What The Traditional Family Has To Do With Achieving The Ameican Dream.


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Bloomberg conducted a study a few years ago that showed most Americans no longer have faith in the American Dream. Bloomberg reported;


"The widening gap between rich and poor is eroding faith in the American dream. By almost two to one — 64 percent to 33 percent — Americans say the U.S. no longer offers everyone an equal chance to get ahead, according to a Bloomberg National Poll. And some say the government isn't doing much to help."


"The lack of faith is especially pronounced among those making less than $50,000 a year: By a 73 percent to 24 percent margin, they say the economy is unfair. Even 60 percent of those whose annual income is $100,000 or more bemoan the absence of a fair deal while 39 percent say everyone has an equal shot to advance."


These results shouldn't surprise anyone. After all, the Media's preoccupation with income inequality ends up creating the perception in the minds of people that the American Dream is a myth and that the rich are getting richer at their expense. No wonder they want the government to intervene.


The truth of the matter is that the American Dream has nothing to do with income inequality, but everything to do with whether or not you come from an intact family. The National Review featured an article on its website a few weeks ago, "What an Intact Family Has to Do with the American Dream, in Six Charts."


The article discusses a study that reveals why those from intact homes are more likely to achive the American Dream. As the family continues to fall apart, its only logical that we will see an even greater divide between the rich and poor. Rather than focus on the root cause of the problems in society, this generation will turn to the government even more which will only make the problem worse. 


To save the reader time, I went ahead and highlighted the main ideas from each of the six categories listed in the study.



One: Fewer families are headed by married parents.

     “One big reason ordinary families are struggling is that fewer families are headed by married parents.” This matters “because married parents are more likely to pool their income, save more, and spend more on their children, compared with single parents. To make matters worse, this retreat from marriage is concentrated among Americans without college degrees.”

Two: Children raised in intact families are less likely to fall afoul of detours on the road to the American Dream.

     “Boys and girls raised in intact families are more likely to flourish in the labor force later in life. One reason? They are less likely to fall afoul of the detours on the road to the American Dream that can put teens and young adults on the wrong track. A nonmarital birth, for instance, puts a real economic strain on both women and men. That’s partly because such births can derail schooling and decrease adults’ future chances of getting and staying married. And a stable family protects them against these kinds of detours. The chart below shows that young men and young women from intact families are, respectively, 5 and 12 percent less likely to have a child before marriage, compared with their peers from single-parent families.”


Three: Children raised in intact families are more likely to acquire the human capital they need to live the American Dream.

    “Children from intact families are less likely to drop out of high school...to put this positively: Young men and women are more likely to acquire the education they need to compete in today’s global economy if they were raised in an intact home with both of their parents.”

     “Having two parents in the picture typically increases the amount of time, attention, encouragement, and money that can be devoted to a child’s education. It also protects children from the household moves and emotional stress associated with family instability, both factors that seem to hurt children’s odds of educational success in high school and beyond.”

Four: Young men and women raised in intact families work more hours.

     “It’s a simple idea: On average, the more hours you work, the more experience you gain in the labor force and the more money you make. What’s clear from the data is that young men and young women who are raised by their own biological or adoptive parents in an intact family work more hours as young adults aged 28 to 30...our analyses suggest that part of the reason is that these young adults have more education and fewer children born out of wedlock in their personal histories.”


Five: Young men raised in intact families make more money.

     “Today, young men and women who are raised by their own biological or adoptive parents in an intact family make more money. Specifically, 28- to 30-year-old men make more than $6,500 more than peers who come from single-parent families but otherwise hail from largely similar backgrounds; their family income is also about $16,000 greater, on average.”

Six: Young women raised in intact families make more money.

     "Likewise, young women who grow up in an intact family also make more money for themselves and enjoy more family income, compared with their peers who grew up in single-parent families but who were otherwise comparable to them in most respects. They make at least $4,700 more personally, and enjoy family incomes that are at least $12,000 greater, compared with their female peers from single-parent families. Note here that one reason that these young women and men enjoy higher family incomes is that they are more likely to be married compared with their peers from non-intact families."


The bottom line: “Both young men and young women who grow up in an intact, two-parent family have a leg up in today’s competitive economy. By contrast, young adults from single-parent families are much more likely to be floundering in this economy. It’s for that reason, in part, that Americans of all stripes — be they conservative or liberal — concerned about the health of the American Dream should be concerned about the health of the American family.”

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Interesting OP.


It seems to me a somewhat cynical, mercenary proposition, though, that families should remain intact because that way they will be richer, and so will be the offspring. Even at my advanced age, I'm romantic enough to believe in love and happiness, and that these considerations should be fundamental to the longevity of a marriage.


I might add that correlation is not causation. It just may not be that a sustained marriage causes offspring success.


It may be that the stresses caused by poverty, or ill-health, or poor educational attainment, and/or other factors, like alcoholism or drug addiction, affect both the stability of a marriage and the subsequent success of the children. It may be also that wealth is instrumental to both long marriages and offspring success.


If this is true, then we should be tackling the causes of low achievement, and not, in marital breakdown, one of the symptoms of it. It's my belief that happy marriages are made by happy people being together, and that unhappy people being together does not make for a long marriage, and nor should it.


Best wishes, 2RM.

Edited by 2ndRateMind
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

BTW, I oppose the idea that marriage should only be sustained so long as both partners are happy and "in love."  Happiness is situational, romantic feelings ebb and flow.  Marriage-love endures sickness, sadness, and even squabbles.  It is an absolute endightment of American-style "no obligation" marriages that the #1 reason couples give for divorce is money troubles.  Unfaithfulness?  Abandonment?  Okay, we may need to talk about reboots.  "I'm not feelin' it anymore?"  I say grow up!

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