Wednesday, April 14, 2010

As the Family goes, so goes Culture.


My friend Patrick Fagan has an extremely powerful and important piece today on The Catholic Thing blog. Here are a few samples:
The crazy news on births this year is that rising out-of-wedlock births are not news! In the upside-down-world of modern journalism two disturbing bits of data were interpreted in the press as good news: Rejoice! Out-of-wedlock birth rates are dropping and teen birth rates are dropping! Sounds good? Read further.

The first piece of bad news (the piece that was turned into good news): our total fertility rate has dropped below the replacement rate (2.1). It is now 2.086. The other (and really bad) news is that the percentage of children born out of wedlock birth has continued to rise. This year, for the first time, it broke through the 40 percent level. . .rising for all groups and all ages. . . .

However this news on rates is about what did not happen. . .the babies that were not born. But looking at the babies who were born – those that entered our society in 2008 – we find that more were born out of wedlock than ever before. And across every ethnic group (except Asian-Americans) and every single age group without exception, from under age 15 to age 40, the percent born out of wedlock rose. . . .

The future will exact its price for this self-indulgence: lower happiness, health, mental health, educational achievement, income, and savings, along with greater rates of depression, anxiety, abuse, crime, addictions, and poverty. All these will place still more strain on the public purse, a purse which, as a long-term result of these out-of-wedlock births, will have proportionally fewer productive taxpayers capable of putting money into the public purse. Reaction from Congress and the White House: nil. Welcome to change as we have never known it.

In 1965, the Department of Labor issued Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s famous report, The Negro Family: The Case for National Action, which analyzed the implications of the out-of-wedlock birth rate of 1963, then at 23.6 percent for Black Americans – now at its highest ever, 72.3 percent. Back then the rate among Whites was 3.07 percent, now it is 28.6 percent. Data on births to Hispanic mothers were not gathered back then, but a rough rule of thumb has been that their percent of out-of-wedlock births has been roughly half way between the white and the black. For 2008 it was 52.5 percent. . . .

It will take a very different form of government to govern a populace which does not take care of its own, but increasingly relies on others to do the irreplaceable work of parenting. Those who have wondered whether Middle Eastern countries have cultures capable of sustaining democracies might look a bit closer to home. In Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s inimitable phrase we continue our trend of “defining deviancy down.” This does not make for a self-reliant republic, much less for the nation that is the linchpin of democratic freedom across the world.
The whole piece is here, don't miss it.

1 comment:

Mizz E said...

Meanwhile, from a land far away, Diana West reports: ". . . what the family wants the family gets -- in this case an international audience for the prostration of US military brass before Islamic and tribal ritual."

A United States admiral has offered sheep to be slaughtered in a "tribal ritual" of begging forgiveness.