In 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote a landmark report in which he contended that the rising number of black families headed by unmarried mothers would reduce the prospects for Blacks to rise out of poverty, in spite of that era’s landmark civil rights legislation.
Moynihan was furiously denounced for his efforts. But he was proven right, and he would be even more correct making the same observations today.
It’s been a tough half century for families. Although Moynihan focused his concerns on Blacks, family breakdown correlates as much with income level as it does with race.
Because there are more low-income Blacks, more black children are raised by single mothers, but the overall percentage of births to unmarried women has gone from 5% in 1960 to 40% today. In 1970, 84% of U.S. children spent their entire childhood with both biological parents. Today, about half do.
Partly because of the withering criticisms directed at Moynihan, the chattering classes have mostly avoided the issue of family deterioration, at least until recently. But the consequences have been enormous.
Harvard economist Raj Chetty analyzed the causes of income disparity and concluded that “the strongest and most robust predictor is the fraction of children with single parents.”
In fact, there is scant evidence that race or racial discrimination causes the multiple economic and societal problems associated with family breakdown. Government spending doesn’t seem to have any effect, nor even does education explain the income gap. It’s family status itself.
So, what caused families, long our core civic institution and the means for passing on our values, to falter? There’s no easy answer, of course, but scholars note a sea change in our views of almost everything that began about the middle of the last century.
Especially in developed countries, people became more anti-authoritarian and more critical of traditional rules and roles. Views about sex outside of marriage, divorce, cohabitation, and single parenthood significantly changed.
It wasn’t all bad. Many of the changes extended civil rights and created a fairer society. But some of the “progress” has been tough on the kids.
For example, it’s not judgmental, just descriptive, to note that the increase in cohabitation has resulted in more unstable family structures.
Even with children, cohabiting couples break up faster and more often than married couples. Unmarried fathers are even less likely than divorced dads to form lasting bonds with their children. What may appear to be simply a matter of documentation can have a profound impact on the well-being of children.
Changing mores regarding sex before marriage has resulted in millions of young women bearing children for which they have made no financial or other preparations.
It’s not judging. It is the essence of caring for each of us to do a better job of informing these potential mothers of the catastrophic lifelong consequences of their casual decisions, both on themselves and the new life they are bringing into the world. We should also do a better job of making unwed fathers, many of whom openly boast about the children they are not raising, accountable for the consequences of their actions.
As Ronald Reagan might say, government is not the solution to this problem. It is the problem. There’s no question that the Great Society welfare rules, requiring recipients to be unmarried and unemployed to qualify for benefits, led to countless women making the sensible decision to “marry the government” rather than the uneducated, undependable father.
Government has also mortally harmed families by taking over many of their traditional functions, especially care of the young and the aged. Families traditionally stayed together to assure that those unable to provide for themselves would be sustained.
Today, it is assumed that the elderly are entitled to be cared for by the government. Some adults are known to simply walk away from their families because they don’t see the need.
We need sound strong families for all Americans, not only the wealthy and privileged. It would help if government did less harm. But we need to do a better job of protecting and prioritizing our families, respecting the outsized role they play in making our country strong and our lives worthwhile.
Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.
On Monday, the Senate determined that SB1399 would advance for a final vote as early as next week, a bill that would prohibit the state from discriminating against potential adoptive or foster parents or individuals who advertise, provide, or facilitate adoption or foster care services based on their religious beliefs. State Senator Sine Kerr (R-Buckeye) introduced the bill.
The bill also allows the state to consider the child’s religious beliefs in their placement with a family. Individuals may also seek court relief if they believe they’ve been discriminated against, and are entitled to recoup attorney fees, compensatory damages, and any relief including injunctive or declaratory.
Acts of religious discrimination were classified as altering the tax treatment of a person, including assessing penalties and refusing tax exemptions; disallowing or denying a tax deduction for charitable donations; withholding, reducing, excluding, terminating, or materially altering the terms or conditions of a state grant, contract, subcontract, cooperative agreement, guarantee, loan, scholarship or other similar benefit from or to a person; withholding, reducing, excluding, terminating or adversely altering the terms or conditions of or denying any entitlement or benefit under a state benefit program from or to a person; imposing, levying or assessing a monetary fine, fee, penalty, damages or an injunction; withholding, reducing, excluding, terminating, materially altering the terms or conditions of or denying license, certification, accreditation, custody award or agreement, diploma, grade, recognition or other similar benefit, position or status from or to a person; and refusing to hire or promote, forcing to resign, fire, demote, sanction, discipline, adversely alter the terms or conditions of employment, retaliate or take other adverse employment action against a person employed or commissioned by the state government.
State Senator Raquel Terán (D-) said she opposed the bill in committee because she didn’t consider religious discrimination to be a valid form of discrimination, calling it “alarming.”
“This is discrimination that hs no place in our country or in our state,” said Terán.
Democrats love to talk about the need of establishing a “universal” health care system that provides everyone with the same quality of care. That was the major theme pushed by the left and the media when Obamacare was signed into law in 2010.
We always knew that it was propaganda and that a government-run healthcare system would result in worse care for everyone. What we didn’t know is that the left doesn’t even support this claim. They do like the idea of providing different care to different people, so long as it promotes their radical, race-based social justice agenda.
Rationing COVID treatments based on race
To kick off the new year, health officials in Democrat-run New York made the call to prioritize non-whites as part of their criteria to decide who is eligible to receive monoclonal antibodies. And while white people can still receive the treatments, they’ll have to show that they have medical conditions that increase their risk for severe illness. Non-white patients, however, are automatically eligible.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is coming under attack from within her own party over her involvement in events which led a federal jury to award $2.75 million in damages this week to a former policy advisor Hobbs helped fire in 2015.
That staff member, Talonya Adams, had brought it to the attention of Democratic Senate leaders that as a Black female she was being paid significantly less than policy advisors who were White males. Adams had also documented those other staffers received pay raises while she had not, despite no negative performance reviews.
That put Adams’ claims of pay disparity on the shoulders of Hobbs, who was Senate Minority Leader in 2015, making her the top ranking Democrat in the state Senate at the time. And when Adams was terminated a short while later, there was undisputed evidence that Hobbs was intimately involved in the process.
There have been two trials in U.S. District Court stemming from Adams’ federal racial discrimination and retaliatory termination firing lawsuit. In both, juries found in favor of Adams, and this week that second jury’s award of $2.75 million far exceeded the first jury’s award of $1 million.
There was little public attention to Hobbs’ role in the Adams case during the first trial in 2019 despite Hobbs serving as Secretary of State, which puts her in line to be Governor if anything happens to Doug Ducey.
But with Hobbs seeking the Democratic nomination for Arizona Governor, her actions just a few years ago as Senate Minority Leader are coming under intense scrutiny. Even within her own party.
Especially after Hobbs allowed her gubernatorial campaign spokeswoman to issue a press release after the jury’s unanimous verdict. Not only is the statement in the words of the spokeswoman Jennah Rivera instead of Hobbs, but the statement fail to express any concern for Adams.
That statement turned Adams’ struggles into a campaign ad for Hobbs, with criticism of how diversity and wage inequity is currently handled by the Republican-controlled Legislature. Nowhere does Rivera own up to the fact Hobbs was in meetings with other Democrats in 2015 figuring out how to fire Adams just weeks after the employee complained about her pay.
And then there is the claim in Rivera’s statement about how Hobbs “voluntarily” testified. Hours later, Adams tweeted a copy of the federal subpoena which had been served on Hobbs requiring her presence in court for the trial.
In June, Hobbs explained her decision to run for governor by stating she wanted to “deliver transparency, accountability, and results for Arizonans — just like I’ve done my whole career.”
That has left one prominent Democrat calling for a sincere review of Hobbs’ actions both in 2015 and today in dealing with the Adams’ case.
“We need to have an open and honest discussion about what happened, who is accountable, and if we, as Democrats, are prepared to support a nominee for governor who behaved in this manner just a few short years ago,” said former Rep. Aaron Lieberman,
Lieberman, who is considered Hobbs’ top challenger for the Democratic nomination for governor, also says that the Democratic platform on equality and fair treatment for all needs to be more than a campaign motto.
“Being an effective Democratic leader is about more than just participating in partisan fights; it is about holding a key set of values and living those values all the time—especially when no one is watching,” said Lieberman.