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

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Thu Jan 22 13:36:58 PST 2015

Ah yes, thanks.  I mixed that up with a story about Swedish Kitchens, both tiny sizes from a certain era and this:
> Welcome to the Swedish kitchen. It is not a sanctuary for a chef but rather a family room where people combine cooking with 
> socialising, eating and drinking.



On 1/22/15 10:43 AM, geege schuman wrote:
> This?  (Denmark not Sweden, but I can see why you went there.)
> http://www.citylab.com/housing/2015/01/can-boomers-make-cohousing-mainstream/384624/
> 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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