The members of TheBlaze audience are familiar with the lament of America's slide — culturally, economically and politically. All sorts of government programs have been attempted to fix these problems — they've been tested and failed repeatedly.
What if there's an answer that's been there all along, but we, in our efforts to be politically correct and libertine and to avoid sounding judgmental, have pushed it aside?
In his cover story for the July/August issue of TheBlaze Magazine, writer and comedian Steven Crowder (@scrowder) explains why the best hope for our nation can be found in the greatest institution. Marriage improves the economics of men and women, is the best indicator of success for kids, and helps decrease crime.
As Crowder notes, "If we could get every young American to just change their perspective on marriage to that of a positive one. What kind of a nation could we have? What could it do to poverty, crime, loneliness and brokenness? What could it do for prosperity, productivity, health and safety? No federal intervention required. All of this starts with each one of us."
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Below is an excerpt from the July/August 2014 cover story, "Marriage Makes Us Stronger." The full story is available ONLY in the newest issue of TheBlaze Magazine.
Marriage. The second we mention the word amidst any kind of political discourse, one can hear the squeaks of colleagues as they pucker up uncomfortably in unison. That’s because the word is usually preceded by something ugly or exclusive and is often followed by something controversial or polarizing.
How did we come to be in this madhouse? […]
Why aren’t we sharing the greatness and happiness of marriage more? Why aren’t happily married men and women everywhere trumpeting it from their rooftops? Why are we allowing political correctness, fear and human imperfection to trump hard work, encouragement and love?
Those who actively destroy marriage are certainly vocal. … The message to today’s American youth is pretty clear: Marriage is no fun and not worth it.
Here’s the problem: By every measurable, statistical barometer currently available to us, it’s untrue. […]
We have an administration that believes in providing access to more freebies and government subsidized “affordable” luxuries than ever in our country’s history. Why? It’s all done under the guise of “helping the next generation.” Will someone please think of the children?!
… We’re told that young people need better public schools. So we throw money at it.
We're told that young people need better health care. Throw money at it.
Young people need more “freedom of choice.” Throw money and free birth control at it.
We’ve been promised that all of these things will help to strengthen America’s future, ensuring generations of level-headed, competitive young professionals for decades to come.
Only, it doesn’t work.
In the name of political correctness, we’ve been duped. We’ve been sold a lie in order to hide a truth; that there is one key detail that would hold more influence than all of those things combined—simply having more husbands, wives, mommies and daddies.
KEY TO SUCCESS
[…] A 2002 report from the Urban Institute showed that 16 percent of cohabiting couples, 24.2 percent of single-parent households with more than one adult and 38.1 percent of single-parent households with no other adults lived in poverty compared to only 8.2 percent of married couples.
This is not too surprising considering that, according to a report in the Journal of Marriage and Family (JMF), the average income of males in married-couple families is twice that of males in cohabiting-couple families.
What about the women? The economic status, says the JMF, in the year before and after a birth to single, non-teenage (age 20 or older) mothers was more similar to that of teenage mothers than that of their married non-teenage peers.
Not only that, but married couples are better off:
➤ They have saved more—an average of $6,000 to $6,500 more than unmarried couples, according to “Marriage and the Economy”;
➤ they have greater household assets: The Family Relations journal says married couples have almost four times the level of assets of female-headed homes; and
➤ they pass along more wealth to their children, says the Urban Institute.
… The tale that the mere money numbers don’t tell is just how valuable a stable, married household is for a child’s emotional wellbeing. Just how important is a strong, married household for children?
Children born into households with married mommies and daddies are:
➤ Less likely to commit crimes: The Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency reports that the most reliable indicator of violent crime in a community is the proportion of fatherless families. Children from two-parent families are much less prone than children from single-parent families to use drugs, be gang members, be committed to reform institutions and, scarily enough, to become juvenile murderers. How’s that for starters?
➤ Statistically more likely to stay in/finish school: A study in the journal Demography reveals that students from married households completed, on average, more years of schooling than their single-parent-household counterparts.
➤ Better students: Data from the Marriage and Religion Research Institute show children from married, in-tact households are the most likely to receive A’s in school out of any demographic. They also perform better on standardized tests.
➤ Less likely to have behavioral issues at school: Statistically, says the JMF, children from married, in-tact households (in comparison to single or blended households) were less likely to have ever been suspended or expelled from school; less likely to have engaged in delinquent activities in the past 12 months; less likely to have problems getting along with their teachers, doing homework, and paying attention in school; and less likely to have lower grade-point averages.
So what does all of this mean for future generations? Well, it includes a generation of Americans who, reports Demography, would be more likely to:
➤ Go to college: Once they’ve finished high school, children from married homes are more likely to attend (as well as complete) college compared to peers raised in blended or single-parent families.
➤ Get a good job: Again, this comes back to children of married, in-tact households starting off with better opportunities to build more wealth and contribute to a better economy.
Overall, this just adds up to these future-adults contributing less to the country’s current plague of ne’er-do-wellery. And perhaps most importantly, these young adults will be more likely to start a family of their own and perpetuate a cycle of wealth creation and longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives for generations to come.
Want more? Get the full cover story on the power strong marriages could have on the future of our nation and much more in TheBlaze Magazine.
Crowder has more research on what a new mindset on marriage could mean and isn't afraid to call out those who need to change their ways and start putting the concerns of their families and their country ahead of their own interests--all in the newest issue of TheBlaze Magazine—which you can get for FREE.
Follow Chris Field (@ChrisMField) on Twitter