"But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime." — Frédéric Bastiat (The Law)
Unmarried mothers gave birth to 4 out of every 10 babies born in the United States in 2007, a share that is increasing rapidly both here and abroad, according to government figures released Wednesday.
The New York Times reports:
“Before 1970, most unmarried mothers were teenagers. But in recent years the birthrate among unmarried women in their 20s and 30s has soared — rising 34 percent since 2002, for example, in women ages 30 to 34. In 2007, women in their 20s had 60 percent of all babies born out of wedlock, teenagers had 23 percent and women 30 and older had 17 percent.
Much of the increase in unmarried births has occurred among parents who are living together but are not married, cohabitation arrangements that tend to be less stable than marriages, studies show.
The pattern has been particularly pronounced among Hispanic women, climbing 20 percent from 2002 to 2006, the most recent year for which racial breakdowns are available. Eleven percent of unmarried Hispanic women had a baby in 2006, compared with 7 percent of unmarried black women and 3 percent of unmarried white women, according to government data drawn from birth certificates.
Titled “Changing Patterns of Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States,” the report was released by the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Out-of-wedlock births are also rising in much of the industrialized world: in Iceland, 66 percent of children are born to unmarried mothers; in Sweden, the share is 55 percent. (In other societies, though, the phenomenon remains rare — just 2 percent in Japan, for example.)
But experts say the increases in the United States are of greater concern because couples in many other countries tend to be more stable and government support for children is often higher.
“In Sweden, you see very little variation in the outcome of children based on marital status. Everybody does fairly well,” said Wendy Manning, a professor of sociology at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. “In the U.S., there’s much more disparity.”
Children born out of wedlock in the United States tend to have poorer health and educational outcomes than those born to married women, but that may be because unmarried mothers tend to share those problems.
Decades ago, pregnant women often married before giving birth. But the odds of separation and divorce in unions driven by pregnancy are relatively high. So when a woman gets pregnant, are children better off if their parents marry, cohabitate or do neither? That question is still unresolved, Dr. Manning said.
Some experts speculate that marriage or cohabitation cements financial and emotional bonds between children and fathers that survive divorce or separation, improving outcomes for children. But since familial instability is often damaging to children, they may be better off with mothers who never cohabitate or marry than with those who form unions that are later broken.
“There is no consensus on those questions,” Dr. Manning said.
In an enduring mystery, birthrates for unmarried women in the United States stabilized between 1995 and 2002 and declined among unmarried teenagers and black women. But after 2002, the overall birthrate among unmarried women resumed its steady climb. In 1940, just 3.8 percent of births were to unmarried women.
The District of Columbia and Mississippi had the highest rates of out-of-wedlock births in 2007: 59 percent and 54 percent, respectively. The lowest rate, 20 percent, was in Utah. In New York, the rate was 41 percent; in New Jersey, 34 percent; and in Connecticut, 35 percent. Sarah S. Brown, chief executive of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, a nonprofit advocacy group, said sex and pregnancy were handled far too cavalierly in the United States, where rates of unplanned pregnancies, births and abortions are far higher than those of other industrialized nations.
“These trends may meet the needs of young adults,” she said, “but it’s far from clear that it’s helpful for children.”
- Childbearing by unmarried women has resumed a steep climb since 2002.
- Births to unmarried women totaled 1,714,643 in 2007, 26% more than in 2002. Nearly 4 in 10 U.S. births were to unmarried women in 2007.
- Birth rates have risen considerably for unmarried women in their twenties and over, while declining or changing little for unmarried teenagers.
- Nonmarital birth rates are highest for Hispanic women followed by black women. Rates for non-Hispanic white and Asian or Pacific Islander women are much lower.
- Most births to teenagers (86% in 2007) are nonmarital, but 60% of births to women 20–24 and nearly one-third of births to women 25–29 were nonmarital in 2007.
- Teenagers accounted for just 23% of nonmarital births in 2007, down steeply from 50% in 1970.
In an article in National Review on Line titled Why Men Are Slackers And Women Are Single Suzanne Venker writes:
“The rise of the single woman is hardly something to celebrate. She represents the culmination of a decades-long revolution that has chipped away, relentlessly and insidiously, at the traditional family unit. First it was motherhood, now it’s marriage.
Before I write more, let me be clear: There is absolutely nothing wrong with being single. Being single, by definition, is not a flaw; and it requires no justification. What is wrong is when feminists use this very purposeful trend to try and upend a centuries-old global institution that serves millions of adults — and their children — exceedingly well.
In the widely read November 2011 Atlantic cover story, entitled “All the Single Ladies,” singleton Kate Bolick declares that “it’s time to embrace new ideas about romance and family — and to acknowledge the end of traditional marriage as society’s highest ideal.” And her latest piece, published this weekend in the Wall Street Journal, is titled “For Women, Is Home Really So Sweet?” In it, Bolick compares home ownership for single women to society’s high opinion of marriage. (Hint: They’re both overrated.)
Just some articles by a frustrated woman? Hardly. Bolick’s “All the Single Ladies” — which has been “recommended” 51,000 times on Facebook — is being made into a television series. So now the young people of America will get this message crammed down their throats every week. That should make for some good partnerships down the road, don’t you think?
Indeed, Bolick is in good company — not just with Hollywood but with like-minded pontificators such as Hanna Rosin, who wrote a similar article last year called “The End of Men” – also in The Atlantic, and also widely read. The online version of this article incorporates a video in which Rosin (and her daughter) conclude, while sitting at a table opposite her son and (very emasculated) husband, that “girls are better than boys.” And we can’t forget one of the liberal media’s favorite professors, Stephanie Coontz. In an article last week in The New York Times, entitled “The M.R.S and the Ph.D.,” Coontz exalts the ascension of women and suggests they resign themselves to marrying down.
Then there are articles that aren’t so well-known — such as last month’s cover story in Boston magazine, entitled “Single by Choice.” The smaller caption reads, “This is Terri. She’s successful, happy, and at 38, just fine with never getting married. Ever.” It’s enough to make the average person think there’s something fundamentally wrong with the married state.
Which, of course, is the point.
Unlike women such as Condoleezza Rice, who quietly lead unconventional lives without a trace of resentment toward their fellow men, feminists are hell bent on changing society to accommodate them. They do this by implying the so-called rise of women is a great thing — and proof that marriage is an outdated, patriarchal institution. At an event in Washington D.C., Bolick and Rosin appear together to do just that. Rosin, in her trademark elitist and condescending fashion, had this to say: ”Having reported a lot on Christian conservatives, I can tell you they get married, like, as soon as they fall in love and, you know, it’s probably because they can’t have sex unless they’re married — which is not the case for most of us.” (Envision lots of insulting facial gestures, as well as laughter coming from the audience.) Just imagine if I were to say in a similar forum, “Yeah, you know how those Jews are.”
High-profile feminists such as Bolick, Rosin, and Coontz celebrate the ascension of women as though it were a win-win. But the fact that today more women than men get college degrees and have good jobs is nothing to smile about. ”The good news about women is accompanied by bad news about men, which also turns out to be bad news for women,” writes Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto.
The “bad news” about men is always couched in the context that men aren’t “manning up,” or doing what’s necessary to be responsible adults. Perhaps they aren’t — they’re certainly retreating from marriage, that’s for sure. The question is, why? And the answer is simple. With premarital sex a foregone conclusion and cohabitation on the rise, men live the good life with no responsibilities. Moreover, women have made it clear they don’t need a man to support them, to be happy, or even to become a mother. The result is that men become slackers.
And those so-called empowered women feminists created? Many learn, eventually, that they were cruelly misled. Millions of women find that they do, in fact, want to stay home with their babies when they’re young and therefore need a husband with a good job. But by that time, it’s too late. Their husbands have been schooled in the art of feminism just as they have and expect their wives to go to work and “pull their weight.”
And that’s just the women who were fortunate enough to find husbands in the first place. Others put off marriage indefinitely — until they decide they want a baby. Trouble is, they can’t find men who are willing to marry them.”
While Ms. Venker makes a case for why middle-class and professional women eschew marriage she glosses over the issue of the poor, especially blacks having babies out of wedlock.
There are simple arguments for why so many black women have children without marriage.
The legacy of segregation (the progressive logic goes) means blacks are more likely to attend inferior schools. This creates a high proportion of blacks unprepared to compete for jobs in today’s economy, where middle-class industrial work for unskilled laborers has largely disappeared.
The drug epidemic sent disproportionate numbers of black men to prison and crushed the job opportunities for those who served their time. Women do not want to marry men who cannot provide for their families, and welfare laws created a financial incentive for poor mothers to stay single.
Women, especially Black and Hispanic, have been able to play the welfare system game better that Tom Brady or Eli Manning play quarterback. With aid to dependent children, food stamps, the federal WIC program, Section 8 housing allowance, earned income tax credits, and Medicare they are able get by with having more babies as a source of income.
As an example, according to the California Department of Social Services, in Los Angeles County, California the state ponies up $446 per month for a child from 0-4 years and by the time they reach 15-19 the payout is $627 per month. This means that for an unwed mother with four children ages 0-4 the monthly check from the state would be $1,784 per month and by the time they reached high school age it would be $2,508 or $30,096 per year.
While this doesn’t sound like much when factored in with free health care, WIC, food stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — SNAP), and other federal and state funded programs this amount can grow to a tidy sum. As another example the SNAP program will allow $793 per month for this family of 5 which amounts to another $9,516 per year. It is easy to see that with all the assistance programs available this unwed mother can receive upwards of $50,000 per year. And this is tax-free money. So, why get married to a person with no high school education who is barely able to earn $10 per hour when you can get $60,000 to $70,000 of tax free money from the government. These women have learned how to work the system very well. All they need to do is go to their local community organizer, who is an expert on the programs available in the county, and pay him some money and they will be on the gravy train.
While, as a people, we are caring and charitable, for those who have fallen on hard times through circumstances we should not be encouraging those who take advantage of the system through behavior.
Recently, President Barack Obama's education secretary Arne Duncan stated that every 26 seconds, a student drops out of high school. But things are even worse for black students; a whopping 40 percent of African-American students don't graduate from high school. These dismal statistics are creating an underclass of African-Americans who have become unemployable, while also affecting the very fibers of the black family structure.
According to a 2010 article in the San Francisco Examiner:
“More than a third of California's African American public high school students dropped out before graduation day, a startling number and one that's on the rise, according to 2009 data released Tuesday.
The 37 percent African American dropout rate, up three percentage points from the prior year, was far above that of any other ethnic subgroup. Hispanic students had the second highest rate at 27 percent.”
Can you say "achievement gap"? The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that more than a third of California's African-American public high school students dropped out before graduation day, a startling number and one that's on the rise. The 37 percent African-American dropout rate, up three percentage points from the prior year, was far above that of any other ethnic subgroup. Hispanic students had the second-highest rate at 27 percent. Locally, San Francisco cautiously celebrated a 9 percent overall dropout rate, a stark contrast to Oakland's 40 percent.
We're wondering how a high school dropout rate gets into the teen percentile. How does it go from there into the 20s? Now the dropout rate is into the 30s and well on its way to 40 percent. Corporations with such lousy returns would be made to fold. Companies that mismanaged their human resources to such an extent could not get away with this. Why is this country, especially the black community, OK with this? No words except unacceptable.
It is a known fact that children born out of wedlock (some from multiple males) and having no father figure in their lives have a much higher risk of not completing high school and continuing the circle of poverty.
Another known fact is that when the government subsidizes something we get more of it. Black and Hispanic women having multiple children out of wedlock and raising them in fatherless homes will not bode well for this republic.
While progressive politicians and activists promote more of the welfare state to retain their power and the media continues to skirt the real problem this condition will not soon end and Blacks will continue to remain at the bottom rung of the economic ladder.