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  1. #61
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    It doesn't make people lazy per se, but here in the states it often creates disincentives to work. I was just talking to a ministry worker the other day who said he had to subsidize rent by quite a bit just to make it worth while to get someone to work part-time because without it they were financially better off just taking welfare and not working.
    Yeah, that's correct, welfare acts as a form of "additional" minimum wage.
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  2. #62
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Haven't read most of the other comments.

    What was that statistic? More and more people are withholding marriage until later years. I believe the older statistic is that the average is around 30, which may be dramatically different from half a century ago. Of some of the things asked about why some are withholding marriage,

    One is that a person doesn't want to mess up everything like their parents or end up marrying/having children wayyyyyyyyy too early and having those consequences for themselves and their loved ones.

    The second is that these people want to do things right so that if they do get children, they know that they can support the kid and themselves (with the assumption that the person doesn't want to be on government support for children.)

    Three is that the current environment makes it harder to support marrying and having children. Back then, one was able to support an entire family with just one person's income. Today, in a lot of regions, it is near impossible to support one's self with every expense unless you choose to live and have roommates or live in a pretty poor neighborhood.

    I believe there were a few that were asked, but those three are the ones I can remember.

  3. #63
    Level 8 Propaganda Bot SpankyMcFly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    Three is that the current environment makes it harder to support marrying and having children. Back then, one was able to support an entire family with just one person's income. Today, in a lot of regions, it is near impossible to support one's self with every expense unless you choose to live and have roommates or live in a pretty poor neighborhood.
    Here is an excerpt from a news article that discusses what you speak of (the author self labels as feminist, full article at the bottom):

    "One contribution was our critique of the "family wage": the ideal of a male breadwinner-female homemaker family that was central to state-organised capitalism. Feminist criticism of that ideal now serves to legitimate "flexible capitalism". After all, this form of capitalism relies heavily on women's waged labour, especially low-waged work in service and manufacturing, performed not only by young single women but also by married women and women with children; not by only racialised women, but by women of virtually all nationalities and ethnicities. As women have poured into labour markets around the globe, state-organised capitalism's ideal of the family wage is being replaced by the newer, more modern norm – apparently sanctioned by feminism – of the two-earner family.

    Never mind that the reality that underlies the new ideal is depressed wage levels, decreased job security, declining living standards, a steep rise in the number of hours worked for wages per household, exacerbation of the double shift – now often a triple or quadruple shift – and a rise in poverty, increasingly concentrated in female-headed households. Neoliberalism turns a sow's ear into a silk purse by elaborating a narrative of female empowerment. Invoking the feminist critique of the family wage to justify exploitation, it harnesses the dream of women's emancipation to the engine of capital accumulation."


    The irony, is that when the Marxist-Feminists who redirected their fight against capitalist exploitation to fighting The Patriarchy (tm) in the 1960's with a promise of freedom from their "oppressors" all they really did was change who their "master" was. Now instead of a husband/resource provider who arguably has his wife's and family unit best interests in mind, women now have bosses/managers at work, who arguably don't. They've essentially become wage-slaves. For the small % of women who love their job, great, more power to you. The majority I'd imagine, would beg to differ.

    How feminism became capitalism's handmaiden - and how to reclaim it | Nancy Fraser | Comment is free | The Guardian
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. " - H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #64
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    This is a pretty good article about the topic.

    A few key points:
    - Earnings of many Americans have declined and those same individuals have lower marriage rates
    - Children in single parent homes are relatively poorer financially, leading to an uneven playing field in future generations
    - Increasing opportunities for women in the workplace have resulted in marriage being less important from a financial perspective
    - Marriages starting later appear more stable and are less likely to lead to diverse

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  5. #65
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    What was that statistic? More and more people are withholding marriage until later years. I believe the older statistic is that the average is around 30, which may be dramatically different from half a century ago.
    The funny thing that it is higher than half a century ago, but not all that different from a century ago. From what data I could gather, Americans today marry at a noticeably younger age than Germans (or Western Europeans in general). In both countries marriage age was at its record low (i.e. youngest) in the middle of the 20th century and has increased again after that. A century or so ago educated men didn't marry until they had reached their thirties, the big difference to now is that back then the average age difference between husband and wife positively correlated with his education, i.e. the better educated the man, the older he is at the day of his wedding and the (comparatively) younger his wife. Until 1900, in Germany, it was normal for educated men to marry a woman around age 20 ....in their thirties! Among farmers and workers things were a little less extreme but not all that different. You needed a decent income to support a family, so people often had to wait until they could marry (or could not marry at all). Young newlyweds are a temporary mid-twentieth-century phenomenon, not the historical norm! Becrying that is historically shortsighted in my view.

    That being said, of the 6 women with children that I know in my own social circle, all of them are university educated and working, but only one of them is married (the oldest, who marries at age 38). One decided to keep the child after an unexpected pregnancy (age 36 or so when pregnant) and raise it on her own (the father is totally absent, basically a one-night-stand, he has no interest in the child and she does't expect him to pay either), one is now seperated from the child's father after a very long relationship (also around age 36 when pregnant) and the other three are all living with the child's father, have been in relationships with them for years and raise the kids together but have no intention of getting married (ages 28 to 36 when pregnant). Another friend age 34 is currently pregnant and plans to eventually marry the father sometime after the child is born.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  6. #66
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Addendum:

    I you look at this statistic (which is for the US), as far as men are concerned we are now basically back to where we were a century or so ago. The huge difference (and the one with the larger influence on fertility levels) is that now women too are taking their time to educate themselves and find a decent job.

    Median Age at First Marriage, 1890–2010 | Infoplease.com
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  7. #67
    failed poetry slam career chubber's Avatar
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    Maybe those that married young in Europe got kicked out to the new worlds. (so that Europe can keep their perfect score)

    How many stories do you read about young couples with nothing landing on door steps of the new worlds?

  8. #68
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chubber View Post
    Maybe those that married young in Europe got kicked out to the new worlds. (so that Europe can keep their perfect score)

    How many stories do you read about young couples with nothing landing on door steps of the new worlds?
    I don't know, a passage on a boat cost a lot of money, probably easier to finance for somebody travelling alone to make a life for himself in the New World than for a couple of penniless newlyweds. Also, I think there were many long engagements that had to wait for the money to come in before they could marry (and many poor couples never married at all).
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  9. #69
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    That being said, of the 6 women with children that I know in my own social circle, all of them are university educated and working, but only one of them is married (the oldest, who marries at age 38). One decided to keep the child after an unexpected pregnancy (age 36 or so when pregnant) and raise it on her own (the father is totally absent, basically a one-night-stand, he has no interest in the child and she does't expect him to pay either), one is now seperated from the child's father after a very long relationship (also around age 36 when pregnant) and the other three are all living with the child's father, have been in relationships with them for years and raise the kids together but have no intention of getting married (ages 28 to 36 when pregnant). Another friend age 34 is currently pregnant and plans to eventually marry the father sometime after the child is born.
    If I am not mistaken you're German - I think I would get married if I had a kid here and wanted to live with my companion. There's tax benefits, there's legal recognition vs. the law, something that - again, if I'm not mistaken - isn't there yet for "de factor" unions.
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  10. #70
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    If I am not mistaken you're German - I think I would get married if I had a kid here and wanted to live with my companion. There's tax benefits, there's legal recognition vs. the law, something that - again, if I'm not mistaken - isn't there yet for "de factor" unions.
    Yeah, I'm not exactly sure about the reason myself. Commitment isn't an issue in these cases so my bet is some romantic notion about not wanting to explicitely tie each other down or not needing a piece of paper to confirm one's love or some such sentimentalit. And you are right, as far as I know, while the child has the same rights inside or outside of wedlock, de facto couples lose out.

    Not that there are only practical reasons to marry. I do see marriage as a stronger emotional bond than a mere relationship.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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