By David Anderson
With the candidate filing deadline for local offices May 17th, be wary of those who promise to work at improving the economy without – as a central plank in their platform – specifics for strengthening the family.
In somewhat the same fashion as a country- and comedy -western posse heads confidently out of town to chase down the bad guys, there are some — not just pundits, but mostly politicos and wannabe politicians — that say our country is going down too many wrong paths, tracking false leads — abortion suggested as one — when clearly visible, to them anyway, in the sand are the unmistakable — not even tell-tale — obvious signs that the trouble-makers went that way.
‘That way’ being economic growth, job creation, financial system reform, and like-identified matters all appearing expansive and strategic on the surface but in reality just code words for bigger government and, were these vote-for-me candidate’s truth told when asked for specifics you’d be left with their reply: ‘I have no idea.’
But, by golly, bring those hombres under control, say advocates, and prosperity returns to the country.
Saying that abortion is a mere distraction and that the so-called larger issues of business retention and expansion instead deserve our attention, is tantamount to mounting up on the horse backwards.
Whenever money trumps morality, political expediency supplants respect for humanity, and a discussion of the economy fails to factor in what has been happening to the family, you’re riding into a boxed canyon ambush.
America is well down that trail.
In a column entitled “Demography is Destiny” — not ‘economy-is-destiny’ by the way — Marcus Roberts cites China’s one-child policy as an example, a policy ostensibly based upon the food security argument.
Turns out now that the threat of famine in China, according to two US-based researchers — Huang Wenzheng, PhD in Statistics at John Hopkins University and Liang Jianzhang, professor of Economics at Stanford University — was groundless given “supply and waste and politics, not population” were better predictors of food shortage.
“One of the fears back in the 1970s of the Chinese government was that it would be unable to adequately feed its burgeoning population resulting in under-nutrition.”
But, as Robert’s article describes, China’s one child policy had little to do with keeping China fed. In fact the authors cited conclude “the future of China’s food security will not be secured by limiting population and that attempts to do so merely reduces China’s full ‘potential’” — economic and otherwise.
“To continue to limit people’s fertility instead of allowing an immediate and full liberalization of childbearing is a chokehold that smothers China’s true potential.
“China is now in danger of growing old before it grows rich.”
Hardly a distraction, abortion may have proved China’s undoing as “even if the policy were reversed tomorrow, it may be too late to raise China’s low fertility rate. The ‘true potential’ of China may already have been smothered.”
So too in America.
In the same era as China’s abortion mandate, America’s Supreme Court in 1973 legalized abortion in all 50 states. In the ensuing years, “the number of children in the average American household fell by 50 percent . . . a loss of well over 50 million workers,” write analysts for the Policy, Family Research Council (PFRC).
Henry Potrykus, Ph. D., Senior Fellow; Patrick Fagan, Ph. D., Director; and Robert Schwarzwalder, Senior Vice President of PFRC show in charts and graphs the family with “proportionately fewer children” and with “55 percent of U.S. children entering adulthood in 2008 (having) experienced the breakup of their family of origin.”
With marriage and the family in decline “up to 20 percent of these children are unequipped to compete in the modern economy because of a lack of essential skills formed within the intact married family” and are thus forced into dependency upon government all of which equates to an economic model that cannot be sustained the authors contend.
Indeed, Factcheck.org reports that “the number of people receiving food-stamp assistance has continued to grow, and now more people have been added to the food-stamp rolls under Obama than under any single previous president.”
Not only are more people receiving food stamps, but their use has increased 10 times that of job creation.
Interestingly, as “supply and waste and politics, not population” were better predictors of food shortage in China, so “waste, fraud, and abuse” were the culprits identified by South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune and Indiana Republican Rep. Marlin Stutzman who recently “introduced legislation aimed at saving $30 billion in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program over a decade,” according to Carolyn May, political reporter for The Daily Caller.
Expanding the girth of government, and those dependent on it, even while the size and strength of the nuclear family is diminished, is to shoot our economy in the foot.
“Little change occurred in the traditional definition of civil marriage until California authorized no-fault divorce in 1962,” writes Jim Daly of Focus on the Family. “No-fault divorce promised to simplify, streamline and decrease the contentiousness surrounding marital breakup. Instead, it only encouraged struggling spouses to throw in the towel. Father’s abandoned their families in droves. Poverty levels skyrocketed. Prison populations increased at dramatic levels, a consequence of kids now growing up without a father in the home.”
With what economic impact?
“Married families are the essential contributors to wealth generation,” state Potrykus, Fagan, and Schwarzwalder. “Their income and savings immediately translate into revenue for government and capital for the economy. Thus we can now see,” the authors conclude, “that the transition of our country since the 1960’s from a nation of intact families to a nation with a majority of broken families produces a much-weakened economy.
“We cannot tax, spend, and borrow enough to substitute for marriage.”
In a separate article Fagan declares, “Without healthy families you can kiss the Great American Economy goodbye.”
Appropriately Fagan’s piece is published on MercatorNet which website banner declares its purpose to be “Navigating modern complexities” — as in actually thinking your way through matters of great consequence and as opposed to the cocktail banalities offered by vote-for-me candidates.
As per the PFRC team, “The long-range solution to our economic difficulties is to
grow intact married families rather than growing government.”
With apologies to James Carville and the first Bill Clinton campaign for President, it’s not after all the economy stupid.
It’s the family.