Kennedy/Dodd and the Waitstress Sandwich
Gary Hart
Gavin Newsom
Barney Frank
Gery Studds
Ted Strickland...(NAMBLA, reportedly)

And so on.

You sure you wanna play this game?
I didn’t know Gerry Studds was a candidate in ’08 for Pres. Last I heard he will still dead. Heard the same thing about Franco.

As I said, and as you quoted, the current top tier of Democratic candidates are all still married to their orgininal spouses. Your "list" is non-responsive.

So far Reagan - the hero of the right - was the only divorced president. Again, lectures from the right about the need for Presidential candidates to advocate for marriage might have a little more meaning if it weren’t for the fact that - with the notable exception of Rommney - each of the current GOP frontrunners hasn’t already violated that little part about "till death do us part," and none of the Dem candidates has.

As I said before, getting married is easy. Staying married is hard. If marriage is such a critical insitution, as McQ contends, then the best thing we could do right now is elect someone to be President - only the most important person on the planet - who has stayed in his or her one and only marriage. If only for the kids. After all, it’s no accident that Guliani’s kids are effectively enstranged from him.

It’s 2007, Bithead. The leading candidate of the Republican Party for the position of President of the United States of America is a twice divorced, three-time married guy who cheated on his second wife (probably more than once) and who told the press the marriage was over - in a public spectacle - before he told her. Oh, and his kids hate him too.

Good thing it’s only those Democratic candidates who - in McQ’s words - pay "lip service" to the value of the institution of marriage. I guess I wouldn’t want to know what kind of "service" some of the GOP candidates pay.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
I don’t trust the power of government the way you do, Bithead.
There you go making unwarranted assumptions, again.
Marriage isn’t going to suddenly become stronger or more popular if politicians start ’promoting’ it.
No it’s not. After all, it took 40 years of tearing it down to get us here. It’s not going to be something that gets fixed overnight.
And Bithead, in response to the claim about democratic candidates setting a good example you respond by citing NO democratic candidates and some people with scandals from the past (and believe me, there are GOP scandals to match, such as Senator Widestance). You’re admitting the poster’s point by being unable to cite anything from current candidates.
Actually, current candidates is why I included Lewinsky. You see, I don’t buy the claim she had no clue what was up.Anyone else in politics would have dumped such slame. But HIllary had other ideas... SHe knew minions like you and MK would be waving the flag of the abused housewife... a political advantage she could not turn down. It’s all about power for her, remember?


And the rest are included to show a long history with the issue MK claimed a disconnection from. That kind of history cannot be ignored.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
If one wants a quick look at the destructiveness of governmental largess supporting social change in terms of both joblessness and the lack of a committed relationship, ...one need look only so far as the black population in this country, where better than 70% of black babies are born to single parent households. The social and financial burdens of that, have basically ruined any immediate chance for black advancement.


Wouldn’t it be nice if society functioned with such clear cause and effect. I agree it makes logical sense that if you offer money to unmarried women with children, you would appear to be offering an incentive for women to be umarried mothers. Unfortunately, the facts do not support this hypothesis in the overall population, or specifically in the black population. There are some studies summarized that show the lack of correlation between unwed mothers and "government largess" specifically AFDC when it existed.

Surely something had to cause the increase of unwed mothers, and AFDC is a neat little scapegoat for people who like to say that all this poverty can be solved if these lazy people would just get a job and get married. Unfortunatly, it’s a bit more complex.

I could try to explain some of the societal dynamics that are to blame, but it would take up too much space here. Women in the workforce and the consumer culture are a big part of it, leading to higher divorce rates, a greater acceptance of single parent families, and less of stigma on unwed mothers (even teens), as a result.

That said, the steps taken to alleviate poverty in America were foolish and counterproductive. The problem is that you are laying blame for this on the broad brush concept of "goverment largess", rather than the formulation of the policy itself. Government largess is not bad in and of itself, and one could point to such programs as the GI Bill to prove as much.

The problem with the policy is politics. It always made more sense to invest in a person, to help them become self-supporting, but it was cheaper in the short run and more politically expedient to just habd out tiny sums of money t specific groups that few could politically say "no" to, like single women with children. So we ended with the policies that could get enough votes to pass, not policies that would actually improve the situation.

A lot of poverty in America is not really poverty, it is simply the youngest members of the workforce starting at the bottom. Most people advance their income as they gain experience in the workforce. But there are segments of society that stay at the bottom of the workforce and do so for generation after generation, and these groups are consistently negatively productive, meaning they cost more than they earn. We can live with this, and just tell them to work hard and get married, but it would be more fiscally responsible to teach a generation of them to fish. It might cost a litle more up front, but the return on investment would be we worth it.

But hey, it’s so much fun to point at the perpetual poor and tell them to get a job, and then point at liberals and say, "you caused this". It must make you feel very good about yourself.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
As Christ taught, setting a good example is the best advoacy there is. The Dem candidates are doing it. The GOP’ers are not.
Gosh, MK must have some good gossip and insider-information about the marriages of:

Sam Brownback
Mike Huckabee
Duncan Hunter
Ron Paul
Mitt Romney
Tom Tancredo
Tommy Thompson

I was under the impression that they were still married to their original wives.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
"Surely something had to cause the increase of unwed mothers,"

Perhaps removing the requirement of having a man in the house, or at least a declared father, in order to collect welfare had some effect.

"the consumer culture are a big part of it"

Now that seems to be a stretch. Wanting to consume more causes divorce or unwed mothers?

"and more politically expedient to just habd out tiny sums of money t specific groups that few could politically say "no" to, like single women with children. So we ended with the policies that could get enough votes to pass, not policies that would actually improve the situation"

As Bithead said. At one time, for sexample, social workers actually visited the homes of those receiving welfare to ensure that the recipients were maintaining a safe, clean home for the children, etc. New policies enacted by the Democrats changed that.


 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Perhaps removing the requirement of having a man in the house, or at least a declared father, in order to collect welfare had some effect.
No, study after study has shown that increasing or decreasing or eliminating or never paying welfare to unwed mothers did not change the rates of out of wedlock childbirths. I agree, your argument sounds logical, and were it not for evidence that this hypothesis has been proven wrong, I would continue to believe it was so. Seriously.
"the consumer culture are a big part of it"
Now that seems to be a stretch. Wanting to consume more causes divorce or unwed mothers?
Okay, follow me here. As the consumer culture took off, there was greater pressure to bring in more income in order to purchase more, and this put more women in the workplace, and put more home responsibilities on men, which DID lead to more divorces, with women needing men’s income less, and men needing women’s homemaking less. When divorces became more prevelant, single parent families obviously became more prevalant, and women were generally feeling more independent and less stigmatized by the prospect of singlehood. As this was happening among adults, the independence was learned by the youth, who became more sexually active and more likely to become pregant, and more likely to have care for the child. This is a very condensed version, and I can say with 100% assurance that it is accurate, but I can say that the cause of larger numbers of single parent families is absolutely NOT welfare.
As Bithead said. At one time, for sexample, social workers actually visited the homes of those receiving welfare to ensure that the recipients were maintaining a safe, clean home for the children, etc. New policies enacted by the Democrats changed that.
Funding for these programs had been consistently cut since the late 60’s until a total reworking on the 1990’s, there was a choice between less benefits or less supervision. Democrats were not liberals, at least since Johnson pushed through the initial Great Society programs. When he was gone, they immediately began eroding.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
and I can say with 100% assurance that it is accurate
should have been and I CAN’T say with 100% assurance that it is accurate but I can say that the cause of larger numbers of single parent families is absolutely NOT welfare.
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
No, study after study has shown that increasing or decreasing or eliminating or never paying welfare to unwed mothers did not change the rates of out of wedlock childbirths. I agree, your argument sounds logical, and were it not for evidence that this hypothesis has been proven wrong, I would continue to believe it was so. Seriously.
As the consumer culture took off, there was greater pressure to bring in more income in order to purchase more, and this put more women in the workplace, and put more home responsibilities on men, which DID lead to more divorces, with women needing men’s income less, and men needing women’s homemaking less.
Nonsense.

That assumes there was ever any responsibility placed on them in question. We are not talking about divorces, percent. Read the stand again; 75% of black babies today are born out of wedlock. That’s that’s as it clearly is anything; The vast majority, never bothered to get married in the first place. Don’t tell me about how the consumer culture is breaking up the home, when it was never stab list in the first place in the vast majority of the cases under discussion.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Read the stand again; 75% of black babies today are born out of wedlock.
I did go off on a tangent there, sorry about that. My comments were related but not specific to the black experience.

Let me back up.

First of all, there is NO correlation, much less a causal relationship between out of wedlock births, specifically black, and welfare payments to unwed mothers. In fact, there is statistically an inverse relationship. I am not going to argue for a moment that I think the inverse relationship means that welfare reduces the number of unwed mother’s, I am just pointing out that places where there was no welfare or less welfare, mothers were MORE likely to be umarried, and when welfare payments dropped, the likelihood of out of wedlock births increased.

What has happened, and is continuing to happen, has nothing to do with welfare. The statistics show that this is a broad based societal change, with the black experience beginning at a higher out-of-wedlock birthrate, but increasing at relatively the same pace as the rest of society.

Patrick Moynihan issued a report in 1965 called "The Negro Family: The Case for National Action." Forty years ago, the Moynihan report was distressed by an illegitimacy rate in the black community of 22 percent.

The current illegitimacy rate among whites is 24 percent. It is 44 percent among Hispanics. In 1965, the percentage of unwed mothers nationally was eight percent. That figure now stands at 34 percent.

The decline of two parent households has nothing to do with the easy scapegoat of welfare. It is a societal problem.

I really hope you look into this, and prove it for yourself rather than just ignoring this and continuing on your merry way under the mistaken impression that welfare caused single parent families in the black community, or any community.

We are never going to be able to fix it if we ignore the cause.

If everyone worked hard and got married (and stayed married), it would solve a great deal of the problems of poverty, and I don’t know how to fix that, but I least I know what did not cause it to be broken, and more importantly, I am not walking around smugly and incorrectly sure of what did cause it.

My personal view, which coincides with the development of the consumer culture, was the message of pleasing one’s self and the message that personal sacrifice and commitment only exised to keep people down.

Joseph Phillips at BlackAmericaWeb wrote what I consider to be an accurate representation of what has happened to marriage in America, and what we could do about it.
The current crisis in marriage is an outgrowth of the American cultural revolution of the late 1960’s. Many of the social changes of the time clearly made America better. However, in the midst of these social changes, we discarded old school notions of marriage and family and embraced new school notions of self-actualization. Americans embraced the idea that life is first and foremost about fulfilling the self. It is a vision at odds with the idea of two becoming one. Marriage is the process of sacrificing what is best for the “me” in service to what most benefits the “we.”

Two thousand years ago, Aristotle observed that happiness is not found through pursuit as a goal, but rather it is discovered through a life well-lived. Marriage is ennobling because its duties, sacrifices and responsibilities transform the individual by broadening the self-definition to include the wants, needs and happiness of someone else. It is ironic that as Claudia Winkler writes, those of us that ascribe to this notion of a nexus between duty and joy are the new counter culture.

Alas, like the research that supports marriage, there are pages describing the problem but very few paragraphs dedicated to a solution. Perhaps that is because the task of a cultural transformation seems so monumental.

We can support marriage through public policies like tax credits and housing subventions. Certainly these are helpful. But substantive political change must be preceded by cultural changes, and cultural change begins with words. Changing ideas about marriage and family demands a passionate and vocal advocacy. We must take every opportunity to bear witness to the world the way in which sacrifice, problem-solving and enduring tough times only to reach for each other again, have enriched our lives. Those on the other side of the debate do not shy away from advocating their position, and they are not armed as we are with truth and mountains of research.

Of course, nothing succeeds like success. The most powerful tool we have to produce a shift in the cultural winds is to succeed in our own marriages. Having experienced the highs and lows of married life for 12 years, I recognize this is easier said than done. In the real world, stuff happens. However, if we are truly intent on being the vanguard of a new marriage movement, we must work daily to ensure our own houses are in order.

We must recommit ourselves to making certain we are attentive to our spouses’ needs — that our touches are gentle and our words sweet. During the inevitable trials, we must redouble our efforts and renew our commitment to a broader definition of self. With hard work, tough times get better. We must be always mindful that our success will ripple outward and influence everyone in its wake.

Without such heavy lifting, we can never hope to be convincing campaigners in the battle to re-establish marriage as an American institution.
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
I did go off on a tangent there, sorry about that. My comments were related but not specific to the black experience.
My comments certainly cited the black experience as you call it, but it’s implication wasn’t limited to that.

The decline of two parent households has nothing to do with the easy scapegoat of welfare. It is a societal problem.
The two are directly related. Very directly. I grant you, that welfare isn’t a causal... it does not, of itself, cause irresponsibility. However, it is certainly an accelerant. It reinforces irresponsible behavior.

The results, are what we see. The vast majority of men in prison for violent crimes, come from single parent households. Single parent households are also responsible for over 80% of the juveniles in trouble with the law today. They are the largest portion of the kids to drop out of school, (I would refer you for example to Atlantic, Monthly, when they still had some small portion of a mind left there, when they concluded DAn Quayle Was Right... and article that to this day liberals recoil in horror from.

And yes, I’ve seen the reports that you cite. I’ve seen others that comes similar conclusions. I also note with a certain amount of amusement that the majority of them came out of the latter half of the Clinton administration. Given the source of such reports, and the massive evidence that makes those reports out as lies, I take my stand, so.


 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
The two are directly related. Very directly. I grant you, that welfare isn’t a causal... it does not, of itself, cause irresponsibility. However, it is certainly an accelerant. It reinforces irresponsible behavior.
The societal problems of single parent families alarmed us, and we reacted. Your assertion seems to acknowledge this much, but then you reach and assert that the response accelerated the problem, there is simply no factual basis for this assertion.

I do agree that the response did NOTHING to alleviate the problem, since it did not address the problem at all, but it also did not cause the problem to be worse.
And yes, I’ve seen the reports that you cite. I’ve seen others that comes similar conclusions. I also note with a certain amount of amusement that the majority of them came out of the latter half of the Clinton administration. Given the source of such reports,
"Given the source"? Do you really function this way? That is not argument, that’s dismissal.

No, studies have been reaching the same conclusion since the 60’s. There is simply NO CORRELATION between welfare and out of wedlock child births. We know that correlation is not causation, but we also know that causation cannot exist without correlation.

You yourself admit there is no causal relationship...
I grant you, that welfare isn’t a causal...


And then you contradict yourself in the next sentence...
it does not, of itself, cause irresponsibility. However, it is certainly an accelerant. It reinforces irresponsible behavior.
I agree with the logic of the hypothesis, it is sound. But a sound hypothesis does not a fact make, and attempts to prove the hypothesis have failed.
the massive evidence that makes those reports out as lies
If the reports are lies, and the reports indicate that there is no causal relationship between welfare and out-of-wedlock childbirth, they you appear to be saying that there is a causal relationship, but you also say there is no causal relationship.
I also note with a certain amount of amusement that the majority of them came out of the latter half of the Clinton administration. Given the source of such reports, and the massive evidence that makes those reports out as lies, I take my stand, so.
I don’t even know what stand you are taking, other than disputing the studies, but agreeing with their conclusions, and then asserting that there is some nebulous relationship that studies can’t show, but you are sure exist.


If you are going to ignore the facts and rely on your instinct with ad hominem attacks on ANY source that disputed your instinct, then there is just no point in further discussion.


Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
The societal problems of single parent families alarmed us, and we reacted. Your assertion seems to acknowledge this much, but then you reach and assert that the response accelerated the problem, there is simply no factual basis for this assertion.
Nice try.
If you can find someone to pay you for sitting on your backside, you probably would. (Editorial you)
You yourself admit there is no causal relationship...

I grant you, that welfare isn’t a causal...



And then you contradict yourself in the next sentence...

it does not, of itself, cause irresponsibility. However, it is certainly an accelerant. It reinforces irresponsible behavior.


Do you understand the difference between root causes and contributing factors?
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Let me put this in terms you’ll understand; the fire was originally caused by faulty wiring. The five gallon can of gasoline parked under the electrical box didn’t help matters much, either.

The cause of the problem is irresponsible behavior. The government reinforcing that irresponsible behavior in the name of "freedom" and "equality" didn’t help matters much, either.

Are you beginning to understand these things yet?
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Are you beginning to understand these things yet?
I understand your theory, but the evidence disproves your theory. There is NO correlation between welfare payments and increases in out-of-wedlock pregnacies.

Is it clear to you that of you can’t find an increase in out-of-wedlock pregnacies correlating to the presence, amount, or availability of welfare, then there isn’t one?

Do you understand this???

I agree it makes sense to hypothesize welfare to unwed mothers WOULD encourage these behaviors, it is perfectly logical. The hypothesis is simply not supported by the evidence. If it were a contributory factor, there would STILL HAVE TO BE CORRELATION, when in fact, there is an INVERSE correlation, again, neither correlation nor an inverse correlation provies causation, but it does DISPROVE causation or contribution.

If you are going to continue to argue, contradicting your earlier assertion, that welfare is a causal or contributory causal factor of this behavior, you are going to have to do better than assert that ALL studies that show you are wrong were just politically biased studies and you’re just right because you say so.

Out-of-wedlock pregnacies are a societal problem borne of cultural changes in this country, welfare is one manner in which the effects of this societal change were addressed. You are arguing that the cart is pulling the horse.

Cap

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Is it clear to you that of you can’t find an increase in out-of-wedlock pregnacies correlating to the presence, amount, or availability of welfare, then there isn’t one?
The timing of the events under discussion would seem to disagree.
it is perfectly logical
Indeed, it is the ONLY logical answer.
If you are going to continue to argue, contradicting your earlier assertion, that welfare is a causal or contributory causal factor of this behavior, you are going to have to do better than assert that ALL studies that show you are wrong were just politically biased studies and you’re just right because you say so.
Whereas you’re going to need to do better in terms of proving YOUR case.
Out-of-wedlock pregnacies are a societal problem borne of cultural changes in this country, welfare is one manner in which the effects of this societal change were addressed. You are arguing that the cart is pulling the horse.
No.
My argument was, is and until proven otherwise, always shall be that governemtal largess is responsible for making the situation worse on an order of scale.

Prove me wrong.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
This is anecdotal, sorry not real research or anything:

I’m poor. I have always worked, and currently I attend college as well. I have always been an indigent, and I created another indigent (I had a kid) when I was a teenager. Taxpayers put food on our table, pay my daughter’s medical bills, and cover most of my school expenses. We have been homeless twice: once after a car accident, and again after a natural disaster. I doubt that marriage would have improved my financial situation - when the baby daddy was around, he decimated my bank account and never kept the same job more than a couple of weeks. Life is not so simple as the "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" kind of advice many Americans think will apply.

Welfare is humiliating and difficult to get, never covers enough, gets taken away for sometimes arbitrary reasons, and, for most of my child’s life, hasn’t been available anyway. Food stamps is easier but still problematic, childcare subsidies have years-long waiting lists, HUD lands you in dangerous places, and medicaid/medicare is hell and I’ve watched 2 die for the ineptitude...there are many other services, but it’s the same gist. Handouts don’t create a life of ease.

Don’t think people breed to keep them. Its easier to just lie about household size, and people (in my experience) don’t even do as much of that as you’d think. I’ve never committed fraud for any of my services, even when my kid needed school clothes or I needed to go to the doctor - it’s bad enough just being seen as no-account...

I don’t think entitlement programs ever hurt much more than my pride, and they’ve saved my life and my daughter’s more than once (surgeries, medications, etc)...I had a kid out of wedlock because no one paid any mind when I dropped out of school, when traveling, tried drugs, played and didn’t get hurt, and then was told I’d be a murderer and a thief if I didn’t bear the child for my boyfriend and his family. Plus I was just a kid myself. I was impulsive and starry-eyed, only human. These are social issues far deeper than government meddling. Before I had a child, the only government assistance I had ever recieved (that I know of) was school Free Lunch, which infuriated my father but couldn’t be helped. I turned out badly by most standards, but I had married, politically conservative, hardworking, loving parents. They rejected State help.

My daughter is mostly okay so far. She’s a straight-A student. My own GPA is 3.6. If I didn’t have the government, I’d have to grey up my moral/legal standards just to get by...

don’t say i’m an exception
 
Written By: kaelsleeps
URL: http://

 
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