[FoRK] New Benefits of Marriage Study Actually Hints at the Horrors of Middle Age

geege schuman geege4 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 22 10:43:47 PST 2015

This?  (Denmark not Sweden, but I can see why you went there.)


On Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 1:03 PM, Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:

> On 1/22/15 8:38 AM, Tom Higgins wrote:
>> So maybe I am not the best person to be  commenting on marriage having
>> been
>> thru one from beginning to end...but...
>> Legislating social machinations ...two words... Gaius Octavius ...and
>> begin.....
>> -tom(Livia Did It)higgins
> Yes, legislating social machinations would be bad.  Glad we don't do
> that.  Oh, wait, in some key ways we do:
> http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/living-single/201006/
> can-you-name-the-1138-federal-hat-tips-marriage-guest-post-onely
> http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-04-353R
>> our research identified a total of 1,138 federal statutory provisions
>> classified to the United States Code in which marital status is a factor in
>> determining or receiving benefits, rights, and privileges.
> Not to mention laws regulating sex, only recently overruled by SCOTUS so
> that many millions of Americans are no longer committing technically
> illegal acts.  (For instance, oral sex was illegal in many states.)  If you
> believe that state and local laws have any validity once overruled, it
> still is.  A number of states have refused to change their laws even though
> they have been ruled unconstitutional.
> On 1/22/15 7:00 AM, Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
>> Maya Dusenbery must be an alias.
>> Whatever agency that spends money on encouraging or discouraging marriage
>> through that federal marriage promotion program should be defunded and cut
>> immediately as completely outside the scope of what government should be
>> spending taxpayer dollars on.
> Agreed.
> http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/06/gops-dead-end-marriage-program
>> take a hard look at a federal program pushed by a host of top GOPers
>> during the Bush-era and reauthorized in late 2010, as the Republican
>> deficit craze took hold. Originally championed by Republican lawmakers
>> including Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum,
>> and current Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a federal initiative to promote
>> marriage <http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2008/09/do-taxpayers-
>> need-marriage-workshops> as a cure for poverty dumped hundreds of
>> millions of dollars into programs that either had no impact or a negative
>> effect on the relationships of the couples who took part, according to
>> recent research by the Department of Health and Human Services <
>> http://www.hhs.gov/> (HHS).
>> Launched during the Bush administration at the behest of evangelical
>> Christian activists and with the aid of congressional Republicans, the
>> federal Healthy Marriage Initiative <http://www.motherjones.com/
>> politics/2005/01/richer-or-poorer> was designed to help low-income
>> couples put a little sizzle in their marriages and urge poor unmarried
>> parents to tie the knot, in the hopes that marriage would enhance their
>> finances and get them off the federal dole. Starting in 2006, millions of
>> dollars were hastily distributed to grantees to further this poverty
>> reduction strategy. The money went to such enterprises as "Laugh Your Way
>> America," <http://www.laughyourway.com/> a program run by a non-Spanish
>> speaking Wisconsin minister who used federal dollars to offer "Laugh Your
>> Way to a Better Marriage" seminars to Latinos. It funded Rabbi Stephen
>> Baars, a British rabbi who'd been giving his trademarked "Bliss" marriage
>> seminars <http://www.getbliss.com/index.php?option=com_content&
>> task=view&id=1&Itemid=2> to upper-middle-class Jews in Montgomery
>> County, Maryland, for years. With the help of the federal government, he
>> brought his program to inner-city DC for the benefit of African American
>> single moms.
>> The marriage money was diverted from the Temporary Assistance for Needy
>> Families program (formerly known as welfare), and much of it went to
>> religious groups that went to work trying to combat the divorce rate in
>> their communities by sponsoring date nights and romance workshops. In some
>> cities, the local grantees used their federal funds to recruit professional
>> athletes to make public service announcements touting the benefits of
>> marriage. Women's groups were especially critical of the marriage
>> initiative, largely because it was the baby of Wade Horn <
>> http://www.publiceye.org/pushedtothealtar/index.html>, a controversial
>> figure who Bush installed at HHS as the head of the Administration for
>> Children and Families and the administration's official "marriage czar."
> Greg:
>> Second, she wants the government to tell her boss that she can take more
>> sick days to take care of her family?  It's called unpaid leave.  After you
>> use up all your sick days, that's what you do. The idea that the government
>> would tell her boss that they have to pay her to do her parental duty too
>> is crazy.  That just tells me she was unprepared for parenthood.  We truly
>> do live in an entitlement society.
> This is not so simple.  Children need to be raised and both parents should
> be able to get educated, have a career, and work productively.  To some
> extent, having to struggle for a certain segment isn't terrible, but it is
> probably not optimal either.  For other segments, the struggle leads to
> various disasters.  Anything that consistently leads to poorly raised and
> educated children is bad.  Anything that significantly produces life-long
> limits on half the population is bad.  It doesn't take full government
> management to fix this.  Perhaps it doesn't take any government
> participation at all.  I would likely only consider some minor tweaks that
> might have a major impact.  Perhaps solving liability and responsibility
> issues with cooperative parenting arrangements or something along those
> lines.  The entitlements we have for people who more or less fail out of
> the perfect career & family track do tend to discourage further coupling
> up.  I see this all the time: A couple has children, then splits up.  If
> they are less than upper middle class, and especially if the children have
> any problems, eventually this may lead to some disability, welfare, or
> similar.  Once this becomes a thing, and goes on for a while, it becomes
> less and less likely that that parent will do more than date.  The
> responsibility gap that someone would have to close is large, leading to
> endless instability.
> The conservatives were right in seeing this as an insidious dynamic, but
> they seem mostly off track in their approach to solving it.  By only
> concentrating on keeping people from divorcing and those on the edge to
> commit, they seem to be assuming that those already divorced and in or
> heading to bad situations are a lost cause.
> A really great book I'm reading right now (Firestar - Michael Flynn) has
> this dynamic in play at a certain point:
> Pods of 4 single parents work together so that one parent raises all of
> the children while the others train, work, and pay part of their salary to
> the first.
> Simply supporting something like this so it is a respectable thing, can
> get off the ground, and be successful for a while would be a huge win.  At
> some point, it would be a cultural motif and probably happen without any
> support.  Maybe this would just need creative use of power of attorney, or
> probably a slight legislative tweak to allow parent-like power in such a
> situation better than current power of attorney.  Perhaps private
> organizations would provide backing for a few areas to get it off the
> ground.
> I can't seem to google it, but there was a segment I saw recently about
> almost-communal living in Sweden.  An apartment complex like group vote
> residents in, had group dinners with rotating cooking responsibility,
> co-parenting, etc.  Hard to get right, and all kinds of ways of failing,
> but not bad to try.  Some extended families operate this way to various
> degrees, sometimes to an extreme.  It's not an option for most now, but
> intentionally constructing such an arrangement is not necessarily the same
> as socialism or communism, especially if not imposed by the government.
> Different arrangements are optimal for different people at different times.
>> Greg
> sdw
>> On 1/20/2015 8:05 PM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
>>> Teaming up is important.  I always wonder why so many are single.
>>> Perhaps we need some social construct between "roommate" and "mate".
>>> http://www.psmag.com/navigation/health-and-behavior/new-benefits-
>>> marriage-study-actually-hints-horrors-middle-age-98353/
>>> New Benefits of Marriage Study Actually Hints at the Horrors of Middle
>>> Age
>>> By Maya Dusenbery • January 16, 2015 • 12:00 PM
>>> Doomed? (Photo: nathancongleton/Flickr
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