Tag Archives: economic viability

Strong Nuclear Families Are Crucial for our Economy and Society

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Our contemporary immersion into political correctness and assumed “rights” regarding the basic building block of society has cumulatively, over the past few decades, steadily eroded not only our sociological strength, but our economic viability as a country. The fundamental significance of the family unit, and the hard data evidencing the undeniable importance of the intact nuclear family, have been ignored, and the longer we pander to bad public policy based in political correctness, the more rapidly our society will degenerate.

phone-box-strong-family-strong-societyA few years ago, drawing heavily from government data and peer reviewed sociological and economic research, Robert I. Lerman and William Bradford Wilcox published an extensive research piece in The Economist confirming the fundamental role the intact nuclear family has on society. Lerman is a Professor of Economics at American University and a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC., and Wilcox is a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia.

Their executive summary states, “All the latest evidence confirms that the institution of marriage is a key to productive adulthood, the cornerstone of a stable family, and the basic unit of a healthy community. Its effects go well beyond the married couple. It shapes our whole society, from workforce participation to economic inequality to the effectiveness of education. Children raised by married parents have better odds of succeeding in school, excelling at work, and building a stable relationship of their own.”

Quotation-Ashley-Montagu-society-quality-human-family-Meetville-Quotes-54321Drawing from Department of Labor data, they showed how American families experienced an average 80% increase in their real income from 1950-1979. Family income inequality was relatively low, and more than 89% of prime working age men were employed. All of those trends have reversed, and are accelerating to the downside, with the composition and structure of the family playing the most crucial role in this reversal.

In 1980, married parents headed 78% of households with children. By 2012, that had dropped nearly 20%. The researchers, again relying on hard primary data, showed why that was significant. “Married families enjoy greater economies of scale and receive more economic support from kin, and married men work harder and earn more money than their peers, all factors that give them an economic advantage over cohabiting and single-parent families.”

images-2The economic impact on individual family units, as well as society as a whole, cannot be overstated. Even adjusting for race, education, and other factors, if the share of married parents remained at 78% through 2012, “the rise in the overall median income of parents would have been about 22%, substantially more than the actual growth of 14%.” And if the post-1979 immigrants, coming mostly from low-income countries, are adjusted for, the “growth in median family income would have been 44% higher than 1980 levels.” They therefore conclude that the decline in the share of “married-parent families with children largely explains the stagnancy in median family incomes since the late 1970s.”

Traditional nuclear family units, including a mother, father, and children, have been proven to be more viable in almost every facet of sociological construct. As the researchers explain, “Family structure appears to matter for children’s well-being because, on average, children growing up without both parents are exposed to: More instability in housing and primary caretakers, which is stressful for children; Less parental affection and involvement; Less consistent discipline and oversight; and Fewer economic resources.”

imagesSociologists Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur, in summarizing their research on family structure, put it this way: “If we were asked to design a system for making sure that children’s basic needs were met, we would come up with something quite similar to the two-parent ideal. Such a design, in theory, would not only ensure that children had access to the time and money of two adults; it also would provide a system of checks and balances that promoted quality parenting.”

Lerman and Wilcox summarize, “The research to date leads us to hypothesize that children from intact, married families headed by biological or adoptive parents are more likely to enjoy stability, engaged parenting, and economic resources and to gain the education, life experiences, and motivation needed to flourish in the contemporary economy—and to avoid the detours that can put their adult futures at risk.”

Many of the forces negatively affecting the family are cultural and can be attributed to the gradual, yet accelerated, erosion of social mores. But many of the destructive contributors are driven by governmental policy, statute, and legal code, like the IRS “marriage penalty,” and welfare programs that facilitate the absolution of parental responsibilities. And some are couched in principles espoused by political correctness that defy empirical data, the most egregious of the latter represented by the redefinition of marriage, the cornerstone to the family unit, which only further dilutes and weakens the building block of society.

The viability of the American family is crucial for the survival of the republic, not only sociologically, but financially. We all cumulatively either contribute to, or detract from, the soundness of the familial units comprising our society. We must not only do our part in our familial microcosms, but electorally, to elect and support those who favor governmental policy that strengthens the family unit, and who don’t buckle to political correctness in redefining our societal building blocks.

Associated Press award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho and is a graduate of Idaho State University with degrees in Political Science and History and coursework completed toward a Master’s in Public Administration. He can be reached at [email protected].

Are Americans Ready?

It should be quite obvious to clear minded people who are paying attention that the left-wing agenda is single-party “progressive” rule in perpetuity.  Economic viability, domestic security, national sovereignty, individual Liberties and adherence to Constitutional principles are all secondary to this ultimate goal.

Americans are people who will fight to preserve, protect and defend the United States of America envisioned by its Founding Fathers.  Emerging from the Tea Party are Patriotic Americans ready to lead a return to American principles and values.

The political establishment ignores these new leaders at their own peril.

From 2000 to 2006, a Republican legislative majority and a Republican president abandoned traditional American values and practiced spending habits that were indistinguishable from those of “progressive” Democrats. They did not demonstrate the fiscal responsibility and discipline that had traditionally distinguished Conservative Republicans from “progressive” Democrats. As a result, the size and scope of government, “entitlement” programs, debt and deficits all grew by unacceptable amounts.  This opened the door for the “progressive” Democratic Party to seize power by running a political campaign based on lies about how they would practice fiscal responsibility and financial discipline.  After seizing unobstructed power, “progressive” Democrats, including the current White House occupier, set about adding $5 trillion to America’s national debt in less than four years.

This is not the path to economic growth and stability.  No nation can borrow and spend its way to prosperity.  After having been so betrayed by both political Parties, Americans are now awake to this stark reality.

This lack of anchorage to American values, this blindness to the true purpose of America’s mission has produced baleful results.

That time over.

The way for Americans to separate themselves from the tax and spend policies of “progressive” big government is a return to fiscal responsibility and financial discipline.  In order to succeed, Americans must be united in that endeavor.

A winning coalition will include both economically and socially Conservative Americans. Neither agenda can be successfully pursued without the other; they fit hand in glove.  This is because the government’s power is derived from the consent of the governed, whose rights are God given.

The Tea Party proves that across America, a huge natural constituency exists for the bread-and-butter American issues of lower taxes, reduced government, a strong national defense, secure borders and a return to the traditional American values of: E Pluribus Unum, Liberty and in God we trust.

E Pluribus Unum means from many, one. It does not mean unquestioning acquiescence to multiculturalism and diversity.  Liberty means opportunity for all, not equality of results.  In God we trust means reliance upon the Creator of all things.  It does not mean passive acceptance of secularism, atheism or submissive surrender to “progressive” statist mandates.

The time has come.  Whether they asked for it or not, this is the time for all Americans to stand up and defend their country.

There can be no substitute for Liberty. The Constitution was designed to defend that Liberty. It is imperative that the shredding of this document by big government “progressives” be stopped. It is inherent upon Patriotic Americans to stand up and remind “progressives” that government’s power is derived from the consent of the people.

Disillusioned middle of the road swing voters disappointed by the “progressive” government’s failure to successfully respond to the economic crisis and college graduates who voted for hope and change who are now dissatisfied by the prospect of not finding a job are ready for viable solutions to an economic catastrophe brought about by “progressive” big government spending.

Americans must set aside whatever differences they have and unite behind the goal they share: Economic prosperity.

Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, even those not yet registered must join in the fight to defend the Constitution, revive the private sector free market economy and protect the American way of life.

America, stand up for your God given rights! Let no mortal take them from you.

The question remains: Are Americans ready to put aside their egos and personal agendas in order to secure the Blessings of Liberty for themselves and their posterity?

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/are-americans-ready/