Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Old wisdom seen anew

Close on the heels of the shocking revelation that conservatives tend to be happier, comes yet another blow to the Murphy Browns of the world:
The economic storms of recent years have raised concerns about growing inequality and questions about a core national faith, that even Americans of humble backgrounds have a good chance of getting ahead. Most of the discussion has focused on labor market forces like falling blue-collar wages and lavish Wall Street pay.
But striking changes in family structure have also broadened income gaps and posed new barriers to upward mobility. College-educated Americans like the Faulkners are increasingly likely to marry one another, compounding their growing advantages in pay. Less-educated women like Ms. Schairer, who left college without finishing her degree, are growing less likely to marry at all, raising children on pinched paychecks that come in ones, not twos.
Estimates vary widely, but scholars have said that changes in marriage patterns — as opposed to changes in individual earnings — may account for as much as 40 percent of the growth in certain measures of inequality. 
Naturally, since this is the New York Times being forced to admit there might be something to that old stodgy institution of marriage, they have to take a not-so-subtle dig:
Long a nation of economic extremes, the United States is also becoming a society of family haves and family have-nots, with marriage and its rewards evermore confined to the fortunate classes.
“It is the privileged Americans who are marrying, and marrying helps them stay privileged,” said Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University.
Oh, that lovely class-war rhetoric!  See, it's only the Thurstons and Buffys of the world that can get married--the "privileged ones."  And of course, that bourgeoisie institution is merely a social convention by which they maintain their economic oppression of everyone else.

What garbage!  This isn't about class... it's about character.  What does it take for a successful marriageCommitment and self-discipline.  (I think I have some experience here, as the Musketeers' Mom and I celebrate 20 years this month!)  What does it take to finish collegeCommitment and self-discipline.  What does it take to avoid out-of-wedlock birthsCommitment and self-discipline.

It's a simple formula, folks... one kids used to skip rope to:  "first comes love, then comes marriage, THEN comes the baby in the baby carriage."  Get the steps out of sequence, and more often the not you don't get the desired outcome. The whole race- and class-baiting thing is getting old... nay, putrid.  As a society, we've chosen to flout wisdom, then demand government save us from the consequences.  But as the Instapundit frequntly notes:
The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.

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