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

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Fri Jan 23 11:21:37 PST 2015

On 1/23/15 10:23 AM, Reza B'Far (Oracle) wrote:
> Side-point on this thread -
> 1. There are no females commenting.  I think latest I saw, more than
>    50% of population is female and I KNOW that there are female fork
>    members. It's curious why they have chosen to abstain

Curious indeed.  Although I don't think we've taken any misogynistic or androgynistic positions.  People don't prepare, learn the 
right lessons, ingrain the right habits, or have a reliable ability to properly train their children to avoid those problems.  
Applies to both men/boys and women/girls.  Whether it applies equally and whether the available escape paths and ability to take 
them are the same is a completely different discussion.

> 2. Obviously, given the nature of fork, almost everyone has at least an
>    undergraduate degree

Or (more than) equivalent, thank you very much.

> 3. The link that was originally sent out seems to make conclusions that
>    are not directly related to where the thread is going.  It's funny
>    that the article is not really talking about economics and tangible
>    assets as much as this thread is focused on it.  I assume again,
>    there is bias here given membership of fork.

We're on a derivative discussion which started there.
However, I think we could be said to be exploring an area of the Horrors of Middle Age, particularly those areas that tend to create 
and perpetuate the HoMA.

> 4. With marriage, I think it's mostly confirmation theory - if you fail
>    at it, you think it sucks... if you succeed at it and have a great
>    marriage, then you think it's great.  Not sure if given the source
>    of commentary is so biased on the thread with little diversity of
>    thought, if there is a ton I've learned :)  No offense intended...
>    it's interesting to read... but all of it seems myopic... not that I
>    have any better ideas, but...

Sure.  I think we've been around enough to have seen and experienced directly and indirectly many of the things that can go wrong 
with marriages, careers, and raising (and being) children, teenagers, etc.  I think we're far less myopic than we would have been 15 
or 20 years ago.  And we do seem to have skepticism and difference of opinion of whether anything can or should be done, and if so 
whether it could or will work, and what the alternatives are.

In what ways does this discussion seem myopic?  What are we not considering?


> On 1/23/15 9:42 AM, J. Andrew Rogers wrote:
>> These studies are misleading. High mobility in these studies is correlated with countries that have highly compressed wage 
>> ranges; it does not indicate economic mobility in the sense that most people mean it.
>> The gap between the top quintile and bottom quintile in the US is >$80k. In Denmark, it is something like $35k. These numbers are 
>> PPP terms.
>> In other words, a change of income (PPP) in Denmark that would be classified as “mobile" could be *doubled* in the US and it 
>> would still be considered “not mobile”. Yet in any kind of absolute sense, the US person would be much better off economically 
>> even though they are not in the top quintile. Or to put it another way, if you evaluated the Danish income mobility in the 
>> context of the US income ranges, Denmark would be among the least mobile countries in the developed world.
>> Any standard for “income mobility” that tacitly defines communism as the society with the highest income mobility is not that 
>> helpful.
>> Cheers,
>> Andrew
>>> On Jan 23, 2015, at 8:48 AM, Owen Byrne <ojbyrne at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I thought you lived in the US.
>>> "At least five large studies in recent years have found the United States
>>> to be less mobile than comparable nations. A project led by Markus Jantti,
>>> an economist at a Swedish university, found that 42 percent of American men
>>> raised in the bottom fifth of incomes stay there as adults. That shows a
>>> level of persistent disadvantage much higher than in Denmark (25 percent)
>>> and Britain (30 percent) — a country famous for its class constraints.[19]
>>> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socio-economic_mobility_in_the_United_States#cite_note-19>
>>> Meanwhile, just 8 percent of American men at the bottom rose to the top
>>> fifth. That compares with 12 percent of the British and 14 percent of the
>>> Danes.
>>> Despite frequent references to the United States as a classless society,
>>> about 62 percent of Americans (male and female) raised in the top fifth of
>>> incomes stay in the top two-fifths, according to research by the Economic
>>> Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Similarly, 65 percent born
>>> in the bottom fifth stay in the bottom two-fifths."
>>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socio-economic_mobility_in_the_United_States
>>> On Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 8:36 AM, Gregory Alan Bolcer <greg at bolcer.org>
>>> wrote:
>>>> If I truly cared about other's people's children, which I do, then I would
>>>> teach them personal responsibility, problem solving, a strong work ethic,
>>>> and personal entrepreneurship instead of teaching them to rely on free
>>>> stuff at the whim of others.
>>>> Luckily we live in a society, even at the lowest rungs of the economic
>>>> scale, that has extremely high economic mobility.
>>>> That's called teaching people to fish.
>>>> Greg
>>>> On 1/23/2015 8:30 AM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
>>>>> Whether that is a problem that you think needs addressed depends on
>>>>> whether you think the world is strictly competitive, whether you feel
>>>>> indirectly enriched or diminished by it, and similar philosophical
>>>>> motivations.  We'll take it as a given that you care for your own
>>>>> children and family.  Do you care about other people's children and
>>>>> people in general as an extended family?  Do you feel any responsibility
>>>>> to them?  Even if we have a lot of resources, we may feel helpless or
>>>>> expect waste in trying to help, or feel that other pursuits may have
>>>>> better society payback.  But we should consider it.  And, sometimes, the
>>>>> right small pushes can make a huge difference.  Sometimes it is just the
>>>>> right ideas in the right places that make a difference.

More information about the FoRK mailing list