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      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  

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Shootist Jeff

Family (or lack of) at the core of America's Deterioration?

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And interesting article by George Will.

 

America’s broken bootstraps

By George F. Will, Washington Post, 6.20.13



If America is to be equitable, with careers open to all talents and competent citizens capable of making their way in an increasingly demanding world, Americans must heed the warnings implicit in observations from two heroes of modern conservatism. In "The Constitution of Liberty" (1960), Friedrich Hayek noted that families are the primary transmitters of human capital — habits, mores, education. Hence families, much more than other social institutions or programs, are determinative of academic and vocational success. In "The Unheavenly City" (1970), Edward C. Banfield wrote: "All education favors the middle- and upper-class child, because to be middle or upper class is to have qualities that make one particularly educable."

 

Elaborating on this theme, Jerry Z. Muller, a Catholic University historian, argues in the March/April 2013 issue of Foreign Affairs that expanding equality of opportunity increases inequality because some people are simply better able than others to exploit opportunities. And "assortative mating" — likes marrying likes — concentrates class advantages, further expanding inequality. As Muller says, "formal schooling itself plays a relatively minor role in creating or perpetuating achievement gaps" that originate "in the different levels of human capital children possess when they enter school."

 

The Cato Institute's Brink Lindsey argues in "Human Capitalism: How Economic Growth Has Made Us Smarter — and More Unequal" that economic growth intensifies society's complexity, which "has opened a great divide between those who have mastered its requirements and those who haven't." Modernity — education-based complexity — intensifies the demands on mental abilities. People invest increasingly in human capital — especially education — because status and achievement increasingly depend on possession of the right knowledge.

 

Lindsey cites research showing that "by the time they reach age 3, children of professional parents have heard some 45 million words addressed to them — as opposed to only 26 million words for working-class kids, and a mere 13 million words in the case of kids on welfare." So, class distinctions in vocabularies are already large among toddlers. Parental choices of neighborhoods and schools mean that children of college-educated parents hang out together. Such peer associations may have as much effect on a child's development as do parents. These factors, Lindsey says, explain why "people raised in the upper middle class are far more likely to stay there than move down, while people raised in the working class are far more likely to stay there than move up."

 

In a historical blink, Lindsey says, humanity has moved from lives rooted in a remembered past to lives focused on an imagined future. This future orientation favors the intellectually nimble. "Who gets ahead, who struggles to keep up, and who gets left behind are now determined primarily by how people cope with the mental challenges of complexity." And coping skills are incubated in families.

 

Today, the dominant distinction defining socioeconomic class is between those with and without college degrees. Graduates earn 70 percent more than those with only high school diplomas. In 1980, the difference was just 30 percent.

 

Soon the crucial distinction will be between those with meaningful and those with worthless college degrees. Many colleges are becoming less demanding as they become more expensive: They rake in money — much of it from government-subsidized tuition grants — by taking in many marginally qualified students who are motivated only to acquire a credential, and who learn little.

 

Lindsey reports that in 1961, full-time college students reported studying 25 hours a week on average; by 2003, average studying time had fallen to 13 hours. Half of today's students take no courses requiring more than 20 pages of writing in a semester. Given the role of practice in developing expertise, "the conclusion that college students are learning less than they used to seems unavoidable." Small wonder those with college degrees occupying jobs that do not require a high school diploma include 1.4 million retail salespeople and cashiers, half a million waiters, bartenders and janitors, and many more.

 

"Most American kids," Lindsey concludes, "are now raised in an environment that is arguably less favorable for developing human capital than that in which their parents were raised." America's limited-government project is at risk because the nation's foundational faith in individualism cannot survive unless upward mobility is a fact.

 

I will comment that I've been pondering this a lot lately and I truly believe that lack of education is THE number one National Security issue this country faces. YEs, National Security. Because we are falling so far behind the rest the developed world in so many ways - if we don't get our act together - we're going to be nothing but a tourist destination for the world because all our workers will be service industry schleps. We will lose our edge in tech, innovation and all the other stuff that made America the mightiest and most looked up to country on the planet. And I have long thought that the crumbling of our education system comes down to the family. The environments where kids grow up in a nurturing, caring and encouraging family where the parents take an active role have such a HUGE advantage over the splintered, fractured "families" or where kids are left to raise themselves. We have always had that, no way to get away from that completely in any society - there will always be the poor no matter what.

 

But I think the difference is that as the moral foundation (and I'm not talking about religion) of our country has crumbled - what used to be a strong emphasis on family and community is mostly gone in the lower middle and poor classes - and I think THAT is likely THE biggest discriminator going these days as to whether a child will succeed or fail.

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The marginalizing of the traditional family is having a deleterious effect on America for sure. But you missed the mark when it comes to education. There are plenty of excellent schools and teachers. America crushes the entire planet when it comes to higher education. Our institutions dominate the Rankings. Our Nobel production eclipses the output of everyone else combined.

 

You may be right to raise the alarm but it is premature to count America out.

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Good topic Jeff. I'm gonna sit on it and think for a bit.

 

Family stuff is pretty important in Indo.

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I guess its like an alcoholic raising awareness to the detriment of addiction to society, Jeff B might be a good spokesperson for the decline of America through the destruction of the traditional family.

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Two different subjects here, IMHO.

 

I agree that lack of education is a big security issue - something being championed by even the council on foreign relations!

http://blogs.cfr.org/renewing-america/2013/06/17/progress-report-and-scorecard-remedial-education/

 

The family deal is a little more complicated. Consider the recent study that 1/3 of women have been sexually abused or victims of domestic violence...and assume that many are victims of family members.

 

The sad fact is that, other than HJ, Leave it to Beaver and My Three Sons are fiction.

 

Moral traditions? Like slavery? Institutional racism usually taught by the nuclear family? C'mon.....

 

Sounds to me like some people dislike change and growth - which I think is what we are going through right now. The most economically prolific areas of the USA tend to be areas with little or no family (Silicon Valley, NYC, Boston, etc. ) and a lot of diversity. Why?

 

The Good Old Days- weren't.

 

Given the choice - it would be great if everyone had sane, complete and loving families. But they don't. Our culture tends to shun the old and stick them in nursing homes to die. Fact is, they are not good enough consumers so they are written off. Plus, it interrupts the watching of our Binge TV shows. Real life is inconvenient.

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And interesting article by George Will.

 

America’s broken bootstraps

 

By George F. Will, Washington Post, 6.20.13

 

If America is to be equitable, with careers open to all talents and competent citizens capable of making their way in an increasingly demanding world, Americans must heed the warnings implicit in observations from two heroes of modern conservatism. In "The Constitution of Liberty" (1960), Friedrich Hayek noted that families are the primary transmitters of human capital — habits, mores, education. Hence families, much more than other social institutions or programs, are determinative of academic and vocational success. In "The Unheavenly City" (1970), Edward C. Banfield wrote: "All education favors the middle- and upper-class child, because to be middle or upper class is to have qualities that make one particularly educable."

 

Elaborating on this theme, Jerry Z. Muller, a Catholic University historian, argues in the March/April 2013 issue of Foreign Affairs that expanding equality of opportunity increases inequality because some people are simply better able than others to exploit opportunities. And "assortative mating" — likes marrying likes — concentrates class advantages, further expanding inequality. As Muller says, "formal schooling itself plays a relatively minor role in creating or perpetuating achievement gaps" that originate "in the different levels of human capital children possess when they enter school."

 

The Cato Institute's Brink Lindsey argues in "Human Capitalism: How Economic Growth Has Made Us Smarter — and More Unequal" that economic growth intensifies society's complexity, which "has opened a great divide between those who have mastered its requirements and those who haven't." Modernity — education-based complexity — intensifies the demands on mental abilities. People invest increasingly in human capital — especially education — because status and achievement increasingly depend on possession of the right knowledge.

 

Lindsey cites research showing that "by the time they reach age 3, children of professional parents have heard some 45 million words addressed to them — as opposed to only 26 million words for working-class kids, and a mere 13 million words in the case of kids on welfare." So, class distinctions in vocabularies are already large among toddlers. Parental choices of neighborhoods and schools mean that children of college-educated parents hang out together. Such peer associations may have as much effect on a child's development as do parents. These factors, Lindsey says, explain why "people raised in the upper middle class are far more likely to stay there than move down, while people raised in the working class are far more likely to stay there than move up."

 

In a historical blink, Lindsey says, humanity has moved from lives rooted in a remembered past to lives focused on an imagined future. This future orientation favors the intellectually nimble. "Who gets ahead, who struggles to keep up, and who gets left behind are now determined primarily by how people cope with the mental challenges of complexity." And coping skills are incubated in families.

 

Today, the dominant distinction defining socioeconomic class is between those with and without college degrees. Graduates earn 70 percent more than those with only high school diplomas. In 1980, the difference was just 30 percent.

 

Soon the crucial distinction will be between those with meaningful and those with worthless college degrees. Many colleges are becoming less demanding as they become more expensive: They rake in money — much of it from government-subsidized tuition grants — by taking in many marginally qualified students who are motivated only to acquire a credential, and who learn little.

 

Lindsey reports that in 1961, full-time college students reported studying 25 hours a week on average; by 2003, average studying time had fallen to 13 hours. Half of today's students take no courses requiring more than 20 pages of writing in a semester. Given the role of practice in developing expertise, "the conclusion that college students are learning less than they used to seems unavoidable." Small wonder those with college degrees occupying jobs that do not require a high school diploma include 1.4 million retail salespeople and cashiers, half a million waiters, bartenders and janitors, and many more.

 

"Most American kids," Lindsey concludes, "are now raised in an environment that is arguably less favorable for developing human capital than that in which their parents were raised." America's limited-government project is at risk because the nation's foundational faith in individualism cannot survive unless upward mobility is a fact.

 

I will comment that I've been pondering this a lot lately and I truly believe that lack of education is THE number one National Security issue this country faces. YEs, National Security. Because we are falling so far behind the rest the developed world in so many ways - if we don't get our act together - we're going to be nothing but a tourist destination for the world because all our workers will be service industry schleps. We will lose our edge in tech, innovation and all the other stuff that made America the mightiest and most looked up to country on the planet. And I have long thought that the crumbling of our education system comes down to the family. The environments where kids grow up in a nurturing, caring and encouraging family where the parents take an active role have such a HUGE advantage over the splintered, fractured "families" or where kids are left to raise themselves. We have always had that, no way to get away from that completely in any society - there will always be the poor no matter what.

 

But I think the difference is that as the moral foundation (and I'm not talking about religion) of our country has crumbled - what used to be a strong emphasis on family and community is mostly gone in the lower middle and poor classes - and I think THAT is likely THE biggest discriminator going these days as to whether a child will succeed or fail.

 

I concur,... dude you need to get a fucking education!

 

As for traditional family, never-mind as big daddy gov. will take care of mums when she gets old (and you too for that matter) trust me.... :ph34r:

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I would not consider HJ to be an example of a traditional family. He has been married 3 times, had children with each wife. He may be a perfect example of the typical Republican, but not a champion of traditional marriage.

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So what are you insinuating Spittle?

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Two different subjects here, IMHO.

 

I agree that lack of education is a big security issue - something being championed by even the council on foreign relations!

http://blogs.cfr.org/renewing-america/2013/06/17/progress-report-and-scorecard-remedial-education/

 

The family deal is a little more complicated. Consider the recent study that 1/3 of women have been sexually abused or victims of domestic violence...and assume that many are victims of family members.

 

The sad fact is that, other than HJ, Leave it to Beaver and My Three Sons are fiction.

 

Moral traditions? Like slavery? Institutional racism usually taught by the nuclear family? C'mon.....

 

Sounds to me like some people dislike change and growth - which I think is what we are going through right now. The most economically prolific areas of the USA tend to be areas with little or no family (Silicon Valley, NYC, Boston, etc. ) and a lot of diversity. Why?

 

The Good Old Days- weren't.

 

Given the choice - it would be great if everyone had sane, complete and loving families. But they don't. Our culture tends to shun the old and stick them in nursing homes to die. Fact is, they are not good enough consumers so they are written off. Plus, it interrupts the watching of our Binge TV shows. Real life is inconvenient.

 

Why do you think that many of those things happened, CareBear? People in stable families DON'T behave that way - people who feel like they've gotta take what they can get when and however they can get it do.

 

I think we greatly overstepped in trying to help disadvantaged demographic groups by offering assistance in a way that encouraged the behaviors that contributed to their being disadvantaged in the first place.

 

I'm all for helping someone out of a tight spot - but, if that person's personal choices contributed to putting them into the tight spot in the first place, shouldn't they be told that while they're being helped?

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So what are you insinuating Spittle?

I just adore it when those with a horrible track record on family matters, lecture us on how important family is.

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If that's true then he probably knows what he's talking about.... :ph34r:

 

Anyway it did not seem like a lecture but more like his opinion. So and how about you Spittle are you going to lecture us now?

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I would not consider HJ to be an example of a traditional family. He has been married 3 times, had children with each wife. He may be a perfect example of the typical Republican, but not a champion of traditional marriage.

 

Says the guy who once stated more than half his family is gay.

 

So is there a correlation between immigration and this moral decay?

 

Are written laws somewhat responsible for moral decay?

 

Has evil doing having been elevated in stature fueled moral decay?

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So are you saying Spittle is bitter about his childhood and therefor hates to be "lectured" about the "traditional" family values? :rolleyes:

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So when did America peak, if it is indeed deteriorating. The End Is Near crowd have been around forever and we have been going to hell in a handbasket since we first had a basket. I have known a number of families with two children where one has always been a model citizen and the other a chronic alcoholic/druggie criminal. Nice parents, middle class, church etc.

 

America hasn't gotten worse, we just put too much of it on TV.

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So when did America peak, if it is indeed deteriorating. The End Is Near crowd have been around forever and we have been going to hell in a handbasket since we first had a basket. I have known a number of families with two children where one has always been a model citizen and the other a chronic alcoholic/druggie criminal. Nice parents, middle class, church etc.

 

America hasn't gotten worse, we just put too much of it on TV.

. Don't forget Facebook.

 

I actually think the growth of the Hispanic community will reverse the trend. Very family oriented.

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So when did America peak, if it is indeed deteriorating. The End Is Near crowd have been around forever and we have been going to hell in a handbasket since we first had a basket. I have known a number of families with two children where one has always been a model citizen and the other a chronic alcoholic/druggie criminal. Nice parents, middle class, church etc.

 

America hasn't gotten worse, we just put too much of it on TV.

 

Amen.

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And interesting article by George Will.

 

America’s broken bootstraps

 

By George F. Will, Washington Post, 6.20.13

 

If America is to be equitable, with careers open to all talents and competent citizens capable of making their way in an increasingly demanding world, Americans must heed the warnings implicit in observations from two heroes of modern conservatism. In "The Constitution of Liberty" (1960), Friedrich Hayek noted that families are the primary transmitters of human capital — habits, mores, education. Hence families, much more than other social institutions or programs, are determinative of academic and vocational success. In "The Unheavenly City" (1970), Edward C. Banfield wrote: "All education favors the middle- and upper-class child, because to be middle or upper class is to have qualities that make one particularly educable."

 

Elaborating on this theme, Jerry Z. Muller, a Catholic University historian, argues in the March/April 2013 issue of Foreign Affairs that expanding equality of opportunity increases inequality because some people are simply better able than others to exploit opportunities. And "assortative mating" — likes marrying likes — concentrates class advantages, further expanding inequality. As Muller says, "formal schooling itself plays a relatively minor role in creating or perpetuating achievement gaps" that originate "in the different levels of human capital children possess when they enter school."

 

The Cato Institute's Brink Lindsey argues in "Human Capitalism: How Economic Growth Has Made Us Smarter — and More Unequal" that economic growth intensifies society's complexity, which "has opened a great divide between those who have mastered its requirements and those who haven't." Modernity — education-based complexity — intensifies the demands on mental abilities. People invest increasingly in human capital — especially education — because status and achievement increasingly depend on possession of the right knowledge.

 

Lindsey cites research showing that "by the time they reach age 3, children of professional parents have heard some 45 million words addressed to them — as opposed to only 26 million words for working-class kids, and a mere 13 million words in the case of kids on welfare." So, class distinctions in vocabularies are already large among toddlers. Parental choices of neighborhoods and schools mean that children of college-educated parents hang out together. Such peer associations may have as much effect on a child's development as do parents. These factors, Lindsey says, explain why "people raised in the upper middle class are far more likely to stay there than move down, while people raised in the working class are far more likely to stay there than move up."

 

In a historical blink, Lindsey says, humanity has moved from lives rooted in a remembered past to lives focused on an imagined future. This future orientation favors the intellectually nimble. "Who gets ahead, who struggles to keep up, and who gets left behind are now determined primarily by how people cope with the mental challenges of complexity." And coping skills are incubated in families.

 

Today, the dominant distinction defining socioeconomic class is between those with and without college degrees. Graduates earn 70 percent more than those with only high school diplomas. In 1980, the difference was just 30 percent.

 

Soon the crucial distinction will be between those with meaningful and those with worthless college degrees. Many colleges are becoming less demanding as they become more expensive: They rake in money — much of it from government-subsidized tuition grants — by taking in many marginally qualified students who are motivated only to acquire a credential, and who learn little.

 

Lindsey reports that in 1961, full-time college students reported studying 25 hours a week on average; by 2003, average studying time had fallen to 13 hours. Half of today's students take no courses requiring more than 20 pages of writing in a semester. Given the role of practice in developing expertise, "the conclusion that college students are learning less than they used to seems unavoidable." Small wonder those with college degrees occupying jobs that do not require a high school diploma include 1.4 million retail salespeople and cashiers, half a million waiters, bartenders and janitors, and many more.

 

"Most American kids," Lindsey concludes, "are now raised in an environment that is arguably less favorable for developing human capital than that in which their parents were raised." America's limited-government project is at risk because the nation's foundational faith in individualism cannot survive unless upward mobility is a fact.

 

I will comment that I've been pondering this a lot lately and I truly believe that lack of education is THE number one National Security issue this country faces. YEs, National Security. Because we are falling so far behind the rest the developed world in so many ways - if we don't get our act together - we're going to be nothing but a tourist destination for the world because all our workers will be service industry schleps. We will lose our edge in tech, innovation and all the other stuff that made America the mightiest and most looked up to country on the planet. And I have long thought that the crumbling of our education system comes down to the family. The environments where kids grow up in a nurturing, caring and encouraging family where the parents take an active role have such a HUGE advantage over the splintered, fractured "families" or where kids are left to raise themselves. We have always had that, no way to get away from that completely in any society - there will always be the poor no matter what.

 

But I think the difference is that as the moral foundation (and I'm not talking about religion) of our country has crumbled - what used to be a strong emphasis on family and community is mostly gone in the lower middle and poor classes - and I think THAT is likely THE biggest discriminator going these days as to whether a child will succeed or fail.

Dude you amaze me. What article did you read, certainly not the one you cited?

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Quote

I will comment that I've been pondering this a lot lately and I truly believe that lack of education is THE number one National Security issue this country faces. YEs, National Security. Because we are falling so far behind the rest the developed world in so many ways - if we don't get our act together - we're going to be nothing but a tourist destination for the world because all our workers will be service industry schleps. We will lose our edge in tech, innovation and all the other stuff that made America the mightiest and most looked up to country on the planet. And I have long thought that the crumbling of our education system comes down to the family. The environments where kids grow up in a nurturing, caring and encouraging family where the parents take an active role have such a HUGE advantage over the splintered, fractured "families" or where kids are left to raise themselves. We have always had that, no way to get away from that completely in any society - there will always be the poor no matter what.

 

But I think the difference is that as the moral foundation (and I'm not talking about religion) of our country has crumbled - what used to be a strong emphasis on family and community is mostly gone in the lower middle and poor classes - and I think THAT is likely THE biggest discriminator going these days as to whether a child will succeed or fail.

I don't know Jeff, there is an argument that our success is the reason for our own downfall. The family as a unit has been under siege since shortly after World War II when our economy started expanding and women had the opportunity to enter the work force. Since then, we have gone from 8 hour days to 10, 12, or more or two or three extra jobs just to make ends meet. The result of all those hours are the neglect of the family that was once the centerpiece of American life. Our overwhelming success at expanding our economy provided opportunities to expand further by creating jobs overseas that had the effect of fattening the wallets of the entrepreneurs and costing the loss of jobs here at home for the workers. The opportunity to go through college is now a Herculean challenge because of cost. A moderate in-state public education averages $22,216, a moderate private education exceeds $43,000 per year. The raise of college tuition interest rates is now before congress and it is not clear how they will vote on that when it comes up again at the end of this month. The response from our electors for the cost of our nation building have brought about votes gutting pre kindergarten education, child care, welfare, food stamps, the Healthy Families Act will likely die in Committee, The assault on the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts continues, they drug test the poor and strip them of benefits if they fail. The Farm Bill failed yesterday in part because of a $20.5 Billion cut in food stamps.

If there is indeed a destruction of the family in America, it is because of a variety of reasons many beyond anyone's control.

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And interesting article by George Will.

 

America’s broken bootstraps

 

By George F. Will, Washington Post, 6.20.13

 

If America is to be equitable, with careers open to all talents and competent citizens capable of making their way in an increasingly demanding world, Americans must heed the warnings implicit in observations from two heroes of modern conservatism. In "The Constitution of Liberty" (1960), Friedrich Hayek noted that families are the primary transmitters of human capital — habits, mores, education. Hence families, much more than other social institutions or programs, are determinative of academic and vocational success. In "The Unheavenly City" (1970), Edward C. Banfield wrote: "All education favors the middle- and upper-class child, because to be middle or upper class is to have qualities that make one particularly educable."

 

Elaborating on this theme, Jerry Z. Muller, a Catholic University historian, argues in the March/April 2013 issue of Foreign Affairs that expanding equality of opportunity increases inequality because some people are simply better able than others to exploit opportunities. And "assortative mating" — likes marrying likes — concentrates class advantages, further expanding inequality. As Muller says, "formal schooling itself plays a relatively minor role in creating or perpetuating achievement gaps" that originate "in the different levels of human capital children possess when they enter school."

 

The Cato Institute's Brink Lindsey argues in "Human Capitalism: How Economic Growth Has Made Us Smarter — and More Unequal" that economic growth intensifies society's complexity, which "has opened a great divide between those who have mastered its requirements and those who haven't." Modernity — education-based complexity — intensifies the demands on mental abilities. People invest increasingly in human capital — especially education — because status and achievement increasingly depend on possession of the right knowledge.

 

Lindsey cites research showing that "by the time they reach age 3, children of professional parents have heard some 45 million words addressed to them — as opposed to only 26 million words for working-class kids, and a mere 13 million words in the case of kids on welfare." So, class distinctions in vocabularies are already large among toddlers. Parental choices of neighborhoods and schools mean that children of college-educated parents hang out together. Such peer associations may have as much effect on a child's development as do parents. These factors, Lindsey says, explain why "people raised in the upper middle class are far more likely to stay there than move down, while people raised in the working class are far more likely to stay there than move up."

 

In a historical blink, Lindsey says, humanity has moved from lives rooted in a remembered past to lives focused on an imagined future. This future orientation favors the intellectually nimble. "Who gets ahead, who struggles to keep up, and who gets left behind are now determined primarily by how people cope with the mental challenges of complexity." And coping skills are incubated in families.

 

Today, the dominant distinction defining socioeconomic class is between those with and without college degrees. Graduates earn 70 percent more than those with only high school diplomas. In 1980, the difference was just 30 percent.

 

Soon the crucial distinction will be between those with meaningful and those with worthless college degrees. Many colleges are becoming less demanding as they become more expensive: They rake in money — much of it from government-subsidized tuition grants — by taking in many marginally qualified students who are motivated only to acquire a credential, and who learn little.

 

Lindsey reports that in 1961, full-time college students reported studying 25 hours a week on average; by 2003, average studying time had fallen to 13 hours. Half of today's students take no courses requiring more than 20 pages of writing in a semester. Given the role of practice in developing expertise, "the conclusion that college students are learning less than they used to seems unavoidable." Small wonder those with college degrees occupying jobs that do not require a high school diploma include 1.4 million retail salespeople and cashiers, half a million waiters, bartenders and janitors, and many more.

 

"Most American kids," Lindsey concludes, "are now raised in an environment that is arguably less favorable for developing human capital than that in which their parents were raised." America's limited-government project is at risk because the nation's foundational faith in individualism cannot survive unless upward mobility is a fact.

 

I will comment that I've been pondering this a lot lately and I truly believe that lack of education is THE number one National Security issue this country faces. YEs, National Security. Because we are falling so far behind the rest the developed world in so many ways - if we don't get our act together - we're going to be nothing but a tourist destination for the world because all our workers will be service industry schleps. We will lose our edge in tech, innovation and all the other stuff that made America the mightiest and most looked up to country on the planet. And I have long thought that the crumbling of our education system comes down to the family. The environments where kids grow up in a nurturing, caring and encouraging family where the parents take an active role have such a HUGE advantage over the splintered, fractured "families" or where kids are left to raise themselves. We have always had that, no way to get away from that completely in any society - there will always be the poor no matter what.

 

But I think the difference is that as the moral foundation (and I'm not talking about religion) of our country has crumbled - what used to be a strong emphasis on family and community is mostly gone in the lower middle and poor classes - and I think THAT is likely THE biggest discriminator going these days as to whether a child will succeed or fail.

 

Charles Murray does a decent job of documenting that white neighborhoods, when they reach a level of poverty and unemployment comparable to black ones, wind up with about the same problems, and that it's happening all over the place.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Apart-State-America-1960-2010/dp/030745343X

 

George Will might be engaged in trying to label a symptom as a cause here.

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Why do you think that many of those things happened, CareBear? People in stable families DON'T behave that way - people who feel like they've gotta take what they can get when and however they can get it do.

 

I think we greatly overstepped in trying to help disadvantaged demographic groups by offering assistance in a way that encouraged the behaviors that contributed to their being disadvantaged in the first place.

 

I'm all for helping someone out of a tight spot - but, if that person's personal choices contributed to putting them into the tight spot in the first place, shouldn't they be told that while they're being helped?

 

So people who come from good families don't move to other parts of the country from their parents and then put mom and dad in a home?

 

Statistics show that the biggest indicator of where you end up is where you start - which seems to be at odds with your view on the demographic groups. My mom happened to marry a guy who was up and coming. Some of her sisters didn't. Completely different results...

 

So, if we let all women marry guys who are business savvy, the problem would be solved....

<_<

 

Are you really going to claim that the tens of millions of inner city kids who went to the schools there got a normal education? It didn't happen. Either they were the bullies or gang members or they were the targets of them. We, as a society, accept that. Out of sight, out of mind...same with mom and dad in the nursing home....

 

Basically, we are all consumers. Targets. From the beginning to the end. Anything which does not fit into that mold is thrown away by the greater culture and, in fact, the government itself. Everything must be sacrificed on the altar of GDP, even if all that money doesn't go to helping the general public.

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And interesting article by George Will.

 

America’s broken bootstraps

 

By George F. Will, Washington Post, 6.20.13

 

If America is to be equitable, with careers open to all talents and competent citizens capable of making their way in an increasingly demanding world, Americans must heed the warnings implicit in observations from two heroes of modern conservatism. In "The Constitution of Liberty" (1960), Friedrich Hayek noted that families are the primary transmitters of human capital — habits, mores, education. Hence families, much more than other social institutions or programs, are determinative of academic and vocational success. In "The Unheavenly City" (1970), Edward C. Banfield wrote: "All education favors the middle- and upper-class child, because to be middle or upper class is to have qualities that make one particularly educable."

 

Elaborating on this theme, Jerry Z. Muller, a Catholic University historian, argues in the March/April 2013 issue of Foreign Affairs that expanding equality of opportunity increases inequality because some people are simply better able than others to exploit opportunities. And "assortative mating" — likes marrying likes — concentrates class advantages, further expanding inequality. As Muller says, "formal schooling itself plays a relatively minor role in creating or perpetuating achievement gaps" that originate "in the different levels of human capital children possess when they enter school."

 

The Cato Institute's Brink Lindsey argues in "Human Capitalism: How Economic Growth Has Made Us Smarter — and More Unequal" that economic growth intensifies society's complexity, which "has opened a great divide between those who have mastered its requirements and those who haven't." Modernity — education-based complexity — intensifies the demands on mental abilities. People invest increasingly in human capital — especially education — because status and achievement increasingly depend on possession of the right knowledge.

 

Lindsey cites research showing that "by the time they reach age 3, children of professional parents have heard some 45 million words addressed to them — as opposed to only 26 million words for working-class kids, and a mere 13 million words in the case of kids on welfare." So, class distinctions in vocabularies are already large among toddlers. Parental choices of neighborhoods and schools mean that children of college-educated parents hang out together. Such peer associations may have as much effect on a child's development as do parents. These factors, Lindsey says, explain why "people raised in the upper middle class are far more likely to stay there than move down, while people raised in the working class are far more likely to stay there than move up."

 

In a historical blink, Lindsey says, humanity has moved from lives rooted in a remembered past to lives focused on an imagined future. This future orientation favors the intellectually nimble. "Who gets ahead, who struggles to keep up, and who gets left behind are now determined primarily by how people cope with the mental challenges of complexity." And coping skills are incubated in families.

 

Today, the dominant distinction defining socioeconomic class is between those with and without college degrees. Graduates earn 70 percent more than those with only high school diplomas. In 1980, the difference was just 30 percent.

 

Soon the crucial distinction will be between those with meaningful and those with worthless college degrees. Many colleges are becoming less demanding as they become more expensive: They rake in money — much of it from government-subsidized tuition grants — by taking in many marginally qualified students who are motivated only to acquire a credential, and who learn little.

 

Lindsey reports that in 1961, full-time college students reported studying 25 hours a week on average; by 2003, average studying time had fallen to 13 hours. Half of today's students take no courses requiring more than 20 pages of writing in a semester. Given the role of practice in developing expertise, "the conclusion that college students are learning less than they used to seems unavoidable." Small wonder those with college degrees occupying jobs that do not require a high school diploma include 1.4 million retail salespeople and cashiers, half a million waiters, bartenders and janitors, and many more.

 

"Most American kids," Lindsey concludes, "are now raised in an environment that is arguably less favorable for developing human capital than that in which their parents were raised." America's limited-government project is at risk because the nation's foundational faith in individualism cannot survive unless upward mobility is a fact.

 

I will comment that I've been pondering this a lot lately and I truly believe that lack of education is THE number one National Security issue this country faces. YEs, National Security. Because we are falling so far behind the rest the developed world in so many ways - if we don't get our act together - we're going to be nothing but a tourist destination for the world because all our workers will be service industry schleps. We will lose our edge in tech, innovation and all the other stuff that made America the mightiest and most looked up to country on the planet. And I have long thought that the crumbling of our education system comes down to the family. The environments where kids grow up in a nurturing, caring and encouraging family where the parents take an active role have such a HUGE advantage over the splintered, fractured "families" or where kids are left to raise themselves. We have always had that, no way to get away from that completely in any society - there will always be the poor no matter what.

 

But I think the difference is that as the moral foundation (and I'm not talking about religion) of our country has crumbled - what used to be a strong emphasis on family and community is mostly gone in the lower middle and poor classes - and I think THAT is likely THE biggest discriminator going these days as to whether a child will succeed or fail.

 

Charles Murray does a decent job of documenting that white neighborhoods, when they reach a level of poverty and unemployment comparable to black ones, wind up with about the same problems, and that it's happening all over the place.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Apart-State-America-1960-2010/dp/030745343X

 

George Will might be engaged in trying to label a symptom as a cause here.

 

I believe it is both a symptom and a cause. Poverty can trigger behaviors which then perpetuate poverty.

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Before anything else, I'd pay money to see George Will and Keith Olbermann face off on the topic of baseball. My betting money would be on KO.

 

On the subject of education, Will is beyond wrong. Quoting Hayek in an education article. Oy.

 

First, he doesn't even mention No Kids Left Behind. I can't stand W for every reason in the book. Worst President ever. But this terrible idea was given its full sea trial. Ignoring it, and it is not a small thing, is a hack move. It gave us teaching to the test. Fuck you W.

 

Second, he doesn't even mention the PTA. To anyone who actually understands how a great public school works on a daily, monthly and yearly basis, that's just laughable. His putting it in writing is ignorance.

 

The great public schools in my area scare me they're so good. Kids come out of HS knowing more than college grads used to know. Parents are crawling over the grounds on weekends. PTAs are extremely active in work, in fundraising and in recruiting.

 

Lastly, I love the topic even if I find the column offensively stupid. Looking at this from the national security viewpoint is interesting. But great schools and great kids come from effort on the parents and the communities part. We need to find a way of getting bad communities to learn from good communities. We're spending good money either way.

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Before anything else, I'd pay money to see George Will and Keith Olbermann face off on the topic of baseball. My betting money would be on KO.

 

On the subject of education, Will is beyond wrong. Quoting Hayek in an education article. Oy.

 

First, he doesn't even mention No Kids Left Behind. I can't stand W for every reason in the book. Worst President ever. But this terrible idea was given its full sea trial. Ignoring it, and it is not a small thing, is a hack move. It gave us teaching to the test. Fuck you W.

 

Second, he doesn't even mention the PTA. To anyone who actually understands how a great public school works on a daily, monthly and yearly basis, that's just laughable. His putting it in writing is ignorance.

 

The great public schools in my area scare me they're so good. Kids come out of HS knowing more than college grads used to know. Parents are crawling over the grounds on weekends. PTAs are extremely active in work, in fundraising and in recruiting.

 

Lastly, I love the topic even if I find the column offensively stupid. Looking at this from the national security viewpoint is interesting. But great schools and great kids come from effort on the parents and the communities part. We need to find a way of getting bad communities to learn from good communities. We're spending good money either way.

 

It sounds to me like you agree with Will then.

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I would not consider HJ to be an example of a traditional family. He has been married 3 times, had children with each wife. He may be a perfect example of the typical Republican, but not a champion of traditional marriage.

Says the guy who once stated more than half his family is gay.

Where did you pull that one from; out of your ass?

To the best of my knowledge, there is no queer fruit in my family tree, except a spinster auntie and a flaming cousin. NTTAWWT.

 

And even if I did, does having gay family members make you a non-traditional family? How about divorcing your wife, or multiple wives? How about breaking up your family and abandoning your mortgage to work in a foreign land and enjoy the bachelor life again? These are the fellows who think they have moral high ground to lecture us on how we are fucking up traditional American values.

 

 

Thanks Obama!

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So several years back it wasn't you going on about a holiday meal saying your family was very successful and that half were gay? It was about the same time you said you have a thing for redheads... although you didn't mention the sex of the gingers. I think it all came up WRT a family values or family core thread.

 

And yes, same sex partnerships are not what one would call a traditional family.

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I guess its like an alcoholic raising awareness to the detriment of addiction to society, Jeff B might be a good spokesperson for the decline of America through the destruction of the traditional family.

though bigots like Jeffie, mr booth, and Paula dean contribute to a coarsening of society, I think we as a society are stronger and beter than ever.

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So several years back it wasn't you going on about a holiday meal saying your family was very successful and that half were gay? It was about the same time you said you have a thing for redheads... although you didn't mention the sex of the gingers. I think it all came up WRT a family values or family core thread.

Refresh my memory, doesn't sound like me except for the sex with gingers. Perhaps the search feature will be your friend.

You are correct, my family is famously wealthy and successful. I do have a thing about redheads, who doesn't. But why would I state half my family is gay? Unless they were, NTTAWWT.

I think you lie, and you have a habit of doing so. BJ can back me up here.

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Too funny Gaston. Too funny.

 

 

So several years back it wasn't you going on about a holiday meal saying your family was very successful and that half were gay? It was about the same time you said you have a thing for redheads... although you didn't mention the sex of the gingers. I think it all came up WRT a family values or family core thread.

Refresh my memory, doesn't sound like me except for the sex with gingers. Perhaps the search feature will be your friend.

You are correct, my family is famously wealthy and successful. I do have a thing about redheads, who doesn't. But why would I state half my family is gay? Unless they were, NTTAWWT.

I think you lie, and you have a habit of doing so. BJ can back me up here.

 

 

No, I am pretty sure it was you. Of course you might have just been heaping on the hyperbole. Not really worth my time searching for a statement from you about your family's sexual orientation.

Glad DT Porter has you back. Delusional lefties need to stick together more, if you ask me.

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Why so? I wouldn't want to add to your apparent discomfort with the subject.

I'm not uncomfortable with a liar making false claims against me.

You have really two choices. Continue showing how much an ass you are, or backing up your accusation.

I'm fine. Feeling quite good this afternoon as a matter of fact.

Took the experimental out for a flight this morning, its running great. Did some aerobatics, tweaked the cooling a bit. Had a beer with my hangar buddies after landing.

Tomorrow I'll do my longest cross country yet in it. About 600 miles in 4 hours.

 

Did that little pip squeak really make you run from the tent? Oh that's embarrassing.

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S.ED I am pretty sure you said it. I am guessing it was tongue and cheek and you were trying to make one of your points. If so, that's fine, I get how you operate.

 

Nah, Gaston at first denied the whole event which in a nutshell he called me out when we were all shaking hands right before the pickle dishes were handed out. Then he realized that a few people were there, knew it was all true or just having known him from here, understood it was true. He then tried to blame it all on another member of his boat's crew and finally admitted it. He called me out, I gave him a look somewhere between "WTF" and "Maybe I should just pound you into the ground". Few of my fellow crew pulled me aside and we went to the bar a few short steps away, like under 10 feet. Lady, a good friend of mine, who was running the awards, asked me what that was all about. I told her and she wanted to toss the boat from the regatta. Of course that wouldn't do as it was the event chairman's boat. Gaston disappeared shortly there after and I trust he was asked to leave but don't know that for a fact. I was no big deal and I really didn't care.

As time has progressed Gaston has morphed the story in several stages to the point where he now claims it to have gone down 180 degrees from reality... which is why I laugh.

 

Anyhow, enjoy the flight.

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I laugh and laugh here. I did not know that the relatively modest boat (by Greenwich standards) was the event chairpersons boat, nice little layer to your lie. I remember looking down on your tripped scraggly ass as your mates lifted you to your feet.

 

Still brings a smile to my face...

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S.ED I am pretty sure you said it. I am guessing it was tongue and cheek and you were trying to make one of your points. If so, that's fine, I get how you operate.

 

I'm not sure what benefit to your argument there is even if I did make such a statement.

Lets assume I did make a statement that half my family was gay, which I didn't. How does that make me a hypocrite on calling out others on traditional family values? Does having gay family members equal to a person deciding to ignore family values through divorce and serial polygamy?

Why are you so focused on calling out your adversaries with such an anti-homosexual flair. I think you may be deeply resentful of homosexuality. Perhaps its anger projected inwards because the root is so deeply seeded in your own persona. Self loathing is a confusing condition.

Release the anger. Change what is in your power to change, accept what is outside your power to change.

 

It gets better.

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S.ED I am pretty sure you said it. I am guessing it was tongue and cheek and you were trying to make one of your points. If so, that's fine, I get how you operate.

I'm not sure what benefit to your argument there is even if I did make such a statement.

Lets assume I did make a statement that half my family was gay, which I didn't. How does that make me a hypocrite on calling out others on traditional family values? Does having gay family members equal to a person deciding to ignore family values through divorce and serial polygamy?

Why are you so focused on calling out your adversaries with such an anti-homosexual flair. I think you may be deeply resentful of homosexuality. Perhaps its anger projected inwards because the root is so deeply seeded in your own persona. Self loathing is a confusing condition.

Release the anger. Change what is in your power to change, accept what is outside your power to change.

 

It gets better.

 

 

I am not the one who took offence to what I recall you saying.

BTW, the family biz, back in the day, one of the partners and several of the key employees were gay. As my brother once quipped, "I never met a gay guy I didn't like." He is firmly hetero before you make any assumptions.

 

No anger. Fun loving guy who likes to tell it like it is.

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Before anything else, I'd pay money to see George Will and Keith Olbermann face off on the topic of baseball. My betting money would be on KO.

 

On the subject of education, Will is beyond wrong. Quoting Hayek in an education article. Oy.

 

First, he doesn't even mention No Kids Left Behind. I can't stand W for every reason in the book. Worst President ever. But this terrible idea was given its full sea trial. Ignoring it, and it is not a small thing, is a hack move. It gave us teaching to the test. Fuck you W.

 

Second, he doesn't even mention the PTA. To anyone who actually understands how a great public school works on a daily, monthly and yearly basis, that's just laughable. His putting it in writing is ignorance.

 

The great public schools in my area scare me they're so good. Kids come out of HS knowing more than college grads used to know. Parents are crawling over the grounds on weekends. PTAs are extremely active in work, in fundraising and in recruiting.

 

Lastly, I love the topic even if I find the column offensively stupid. Looking at this from the national security viewpoint is interesting. But great schools and great kids come from effort on the parents and the communities part. We need to find a way of getting bad communities to learn from good communities. We're spending good money either way.

 

I think we agree on the vast majority of what you wrote. Regardless if Will is correct in everything or not is a bit moot, I think he makes a point that the breakdown in the family and community is at the core of what ails our education system as well as the greater society as a whole. Maybe breakdown is not the right word, maybe society just hasn't adapted as rapidly as our traditional notions of family and community has changed.

 

But you actually confirm what I've been saying all along (not just in this thread), that parents and the community are the key to good education - probably FAR more than the school itself. And good education is the key to a successful nation. I think our problem is that not only do we have an "income gap" that's widening but an "education gap" that growing bigger by the day. There are some scary good schools, but there are as many or arguably MORE who are scary bad. And then there are the just mediocre ones. When the US is struggling to graduate enough qualified people into the high tech/high skill industries where we are desperate for immigrants to make up the shortfall..... there is a serious problem in this country.

 

I've also been saying that we are throwing our money at the wrong areas. Its great to throw $$ at schools, but if the kid shows up totally unprepared and unmotivated to learn - he/she is always going to be behind. Learning starts at day one after birth. If the first time a kid is learning anything is when he shows up for Pre-K or K-school because his crack whore prostitute mother who is on welfare and foodstamps and 5 other baby daddies is never there for him, never talks to him, never plays with him and never reads to him...... its too late. The chances of that kid becoming anything other than a gangbanger, drug dealer or dead by 18 is slim. Might as well write that one off.

 

If we are going to throw $$ at the problem - it needs to start with education of parents (or preferably "pre-parents) and has to include infant and toddler development programs and daycare so the mothers can work.

 

And..... we need to stop fooling ourselves into thinking that all kids should go to college. What a waste of time and $$ teaching kids who have either no desire or no aptitude to go to a 4 year university. (I mean look at gaytor as a good example). I would rather spend some money bring shop class back where kids learn a trade, learn to weld, learn to make shit, learn to fix cars, etc. The world needs ditch diggers and car mechanics too. Nothing wrong with that. But to try to shoehorn a kid into the expectation that they will go to college is to almost assure they fail.

 

I'm adamant that this issue is a National Security issue. Our very existence is at stake if we don't figure this out. Yes, we have a lot of good schools turning our very bright kids. But I think that is become less the norm and we will eventually get to the point where we can't sustain our needs for highly skilled workers and Americans will become the minority of people working in their own country. And worse, we will lose what made the US a powerhouse in the world as far as innovation and development. I'm not suggesting the end is near....... but we are on a very slow decline. When the US is 25in the world (out of 34) in math and science..... something is broken.

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The non-PC answer to this question is one word - responsibility!

 

This means, IMHO, we should have certain policies regarding parents, something which is extremely unpopular with the religious fundamentalists who control a lot of this country. No one with a speck of brains can doubt that readily available birth control and sex education helps! Yet, many are against this sort of thing, saying "the parents should decide".

 

Since we have already established that many (most?) parents are more clueless than children, that's a tough cycle to break.

 

It's hardly worth discussing because, again, the American Taliban thinks you should have the "right" and "freedom" to have 10 kids. In fact, they look upon that as a blessing and something special. You can only imagine what would happen if we started cracking down on the number of kids that a particular father or mother could create!

 

It's amazing how some folks think we should be super strict on immigration, yet some of the same crew thinks that the Lord gives us the right to Go Forth and Multiply without the bread to feed our babes. I cannot imagine how one squares those positions.

 

We had three. I worked my butt off to make sure we had the basics and more. Things went well and I was able to afford to send them to college and all became professionals and used their education for good things in this world. Then I helped them all buy their first homes, even if our gift was a small part of the cost. Now they are ahead financially, which allows them to have many more choices to pursue happiness.

 

As with the rest of you, I'm all for taking care of people who fall through the cracks. But forced sterilization is not too much to ask for folks like this:

http://wtvr.com/2012/06/14/tennessee-man-has-over-20-kids-owes-child-support-to-15-women/

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Forced sterilization is always too much to ask.

 

Of course!

Such a man SHOULD, because of God, be allowed to have 20 more. Right?

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You said forced. I'm opposed to the state holding a man down and cutting his balls off.

 

It's just tying a couple little tubes - hardly hurts at all. You could pay him a stipend. This way he could still rutt but not reproduce.

 

I fully support never taking away the right to have an orgasm.

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Forced sterilization is always too much to ask.

 

I'm absolutely against forced sterilization. But I'm all in favor of coerced birth control. If you get a welfare check, foodstamps or other handout...... you have to get in the Depoprovera shot line first. No shot. no check. As soon as you get off welfare - then you can have all the kids you want. Or.... you can have all the kids you want, just not on the taxpayer's dime. Free will is a great thing......

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Forced sterilization is always too much to ask.

 

I'm absolutely against forced sterilization. But I'm all in favor of coerced birth control. If you get a welfare check, foodstamps or other handout...... you have to get in the Depoprovera shot line first. No shot. no check. As soon as you get off welfare - then you can have all the kids you want. Or.... you can have all the kids you want, just not on the taxpayer's dime. Free will is a great thing......

The majority of these problems are based in poverty, from destruction of the family to low literacy and lack of economic mobility. Unfortunately, our policies have created a perverse incentive for low income kids to have kids. In a period where marriage is a strong indicator of economic stability and mobility, teen birth tends to lock in single motherhood. A disturbing number of my 10th graders have children and probably 30% of my seniors (impression, not measured) have kids. Unfortunately, since poverty is so locked in right now, it incentivises early reproduction ("Auntie HAS to take care of me and my baby.") and thus perpetuates the cycle. Your birth control measure really isn't necessary as birth rates are down right now, the problem is poverty.

 

Economic incentives for early reproduction

http://www.thebigquestions.com/2012/05/14/the-economics-of-teenage-pregnancy/

 

birth rate

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/12/us-births-decline/1880231/

 

Home prices and birth rate

http://econweb.umd.edu/~dettling/dettling_kearney.pdf

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Forced sterilization is always too much to ask.

 

I'm absolutely against forced sterilization. But I'm all in favor of coerced birth control. If you get a welfare check, foodstamps or other handout...... you have to get in the Depoprovera shot line first. No shot. no check. As soon as you get off welfare - then you can have all the kids you want. Or.... you can have all the kids you want, just not on the taxpayer's dime. Free will is a great thing......

 

You do realize that depo provera is not suitable for every woman? That there are risks and side effects from it? That about 50% of people who try it discontinue it because of those side effects?

 

At any point are we going to start holding the men who play an equal role for creating these children accountable?

How about be start putting baby daddies in chastity belts until they are supporting the kids they made so that single mothers don't have to go on food stamps?

 

The current situation is partly a result of a whole generation of men "checking out". Our grandfathers took pride in providing for their family. There is a segment of men today don't give a fuck--the government will pick up the slack and they move on to the next woman. They are neither involved, nor financially responsible.

 

Yes, it takes two to tango, but perhaps it's about time we started heaping the same shame on the men, and holding them accountable to an equal degree, as we do on the "welfare mommas". As I woman, I am disgusted by women who serially reproduce children they can't care for. I advocate for sex education and abortion access so that women have options other than saddling me with the bill for their bad jusgment. It would be nice to see more of the men here looking at their own gender, and apply the same standards and peer pressure to deadbeat serial reproducing men that can't provide as they do to women.

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Forced sterilization is always too much to ask.

 

I'm absolutely against forced sterilization. But I'm all in favor of coerced birth control. If you get a welfare check, foodstamps or other handout...... you have to get in the Depoprovera shot line first. No shot. no check. As soon as you get off welfare - then you can have all the kids you want. Or.... you can have all the kids you want, just not on the taxpayer's dime. Free will is a great thing......

 

You do realize that depo provera is not suitable for every woman? That there are risks and side effects from it? That about 50% of people who try it discontinue it because of those side effects?

 

At any point are we going to start holding the men who play an equal role for creating these children accountable?

How about be start putting baby daddies in chastity belts until they are supporting the kids they made so that single mothers don't have to go on food stamps?

 

The current situation is partly a result of a whole generation of men "checking out". Our grandfathers took pride in providing for their family. There is a segment of men today don't give a fuck--the government will pick up the slack and they move on to the next woman. They are neither involved, nor financially responsible.

 

Yes, it takes two to tango, but perhaps it's about time we started heaping the same shame on the men, and holding them accountable to an equal degree, as we do on the "welfare mommas". As I woman, I am disgusted by women who serially reproduce children they can't care for. I advocate for sex education and abortion access so that women have options other than saddling me with the bill for their bad jusgment. It would be nice to see more of the men here looking at their own gender, and apply the same standards and peer pressure to deadbeat serial reproducing men that can't provide as they do to women.

 

I agree 100%, NG. But until there is a male BC drug - that's really not doable right now. My reasonable plan would include both men and women on welfare. But there just is no male shot, or pill right now.

 

And yes, the Depo shot is just an analogy for whatever BC method can keep them from getting pregnant, something they can't "forget" to take. The shot, the little sticks in the arm, IUD, whatever it takes.

 

The reality is I would bet most women in poverty would JUMP at the chance. Not having kids at a young age would probably be the #1 way for them to get OUT of poverty.

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"The current situation is partly a result of a whole generation of men "checking out". Our grandfathers took pride in providing for their family. There is a segment of men today don't give a fuck--the government will pick up the slack and they move on to the next woman. They are neither involved, nor financially responsible."

 

Let's not try to rewrite history here. One of the problems of the Great Depression was men taking off because they were looking for work in an economy where jobs in general but particularly male dominated industries, such as heavy manufacturing, construction and ag, slowed while the female dominated but lower wage jobs held on. Economic and societal pressures caused these guys to leave.

 

And it seems we're creating a Depression era economy today

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Geez. Everyone is just down on us man whores these days.

 

Nothing wrong with a good man whore, just keep it covered!

I wear pants everywhere I go. Wait. Um...forget I said anything.

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Forced sterilization is always too much to ask.

 

I'm absolutely against forced sterilization. But I'm all in favor of coerced birth control. If you get a welfare check, foodstamps or other handout...... you have to get in the Depoprovera shot line first. No shot. no check. As soon as you get off welfare - then you can have all the kids you want. Or.... you can have all the kids you want, just not on the taxpayer's dime. Free will is a great thing......

 

You do realize that depo provera is not suitable for every woman? That there are risks and side effects from it? That about 50% of people who try it discontinue it because of those side effects?

 

At any point are we going to start holding the men who play an equal role for creating these children accountable?

How about be start putting baby daddies in chastity belts until they are supporting the kids they made so that single mothers don't have to go on food stamps?

 

The current situation is partly a result of a whole generation of men "checking out". Our grandfathers took pride in providing for their family. There is a segment of men today don't give a fuck--the government will pick up the slack and they move on to the next woman. They are neither involved, nor financially responsible.

 

Yes, it takes two to tango, but perhaps it's about time we started heaping the same shame on the men, and holding them accountable to an equal degree, as we do on the "welfare mommas". As I woman, I am disgusted by women who serially reproduce children they can't care for. I advocate for sex education and abortion access so that women have options other than saddling me with the bill for their bad jusgment. It would be nice to see more of the men here looking at their own gender, and apply the same standards and peer pressure to deadbeat serial reproducing men that can't provide as they do to women.

 

I agree 100%, NG. But until there is a male BC drug - that's really not doable right now. My reasonable plan would include both men and women on welfare. But there just is no male shot, or pill right now.

 

And yes, the Depo shot is just an analogy for whatever BC method can keep them from getting pregnant, something they can't "forget" to take. The shot, the little sticks in the arm, IUD, whatever it takes.

 

The reality is I would bet most women in poverty would JUMP at the chance. Not having kids at a young age would probably be the #1 way for them to get OUT of poverty.

 

I wonder how many of those kids having babies at a young age have a father in the picture?

 

No, it's not really feasible to hold men responsible to the same degree as women--the fact is very few women can or will abdicate responsibility for their infants and children. Men do it ALL THE TIME. My dad did it (he was financially responsible, in that he paid court ordered child support, but nothing more). My fiances dad did it.

 

But when you punish the mothers, what you are really doing is punishing the children.

 

I do think it's time for men to have a look at themselves. Why are their so many kids being raised without fathers in their lives? Why are they no longer the chief breadwinners anymore? Why is this acceptable in a way that men don't feel shame about having children with multiple women and being fathers to none of them.

 

We've been beating up on single moms for decades. It hasn't worked. Maybe we need to try instilling some manliness in our men instead.

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So when did America peak, if it is indeed deteriorating. The End Is Near crowd have been around forever and we have been going to hell in a handbasket since we first had a basket. I have known a number of families with two children where one has always been a model citizen and the other a chronic alcoholic/druggie criminal. Nice parents, middle class, church etc.

 

America hasn't gotten worse, we just put too much of it on TV.

The question I had as I read the OP is "isn't Mr. Will basing this entire discussion on the assumption that America is deteriorating?"

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"The reality is I would bet most women in poverty would JUMP at the chance. Not having kids at a young age would probably be the #1 way for them to get OUT of poverty. "

 

The difficulty with that position is that the research indicates that poverty is so entrenched for these kids teen pregnancy has no measurable impact on their social mobility. ie: their poverty is so locked in that having a child doesn't change the chances of them moving up. This provides an incentive for low SE teen pregnancy because there's a social structure to support child rearing and when the child is grown the mother is still young enough to have a life.

 

As for Nauti's question about the fathers; A lot of the fathers that I see ARE involved to some extent but the amount of support that a high school (or middle school) student father can provide is pretty minimal. In fact, providing support for the mother and child is a significant cause of dropouts.

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Forced sterilization is always too much to ask.

 

I'm absolutely against forced sterilization. But I'm all in favor of coerced birth control. If you get a welfare check, foodstamps or other handout...... you have to get in the Depoprovera shot line first. No shot. no check. As soon as you get off welfare - then you can have all the kids you want. Or.... you can have all the kids you want, just not on the taxpayer's dime. Free will is a great thing......

 

You do realize that depo provera is not suitable for every woman? That there are risks and side effects from it? That about 50% of people who try it discontinue it because of those side effects?

 

At any point are we going to start holding the men who play an equal role for creating these children accountable?

How about be start putting baby daddies in chastity belts until they are supporting the kids they made so that single mothers don't have to go on food stamps?

 

The current situation is partly a result of a whole generation of men "checking out". Our grandfathers took pride in providing for their family. There is a segment of men today don't give a fuck--the government will pick up the slack and they move on to the next woman. They are neither involved, nor financially responsible.

 

Yes, it takes two to tango, but perhaps it's about time we started heaping the same shame on the men, and holding them accountable to an equal degree, as we do on the "welfare mommas". As I woman, I am disgusted by women who serially reproduce children they can't care for. I advocate for sex education and abortion access so that women have options other than saddling me with the bill for their bad jusgment. It would be nice to see more of the men here looking at their own gender, and apply the same standards and peer pressure to deadbeat serial reproducing men that can't provide as they do to women.

 

On this - we certainly agree. I'd suggest that it's not an entire generation, but, multiple generations of specific demographics. Unfortunately, it's become passe' in pop culture for men to behave like men, to exercise self restraint and to behave responsibly, and to live up to the promises that their actions and statements infer. But, for boys to become men, they've gotta have someone to teach them how. "baby daddies" certainly don't seem to be doing so.

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Forced sterilization is always too much to ask.

I'm absolutely against forced sterilization. But I'm all in favor of coerced birth control. If you get a welfare check, foodstamps or other handout...... you have to get in the Depoprovera shot line first. No shot. no check. As soon as you get off welfare - then you can have all the kids you want. Or.... you can have all the kids you want, just not on the taxpayer's dime. Free will is a great thing......

I think you make a good point but then I don't think you go far enough.

 

Women who work for companies that receive farm price supports should be in the Depo line; the men should also have reversible vasectomies. All female citizens from Moocher States should get the shot; the males would only be required to have RVs if they are granted visas to non Moocher States. Employees of Goldman Sachs can be trusted to exhibit will control but then any resulting infant children would be sold on the adoptive children market. Employees of companies receiving non-competitively bid government contracts get the shot and the snip.

 

We could start with that.

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Education has deteriorated quite a bit over the past century. In an effort to teach advanced math to every kid in high school we have overlooked addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of fractions, decimals and whole numbers. If a student fails to grasp these concepts early on, the answer is a simple calculator. From that point on the student is crippled in mathematics. As far as literature goes, the political agenda behind language arts has ruined the ability to read and understand complex sentences. No longer are Hemingway and other great word smiths required reading, now we must read "The Bluest Eye," and other stories with a particular political slant. The issue here is that the language used reinforces the idea that mastery of language is not needed and slang will work just fine. I am not saying that these stories have no merit, but I am concerned about the lack of good language as an example. Further, NCLB is a complete and total disaster. The idea of mainstreaming students who are not capable of normal classroom activity is just wishful dreamland at its best. Individual Education Plans are fine but understand that all students are not equal. Lowering standards to the lowest common denominator is cheating those who could be our best performers. Finally someone else said that trying to send every student to a four year university is not a good idea. I could not agree more. As it is, the available jobs that require a four year or better degree make up about 20% of the total. So the stereotypical grad-student living with his/her parents because there are no jobs for their degree is partly due to the lye that once you have a four year degree everything will be roses. More unicorns and rainbows. Further that with the common misconception that special ed students are suited for technical jobs and the rainbows now have a pot of gold. The truth is that technical jobs are more demanding than ever.

 

Add to the education problem our current hate for manufacturing and the future looks bleak. The constant attack on manufacturing has finally forced much of it off shore. Then the same people who cry about the big manufacturers complain about exporting high paying jobs. Well, what else can be expected?

 

Finally add to those issues the glorification of the thug. RAP stars without "street cred" are pushed aside to make room for the pure thugs. The less morality, the worse the language the better. I thought it was bad with football stars in the 70's. Now it seems anyone with decency is pushed aside as just too boring. Many of us know better but look the other way in the belief that not being PC is a bad thing. Little Johnny may have a conviction sheet three pages long, but he is making a lot of money and its all good.

 

If we want to set an example we should first decide which example to set. As of now, it is not a very moral or educated example that the rest of the world sees.

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"Education has deteriorated quite a bit over the past century."

 

I'm not so sure. What we've lost, at the risk of hijacking, is a clear and achievable purpose for public education. Making every student ready for college is not achievable, making every student "job ready" is already achieved as so many of the jobs created are for low wage service industries.

 

What I see is educational standards that are set by politicians for political reasons without any idea of the impacts of these standards. An example from Common Core is the standard to teach Plato's Republic, Cicero's On the Republic and On the Law and Aristotle's Politics without any requirement to mention Greece or Rome. The student will, however, have to be able to write a coherent essay on these topics. In 4 teaching days. With more than 60% special ed, emotionally disturbed and english second language. The standards have no real relation to the ability of the kids or meeting the "job ready" requirement.

 

As a society, we need to decide what public education SHOULD be. In other countries, schools are tasked to reinforce a unifying culture as well as a minimal level of competencies (not that the minimal level is low, they work at getting everyone to that level rather than working at "excellence"). In our past, we've tasked schools with reinforcing religious instruction, inculcating a unifying culture, promoting nationalism, encouraging self actualization and now, choice. A lot of the "decline" of American culture comes from a lack of unity deriving from our shift toward market solutions for all problems. Without getting into a discussion about effeciancy of the market, I think that the way we've applied the belief has increasingly fragmented society into "us" and a whole bunch of "thems" rather than a single "us".

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I wonder how many of those kids having babies at a young age have a father in the picture?

 

No, it's not really feasible to hold men responsible to the same degree as women--the fact is very few women can or will abdicate responsibility for their infants and children. Men do it ALL THE TIME. My dad did it (he was financially responsible, in that he paid court ordered child support, but nothing more). My fiances dad did it.

 

But when you punish the mothers, what you are really doing is punishing the children.

 

I do think it's time for men to have a look at themselves. Why are their so many kids being raised without fathers in their lives? Why are they no longer the chief breadwinners anymore? Why is this acceptable in a way that men don't feel shame about having children with multiple women and being fathers to none of them.

 

We've been beating up on single moms for decades. It hasn't worked. Maybe we need to try instilling some manliness in our men instead.

Again, I disagree with you at all about the mans need to take responsibility. But how does my idea to require mandatory birth control in order to receive welfare "punishing" women??? I can't think of many wowen on the dole already with 3 kids who would say no, I like getting pregnant with random dudes.

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Forced sterilization is always too much to ask.

I'm absolutely against forced sterilization. But I'm all in favor of coerced birth control. If you get a welfare check, foodstamps or other handout...... you have to get in the Depoprovera shot line first. No shot. no check. As soon as you get off welfare - then you can have all the kids you want. Or.... you can have all the kids you want, just not on the taxpayer's dime. Free will is a great thing......
I think you make a good point but then I don't think you go far enough.

 

Women who work for companies that receive farm price supports should be in the Depo line; the men should also have reversible vasectomies. All female citizens from Moocher States should get the shot; the males would only be required to have RVs if they are granted visas to non Moocher States. Employees of Goldman Sachs can be trusted to exhibit will control but then any resulting infant children would be sold on the adoptive children market. Employees of companies receiving non-competitively bid government contracts get the shot and the snip.

 

We could start with that.

Was that sarcasm? It was hard to tell. So you think it's ok to be on the dole and pop out as many kids as you want, while the taxpayers fund not only her but every new kid she squeezes out? Really? If your issue is farm subsidies, I'm ok with doing away with those too.

 

And while we may not break the cycle of poverty for the mother or father on welfare - every kid we keep from being born into that life is one less kid stuck in generational poverty. It's not like I'm suggesting we abort poor kids in the womb because their mothers don't meet an economic threshold. I'm just suggesting we break the cycle of poverty by having less people born into it. How is that a bad thing? What am I missing here. Serious question.

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With the best sarcasm, it should be hard to tell.

 

I'm just suggesting we break the cycle of poverty by having less people born into it. How is that a bad thing? What am I missing here. Serious question.

 

Read this. Seriously.

 

If you want less poverty, don't punish poverty, create more jobs. Or you can feel good about beating up on the Caddy driving welfare queens. BTW, if you want less war and more democracy, trade; I hear Iran has really good peanuts.

 

My own mother was receiving WIC (Women, Infants and Children) benefits when I was born. My brothers and sister and I have been incredibly successful. So I don't see that causal relationship between welfare and poverty. AT ALL. My examples above were trying to illustrate all of the OTHER forms of welfare.

 

Should limits be in force? Hell yeah. Of course, we means test welfare recipients but we should have sliding cutoffs rather than cliffs. We should also means test social security recipients as well. But your Draconian proposal is a punative punishment for a venial sin.

 

BTW, the tax code is written to benefit the Married With Children crowd. Welcome to your United Socialist States of America, comrade.

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Unless i have a womb nobody told me about, I'm going with these realities:

 

Women create the babies either consensually or as forced ("rape"). Regarding the latter, there is the Plan B pill, abortion, or, adoption. On the former, if it seems unfair that a woman risks pregnancy while a man does not, take that up with the deity of your choice, kids. Men did not make that arrangement; honorable men will act as if this risk is theirs as well, though biologically, it's ultimately up to the women to make decisions and act upon them with regard to "their own bodies". That's what women have fought long and hard for, choices. Over "their bodies." One can choose not to become pregnant, or at least reduce the odds substantially.

 

One can choose to have sex with men who seem to have principles. One can deny sex to a man who won't wear a rubber. One can chose another form of birth control if affordable/available but there is at least the raincoat, that she can demand HE provide and demand he use. It doesn't get any cheaper than that. One can avoid sex with someone who would not make a good father (see "principles"). Finally, one can avoid premarital sex.

 

Men & women alike can work towards these ends, though of the two sexes, one is guaranteed not to get pregnant. I suggest the other half realize the power of choice that nature, or "god" if you prefer, gave them and quit blaming men in general for what some women have allowed to happen by omission (excepting rape, for which there are still options).

 

No woman I've ever been with has ever participated without her own free will involved. It was always her decision. Our concern, our responsibility, but always her womb and her ultimate choice not only whether sex was going to happen, but also under what circumstances it might occur.

 

Girls at a young age, at all socioeconomic levels, need to feel empowered to make these decisions, and then make them.

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Members of the military should face forced sterilization until their commitment is finished. They too suck off the public teat.

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Children of service members often fall into the welfare roles for benefits. Should soldiers face a choice of mandatory birth control vs. pay?

What say you Jeff?

 

BTW Jeff, is the broken family you left behind an example of how lack of family at the core of America's Deterioration?

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Children of service members often fall into the welfare roles for benefits. Should soldiers face a choice of mandatory birth control vs. pay?

What say you Jeff?

 

BTW Jeff, is the broken family you left behind an example of how lack of family at the core of America's Deterioration?

Excellent question.

 

I'm slipping.

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Children of service members often fall into the welfare roles for benefits. Should soldiers face a choice of mandatory birth control vs. pay?

What say you Jeff?

 

BTW Jeff, is the broken family you left behind an example of how lack of family at the core of America's Deterioration?

Excellent question.

 

I'm slipping.

 

 

You would almost be a benefit to society if you were even one one-thousandth of a man as most of the guys here. But since you're not, well,....you're not. So please enjoy the rest of your insignificant life, Lizard Boi........

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Children of service members often fall into the welfare roles for benefits. Should soldiers face a choice of mandatory birth control vs. pay?

What say you Jeff?

 

BTW Jeff, is the broken family you left behind an example of how lack of family at the core of America's Deterioration?

Excellent question.

 

I'm slipping.

 

 

You would almost be a benefit to society if you were even one one-thousandth of a man as most of the guys here. But since you're not, well,....you're not. So please enjoy the rest of your insignificant life, Lizard Boi........

So you think you'rw a man because you skipped out on your 3 buddies the night they were murdered?

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If you would have paid attention, labia head, you'd recall that I was a hundred miles away in Palm Springs that day. But hey, please carry on with your stupidosity. You're nothing if not somewhat entertaining------in a goldfish blowing fart bubbles kind of way....

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If you would have paid attention, labia head, you'd recall that I was a hundred miles away in Palm Springs that day. But hey, please carry on with your stupidosity. You're nothing if not somewhat entertaining------in a goldfish blowing fart bubbles kind of way....

So you were tipped off? DO you think your drug habit contributed to their death?

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Members of the military should face forced sterilization until their commitment is finished. They too suck off the public teat.

 

Krauthammer likes to spice up his rhetoric with that phrase. It's a phrase that certain people, like Charles and....maybe Uncle Fester, shouldn't ever be caught rubbing together with in a public setting.

 

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With the best sarcasm, it should be hard to tell.

 

I'm just suggesting we break the cycle of poverty by having less people born into it. How is that a bad thing? What am I missing here. Serious question.

 

Read this. Seriously.

 

If you want less poverty, don't punish poverty, create more jobs. Or you can feel good about beating up on the Caddy driving welfare queens. BTW, if you want less war and more democracy, trade; I hear Iran has really good peanuts.

 

My own mother was receiving WIC (Women, Infants and Children) benefits when I was born. My brothers and sister and I have been incredibly successful. So I don't see that causal relationship between welfare and poverty. AT ALL. My examples above were trying to illustrate all of the OTHER forms of welfare.

 

Should limits be in force? Hell yeah. Of course, we means test welfare recipients but we should have sliding cutoffs rather than cliffs. We should also means test social security recipients as well. But your Draconian proposal is a punative punishment for a venial sin.

 

BTW, the tax code is written to benefit the Married With Children crowd. Welcome to your United Socialist States of America, comrade.

Again, I fail to understand how helping women keep from getting pregnant while they are poor is "punishing" them. I seriously doubt there are many poor women who wish they could get knocked up by some guy she met at the bar last night after working a double shift at Walmart. I see nothing draconian about. Draconian is if we forced poor women to abort babies.

 

And I don't think that married should get any more tax breaks that singles don't. I don't agree with social engineering through the tax code. You're talking to the wrong guy.

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You aren't helping them. You are coercing them with great penalties. That is Draconian.

 

Your suggestion doesn't even apply to you. But the 2A applies to you. So I think anyone who gets a DUI, BUI, any felony, any tax lien, any restraining order, any violent offense, ... ought to lose their 2A rights.

 

That sort of law would apply to you. I don't own guns so I don't really care how you feel. Now suddenly the govmint is constantly judging whether you can exercise a right that you hold dear. Feels a little different, doesn't it?

 

BTW, it's not possible to not engineer through the tax code, even with a flat tax. All policy choices are choices with social effects.

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With the best sarcasm, it should be hard to tell.

 

I'm just suggesting we break the cycle of poverty by having less people born into it. How is that a bad thing? What am I missing here. Serious question.

 

Read this. Seriously.

 

If you want less poverty, don't punish poverty, create more jobs. Or you can feel good about beating up on the Caddy driving welfare queens. BTW, if you want less war and more democracy, trade; I hear Iran has really good peanuts.

 

My own mother was receiving WIC (Women, Infants and Children) benefits when I was born. My brothers and sister and I have been incredibly successful. So I don't see that causal relationship between welfare and poverty. AT ALL. My examples above were trying to illustrate all of the OTHER forms of welfare.

 

Should limits be in force? Hell yeah. Of course, we means test welfare recipients but we should have sliding cutoffs rather than cliffs. We should also means test social security recipients as well. But your Draconian proposal is a punative punishment for a venial sin.

 

BTW, the tax code is written to benefit the Married With Children crowd. Welcome to your United Socialist States of America, comrade.

Again, I fail to understand how helping women keep from getting pregnant while they are poor is "punishing" them. I seriously doubt there are many poor women who wish they could get knocked up by some guy she met at the bar last night after working a double shift at Walmart. I see nothing draconian about. Draconian is if we forced poor women to abort babies.

 

And I don't think that married should get any more tax breaks that singles don't. I don't agree with social engineering through the tax code. You're talking to the wrong guy.

 

 

it is also draconian to force a woman to carry a fetus she does not want...the problem is with the forcing and mandating reproduction, jeff.

i wholeheartedly agree that birth control should be made available to women with low income and un and underinsured women at little or no cost and on insurance policies without a "penalty charge"....abortions as well. take a look at who is arguing against those things and why.

sometimes it amazes me where people think government involvement is appropriate.

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You aren't helping them. You are coercing them with great penalties. That is Draconian.

 

Your suggestion doesn't even apply to you. But the 2A applies to you. So I think anyone who gets a DUI, BUI, any felony, any tax lien, any restraining order, any violent offense, ... ought to lose their 2A rights.

 

That sort of law would apply to you. I don't own guns so I don't really care how you feel. Now suddenly the govmint is constantly judging whether you can exercise a right that you hold dear. Feels a little different, doesn't it?

 

BTW, it's not possible to not engineer through the tax code, even with a flat tax. All policy choices are choices with social effects.

 

Olson - Let's go into this a little. I actually agree w/the latter of the two bolded sentences. If a person isn't capable (not assigning fault w/this comment, I understand how socio-economic factors beyond the person's control shape decision making) of making decisions that are in their best interest, should laws and programs help guide them in a direction that has a greater chance of the individual being self sufficient?

 

Which is the greater penalty - enforcing birth control, or permitting the girl who wasn't informed enough to make good decisions to suffer an entire life of dependence on public assistance? Please note that I am mentioning the girl, as it's typically the mother who's left to shoulder the burden of children not supported by absent fathers.

 

I'm not advocating a position, rather I'm interested in understanding how folks feel about this.

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The best solution is for the government to offer free, easy, convenient and unrestricted access to birth control. And a variety of it. And education programs targeted at the highest risk teenagers. How do you think the Church will respond to that?

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The best solution is for the government to offer free, easy, convenient and unrestricted access to birth control. And a variety of it. And education programs targeted at the highest risk teenagers. How do you think the Church will respond to that?

 

Which Church?

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The best solution is for the government to offer free, easy, convenient and unrestricted access to birth control. And a variety of it. And education programs targeted at the highest risk teenagers. How do you think the Church will respond to that?

 

Which Church?

Roman Catholic. did you see the capital C?

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The best solution is for the government to offer free, easy, convenient and unrestricted access to birth control. And a variety of it. And education programs targeted at the highest risk teenagers. How do you think the Church will respond to that?

 

Which Church?

Roman Catholic. did you see the capital C?

 

I did indeed, sir - didn't understand the connotation you were suggesting. The official position of the Catholic church is still pretty consistent (and outdated, IMHO) w/r/t being against birth control. That position doesn't help - especially given the current trends in teenage latinas becoming moms. (no stats, casual observations from our local HS student body)

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So when did America peak, if it is indeed deteriorating. The End Is Near crowd have been around forever and we have been going to hell in a handbasket since we first had a basket. I have known a number of families with two children where one has always been a model citizen and the other a chronic alcoholic/druggie criminal. Nice parents, middle class, church etc.

 

America hasn't gotten worse, we just put too much of it on TV.

The question I had as I read the OP is "isn't Mr. Will basing this entire discussion on the assumption that America is deteriorating?"

 

It is changing, and change means some things are deteriorating while others are thriving. Manhattan, which used to be a shithole of a place with high crime, prostitution and drugs, is now about as safe a place as Disneyworld. At the same time, there are factory and mining towns that are now on the second or third generation of increasing poverty. For them, the world is deteriorating, regardless of how safe Times Square has become.

 

When it comes to kids having kids, I think we are going to be facing a real problem in the coming decades. More affluent people are not having kids, or are only having one child and having it much later in life. Meanwhile, kids stuck in poverty are having kids. This only means that the income disparity we see today is likely going to be far far worse in 2 decades. I don't know what the answer is here. Our social safety nets do provide an incentive to perpetuate the problem. We created the social safety nets because as a society we decided that we did not like the idea of poor people starving. While that may be a noble idea, it does have implications in that it removes a strong disincentive for poor people to reproduce. This is not a whole lot different than the issues we have been facing with medical care. As long as we are not willing to deny care to people who can not pay for it, there will be those who put themselves into positions of needing care for which they can not pay. Giving it to them anyway removes the disincentive. We do it because the idea of wheeling a stroke patient into the street to die is offensive to us. The only thing I am positive of, is that what we are doing now is not helping anyone. What we do now is support people who make bad decisions, relieving them of suffering the consequences of their decisions, while at the same time making no demands of them as that would offend our sense of liberty and freedom. On the one hand we are building in socialist structures, while stubbornly refusing to implement them in ways that would be remotely effective as that would clash with our ideals as individualists and freedom loving capitalists. We are sitting on a fence, tilting from one side to the other, and getting an increasingly splintered ass.

 

Apologies for the long winded and rambling post.

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