Tag Archives: Traditional Marriage

Strong Nuclear Families Are Crucial for our Economy and Society

images-2

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].

The Amy Koch Scandal Illustrates Who Has Standards And Who Doesn’t!

Snarky letters from the “Gay Community” aside, the resignation and scandal of Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch is a painful embarrassment to the Minnesota GOP and for Protection of Traditional Marriage activists.

Senate Majority Leader Koch resigned her post Dec. 15 amidst accusations of having an inappropriate relationship with a male staffer, one day after a confrontation with members of her party. She will remain a Senator but said she will not seek re-election. Koch was elected to office in 2006 and re-elected in 2010.

Koch did not name the person with whom she had an affair, but insiders believe it might be Michael Brodkorb,  a staffer who helped write a protection of marriage act currently being considered in the Minnesota legislature. Minnesota statues already bans gay marriage, but the amendment to the constitution would add more protection against legal action taken by the gay community activists who want to extend marriage benefits to same-sex couples.

On Tuesday, the Senate GOP elected Rochester resident Dave Senjem as the new Senate Majority Leader after a 10-hour debate. Senjem was first elected in 2002 to the Senate and previously held the title of Senate Minority Leader before that honor was passed onto Democrat Senator Tom Bakk.

Koch is reported to have received a sarcastic letter from gay activists “apologizing” for sabotaging her “traditional marriage”. The letter, written by John Medeiros of Minneapolis, says in part:

“On behalf of all gays and lesbians living in Minnesota, I would like to wholeheartedly apologize for our community’s successful efforts to threaten your traditional marriage… We apologize that our selfish requests to marry those we love has cheapened and degraded traditional marriage so much that we caused you to stray from your own holy union for something more cheap and tawdry.”

See the whole letter at http://www.citypages.com/2011-12-28/news/gay-community-apologizes-to-amy-koch/

To no one’s surprise, LGBT activists have piled on praising the exit of Koch from Senate leadership claiming it a victory against anti-gay marriage legislation. Articles bashing Koch have appeared in the Daily Kos and in the Minneapolis/St. Paul City pages.

The Koch resignation and scandal certainly hurts, and the Liberal response to it is not surprising. What is surprising and under-reported is the response of GOP leaders in this matter. Koch’s demise as Senate leader didn’t come as the result of an attack from opponents, it is the result of action taken by her peers, who felt that her inappropriate relationship, or her leadership, had to end for the good of the party.

Liberals and progressives have repeatedly demonstrated through the years that they have no moral compass. The only compass they own points them to a place where they may take political advantage over their enemies.  (Remember serial molester Bill Clinton, housing market burning flamer Barney Frank and pervert Anthony Weiner). Time after time they will defend their offensive leaders tooth and nail stating that, “it doesn’t really matter. It only matters how he votes” or “it’s only a lie about sex, everybody does it.” Weeks, months and years go by before any Liberal politician is forced by the opposition party to step down. But when leaders of the same party, the Grand Old Party, hold the line, the offender agrees to the standard set and immediately concedes to the will of her peers, a stark difference between us and them.

Conservative MegaBlogger Andrew Brietbart brilliantly illustrated this point at his memorable appearance at the Americans For Prosperity’s right-wing blogger conference RightOnline2011 that took place earlier this year in Minneapolis. He essentially called out the Liberal Media hypocrisy in which they unapologetically defend their politicians who behave badly while at the same time pillaring conservative women like Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin. See the video on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60zAjQx1HDs&feature=endscreen&NR=1 around the 7:57 mark.

“I think there’s kind of a cool parady there,” said Brietbart, “I’m not, like, for the suppression of the outing of corrupt corporations. I’m not for the suppression of the outing of corrupt Republicans. In fact there’s a huge difference. . . I’m totally for all these Republican screwballs getting in trouble, getting fired, or quitting the day they get caught, not stretching it out for three ludicrous unbelievably joyful weeks. Thank you Congressman Weiner!”

While the Liberal establishment gaily, (oh my, did I really use that word?) jumps up and down in unapologetic glee and celebration, there is an important thing to remember: the state GOP is stronger not weaker for having stood up to their leader and applying the standard.

Conservatives and Christians aren’t perfect. We occasionally have our leaders who with their faults and foibles fail us. The difference between us and them is that we recognize the higher standard, the one higher than man’s whim. That’s why we hold our leaders to account and why they don’t.

The Left is correct in stating that the major issue on the ballet of 2012 will be jobs. That’s good because in the area of job creation they’ve sucked royally as the Liberal Policies of Jimmy Carter sucked. It means we have the political leverage because Minnesotans and Americans as a whole know that the Left have no idea how to create a job and we do. That’s why we will win in 2012.

But the social issues are important too and conservatives need to continue to push back against progressivism and uphold our values in the face of their assault. Most people recognize the rights of gays as human beings the same as everyone has basic civil rights, but most of us still believe that marriage is defined as an established relationship between one man and one woman. And, we believe that leadership matters.

The Amy Koch story won’t change that. This story simply illustrates who has standards and who doesn’t.