Social Problems Are Costing Us

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dshields's picture
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Social Problems Are Costing Us

With all the craziness going on in the economic sphere, sometimes we fail to notice other serious problems that also impact our financial and possibly our physical security.  This article shows a very serious trend that is impacting America.  I find the data shocking.  I am sure there are a number of reasons for the trend.  It is costing us big money and these costs are going up.  The future of this points to social unrest as there is also a higher percentage of problem people associated with the trend.  It is always the same question - who is going to pay.  A decent sized part of America is falling apart.  This just can't be a good thing.  If the economy takes a major turn for the worse, these people are going to be in real trouble.  It pretty much garentees there will be violence.

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/09/marriage-america-s-grea...

 

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Re: Social Problems Are Costing Us

"these people" are already in trouble and have been for some time.

The problem is in identifying who "these people" are.  The issues that address high out of wedlock birth among minority members and out of wedlock birth among non-minorities are not the same.  There are many factors involved,  including ill advised attempts by the government to legislate morality.  More heavy handed attempts to legislate morality is not the answer. 

Movements that try to make it harder to get divorced are putting the cart on the wrong end of that horse!  Getting a divorce should be a piece of cake - maybe something you could do at a drive through in Vegas?  But, getting married should take time and committment - becasue marriage takes both of these things.  Many, many of these couples that have children when they are not married stay together for a while,  but since they are not committed,  they fall apart under social pressure and economic pressure. 

Heritage Foundation data analysis is always suspect since they have an avowed agenda to legislate morality.

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Re: Social Problems Are Costing Us

land2341 - i understand the function of the heritage foundation.  what i found troubling was the trend and further down in the article the costs associated with the trend.  if you extrapolate, the costs to society (us poor slobs) is going to continue to escalate and having a decent sized percentage of the populate being for all practical purposes useless or even worse, it does not bode well for america.

future social disaster needs to be added to the future economic disaster.  the social part may well be much larger than anyone expects.  a new kind of bubble - a violence/crime bubble.  it would be really great if someone has taken the time to try to quantify it.  i would not know how to do it - i do not have the skill set for that.  i will look around and see if i can something reasonable.

 

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Re: Social Problems Are Costing Us

i can find all kinds of stuff like the link below but i am having difficulty in finding any quantitative data of merit.  i can find a wall of quantitative stuff about crime, but not about social behavior under economic distress like what may be coming our way.  some of the data i did run across is pretty surprising - predictions of possible major social unrest.  but i can't find someone who has built a model and used reasonable scientific thinking to try to quantify what future social behavior might be under various conditions - conditions like those that might be experienced in a serious economic crisis.  this aspect seems to have been somewhat ignored by folks.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18529

 

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Re: Social Problems Are Costing Us

 I did not realize the numbers were so high !   I do  know the young ladies who were raised without an active father in their house  seek /crave love from a man.   They mistake sex for love  and  they are emotionally attached . They think  If all else fails their baby will love them .   How sad is this !     My boys  have been raised to respect and honor women yet  they  have a hard time resisting the forwardness of the girls .   This is so bad that they are never alone with any of them .      Some of you have young daughters I am sure   you pray  for the best  man for them .Fathers   please bring your hearts home . Treat your wife and children as a treasure .

 Some places in America  the virginity rate is so low it is astounding .   One man that I know of has 7 children , by 4 women . Not married to any one of them .

    The hero's in my eyes are those  men who are willing to be a daddy to someone else's baby and love and care for them as their own .

 One other suspicion I have is that  maybe we are telling the kids not to marry too young. Wait until you are through with college,wait until you  have your career started and business established   by , then they  already  have many selfish traits .  The longer they( both ) wait the greater amount of  emotional baggage they  bring to the marriage bed . ( I am not saying have them get married to young but you understand what I mean )  None of our have been married before age 25 but my kids are slow to mature .  Now days many  let the kids mature so young  . Many  let them watch trash on TV and have Idols . Now we really  do not even have to  argue  with what is shown on the TV as to what is moral and right .  I would not drop one tear if all  t.V. stations were to disappear .

 These are just thoughts and observations  from a concerned mother .  I have no evidence to back any of it up .   I am not judging anyone nor do  I  have all my kids raised and married . As careful as we can be to train them right .... stuff happens in the best of families.  But I believe it to be  far less likely in strong families where the father is caring .

 I just think commitment to the family is a very  high priority . If people are already separated and maybe have a new family even  they still  need to get over their own selfish bitterness and be there for the children .  A young lady who has been abandoned by the daddy that is suppose to love her has a long hard life to live .

 FM

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Re: Social Problems Are Costing Us

Very well stated Full Moon!

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Re: Social Problems Are Costing Us

Fullmoon,

Good post. I agree with most of what you say,but I must disagree about your childrens maturity rate. As a father and an older kid myself I can say that when you give a person (of any age)responsibility,they will be more responsible.When you treat them like they are inept,they will be inept.Also,when i was very young i was(to quote a friends mother)a "godless heathen" who hung out with the type of girls you mentioned.I can say this about it:don't think the good kids are slow to mature,I was the kid who the good kids were scared of and I can tell you that I had way more growing up to do than the good kids.

I say,let's quit telling our children that it's ok to live on welfare and everyone deserves everything without sweating for it.And let's raise boy's with balls and strong women that will punch those boys in the balls if need be!

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Re: Social Problems Are Costing Us

T2D    , I can so relate ,as I too was one of the" Godless  heathen "as you say as a young girl .   Maybe even the queen of them . so I know the part about living in  a broken home  .   Married before twenty and purposed in my heart to make our family  stick like supper glue . Celebrating 33 years married this month .  

 My children are not afraid of any of the misguided friends .   My  saying  they are not alone together  is to say that  this is how they keep from falling into temptation they know their weakness , they know they are not above making mistakes that have life long consequences .    I think these young people should know the road they will travel .

   This is how I see it    If the parents had responsibility  to answer and be responsible  for the children's mistakes they would be more watchful and take on their role as parent .   I also agree that if the Govt. did not give the single moms so much Govt. help they might think twice about  making these choices .  Maybe , Hopefully ?

 Some of the things are easier to solve than others .  Taking responsibility for our own family  to train them to have good  Character .  To know their weakness , their strengths, their gifts and their talents  .  To  listen to them  Not Let the Govt. tell us what our children need to know  like they have all the answers .   I have seen the Village and I do not want them raising my children .

FM

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Re: Social Problems Are Costing Us

There's nothing that can be done policy-wise to help these people. There's an inherent problem in the culture these kids grow up in that cannot be fixed by government intervention. I've seen some of this up close and personal in Los Angeles and there's not much that can be done. You have stupid, undereducated, narcissistic kids being fed on a diet of reality TV and shallow music, and they pass this down to their kids. Add drugs on top of it and there's not a lot of hope in saving them from themselves.

Heck, let's forget the poor ghetto kids...I've seen white middle class adults who end up shallow, mindless, narcissistic idiots and they stay stuck in a permanent adolescence. The men don't want to get married because why would they? They'd have to give up their freedom for responsibilies that aren't appealing to them. The white middle class ends up blowing their brains out by smoking way too much marijuana, which makes people apathetic and self-centered.

Hollywood needs to come out with more wholesome programming. It doesn't need to be Christian-based. But just something beyond the glorification of fame for any reason. Something that promotes basic decency and has some heart.

When I grew up, I could watch the Waltons with my grandparents. There's nothing like that on TV anymore, and that's the problem. Instead, look at the crap they put out, especially on the pay-per-view channels. They try to find the most decadent idea out there and do a show on that. So we have shows glorifying drug dealing, bigamy, promiscuous relationships, fame whoring and a whole lot of other less-than-ideal lifestyles.

Not all TV is bad, but even a show like Lost, which I thought was brilliant and had a tremendous amount of heart at the end, was filled with violence, deception, and a lot of angst prior to the finale. It's not for kids.

They can't even make family sci-fi shows anymore. Battlestar Galactica was repurposed into something dark with steamy sex scenes, and I would not let a child of mine watch it! What the hell...what happened to having some sci-fi for kids of all ages? Everything in the media these days has to be "dark and edgy." Can we have some balance?

On another note, a lot of people bash religion but it was church that kept me from getting into trouble when I was a kid. I fully support kids in church or some sort of spiritual group, whether it's a synagogue, a new age group, or heck even Scientology.

Religion isn't perfect but it gives a greater meaning to life and for many children, especially from broken homes, they need something outside of themselves to believe in or they'll be lost.

 

 

 

 

Full Moon's picture
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Re: Social Problems Are Costing Us

   

  It  does seem like  young people just need a group to feel a part of . Something they are accepted in .  If they do not have family , church, or youth group to come to  they  will go to the streets and find groups or gangs that accept them just the way they are .  Problem here is the leadership and back to the morals and character.  They do not have anyone to help them find out where their gifts are and help them find the teachers and teaching style that they need .   GOVT. schools can not reach every learning style . They are so busy giving tests that only the kids  who learn through the written work can pass well ,oh some will be able to memorize long enough to pass the test or guess well . The other are labeled stupid , looser , and you can only hear this so many times before it sticks.   My guess is that  the prisons are full of very creative people.  This happens now days early as 4-5 years old .  I do not know any lazy kiddos at that age . They are so willing to learn and life is an adventure . 

   Why do we let the Govt. convince us that they are expert and know what is best for our children to learn ?   These schools are costing us a fortune!  And failing .

  The problem with the middle class is that the parents are so busy chasing the $$$ and  stroking their own ego that they really do not have sit down talks with their kids . At best they have talk at their kids or just leave them a note  through the nanny .   I have a daughter who is a nanny boy the stories and experiences she has had !    Still  here the teens will go to their peers for leadership and advice when the adults fail .   These kids do get the activities .. every waking hour... They are so busy they do not even get time to be still and find out who they are .  These Parents only have children as one more trophy or accomplishment to add to their list .

 Either way the children  just want time with the parents that are suppose to love them most .   

  This is the one thing that I can see could be turned around . All this  would take is a few good families getting smart and  leading by example.  Standing up fighting for the rights of the family .  Being a good parent does not take  much money .. it takes time and commitment .

 I am saying that if we know where are kids are , who they are with , what they are looking at on the computer and tv,  and what they are doing ,  less likely they will start down the path that leads to destruction .   Get the Govt. out of the family .

  Ok I know they do not like people who write with opinion and not facts  so I will get off my soap box now .

 

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Re: Social Problems Are Costing Us

 

http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2001/10childrenfamilies_sawhill.aspx

 

 

The welfare law enacted in 1996 contained numerous provisions designed to reduce teen or out-of-wedlock childbearing including

A $50 million a year federal investment in abstinence education;

A requirement that teen mothers complete high school or the equivalent and live at home or in another supervised setting;

New measures to ensure that paternity is established and child support paid;

A $20 million bonus for each of the 5 states with the greatest success in reducing out-of-wedlock births and abortions;

A $1 billion performance bonus tied to the law's goals, which include reducing out-of-wedlock pregnancies and encouraging the formation and maintenance of two-parent families;

The flexibility for states to deny benefits to teen mothers or to mothers who have additional children while on welfare (no state has adopted the first but 23 states have adopted the second); and

A requirement that states set goals and take actions to reduce out-of-wedlock pregnancies, with special emphasis on teen pregnancies.

 

Research attempting to establish a link between one or more of these provisions and teen out-of-wedlock childbearing has, for the most part, failed to find a clear relationship. One exception is child support enforcement, which appears to have had a significant effect in deterring unwed childbearing.

 

HIghest teen pregnancy rate in the world

http://www.nga.org/cda/files/000111PREGNANCY.pdf 

 

 This article claims we have the highest teen pregnancy in the world.  But, check the dates!  This number has been dropping since the early 90s and is no longer accurate,  yet this article continues to be cited.

 

 

http://futureofchildren.org/futureofchildren/publications/journals/article/index.xml?journalid=43&articleid=176&sectionid=1139

 

 

State Bonuses

Two bonuses have been adopted to promote family formation goals. An award of $100 million annually is available for up to five states that have the highest reduction in their out-of-wedlock birth ratio and that also have reduced their abortion rate. The formula is based on the share of nonmarital births among women of all incomes and ages within the state (not just TANF recipients). In addition, up to $200 million annually is available to states to reward high performance in several categories, including, beginning in 2002, up to $10 million a year to be divided between 10 states in the new category of family formation and stability.39 The bonus will be awarded based on increases in the percentage of all children (not just low-income children) living in married-couple families.

 

 State bonuses are free market enterprises ideas to social refiorm:  if we pay states to fix their problems they will be motivated to fix them.  But in no case did they offer any solid advice on what methods to use to fix the problems and so states did not succeed in earning the bonuses because they did not know how.

http://www.physorg.com/news197644722.html

Very cotnroversially: 

Crime rates can be linked to increases in out-of-wedlock births.  

However,  this same articles shows:

ABORTION AND CRIME

In 2001, economists John Donohue and Freakonomics author Steven Levitt published a controversial paper linking lower crime rates in the 1990s with the legalization of abortion 20 years earlier. Donohue and Levitt contend that abortion lowered crime rates because many children who would have become criminals as adults were never born. Some commentators pilloried the study as implying that society benefits from abortion.

Kendall and Tamura’s study supports the idea that abortion does reduce future crime, but shows that the primary cause of this effect is the reduction in children born to unmarried parents. “Our findings suggest that promoting marriage among new parents could be as effective in reducing crime as loosening abortion restrictions,” Kendall said. “We show that abortion is a blunt policy lever for affecting crime rates.”

More information: Todd D. Kendall and Robert Tamura, "Unmarried Fertility, Crime, and Social Stigma." Journal of Law and Economics 53:1. 

 

What none of these studies look for is the number of these out of wedlock births that come from couples who stay together despite not marrying,  or who marry shortly after the birth.  The majority of out of wedlock birth actually happen to women over the age of 20.  Other studies show that a significant increase in out of wedlock births is to women over the age of 30!  

Studying the social problems is actually fairly easy.  And it is fairly straightforward to make a social change and then determine the outcome.  The reason this so very rarely happens is the lack of political will.   

Here is a video to a series of social experiments that were conducted in Africa

http://www.ted.com/talks/esther_duflo_social_experiments_to_fight_poverty.html

She has a heavy French accent but the site will provide subtitles if you click on them.

Here in the US,  our local and state governments change rapidly.  They change methodology and approaches toward dealing with social issues so often that outcomes cannot be measured accurately since not enough time has passed.

We can all speculate that terrible role models from TV and music play a role,  we can claim that minorities have terrible morals,  we can even claim (as I have been told) that women’s liberation destroyed the family.  But, despite the fact that most commonly held beliefs about poverty can be and have been disproven,  they remain the the predominant approaches that people use to justify programs intent on legislating morality.

We do know that legislating morality is a bad idea.  If people want less governmental involvement in their business surely that means we do not legislate morality.  

We are not a family friendly society.  We do not support families with children with systems that help families to care for them.  We leave families with patchwork systems to care for their kids,  we penalize parents of both genders who wish to actually take part in raising their children.  What works best is intact families.  What best creates intact families is societies which support them.  


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Re: Social Problems Are Costing Us
land2341 wrote:

We are not a family friendly society.  We do not support families with children with systems that help families to care for them.  We leave families with patchwork systems to care for their kids,  we penalize parents of both genders who wish to actually take part in raising their children.  What works best is intact families.  What best creates intact families is societies which support them.

Peter Schiff has talked about how the economic decline has forced both parents into the work force.  His arguments seem fairly sound that because of the deteriorating dollar, both parents have to work, where in the past only a single parent worked.  This would seem to create less family cohesion, and less involvement from parents.

I also wonder if the more social programs that are put in place to "help familes" actually breaks them apart.  After all, before all these social programs from governments, if you had problems, your first place to turn was to family (parents, siblings, etc).  Now it seems the first place to turn is the goverment which results in fewer connections.  When people need each other, they tend to have better relations.

I agree with others on this post that we need to reduce government involvement.  I don't think it's a coincidence that the more government programs that are put in place, the worst things seem to become. 

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Re: Social Problems Are Costing Us

Once upon a time there were two government programs.  They were both aimed at curing some social ills.  One was to help children inn poverty get a better start on their education and one was to help kids stay off of drugs.  The programs were launched with great fanfare.  Both were well received by most communities,  but for some reason the one program did not receive the good press coverage and the other one did.  One program had police officers involved in it and so they were very supportive.  The other one quietly opened its centers and taught kids.

Twenty-five years later studies on the two programs showed remarkably clear results.  D.A.R.E. the program designed to reduce drug use by teaching kids bad things about drugs,  had no impact on drug use whatsoever.  It did not matter how often or how little the program was run.  It did not matter if it was run in posh neighborhoods or ghettos.  It made no difference whatsoever.

Head Start on the other hand, made a huge difference.  Communities with a strong Head Start program had better retention of kids in school,  fewer discipline and truancy problems and more kids who graduated high school.  Amazingly enough Head Start actually had a direct impact on drug use!  Kids stayed in school and did not use drugs.

Pretty clear outcome wouldn't you say??  Guess which program got funded and which program was cut to the bone.

It is not that government programs cannot do what they are designed to do.  It is that government changes with the wind and political polls not facts or data.  Social problems are NOT intractable.  But, people want instant results and they try programs that fit their mold of what the problem is instead of figuring it out.

That other link I gave showed this clearly.  In Africa trying to keep kids in school was an obsession.  What would help?  Scholarships,  free meals,  uniforms?  What would do it?  When they looked at the data the answer was deworming.  It was health issues that kept the kids out.

I don't know who else but a governmental entity could address the real issues.  I don't see how a patchwork of faith based social workers can do it.  What we need is a program that is run as it is designed and studied analytically.  And then a government that responds to the data,  not the talking points.  

People with hope and people with options make better life decisions.  The better decisions they make the better it is for all of us.  And sadly, religion simply cannot give them more than hope.

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Re: Social Problems Are Costing Us
land2341 wrote:

I don't know who else but a governmental entity could address the real issues.  I don't see how a patchwork of faith based social workers can do it.  What we need is a program that is run as it is designed and studied analytically.  And then a government that responds to the data,  not the talking points.  

You say that politics keeps governments from funding the right programs, so that right there shows that relying on the government alone is not the answer.

land2341 wrote:

People with hope and people with options make better life decisions.  The better decisions they make the better it is for all of us.  And sadly, religion simply cannot give them more than hope.

Religion gives more than hope. It provides community and a moral structure. Now, I think some aspects of moral code in most world religions are a little dated and some downright regressive. But the moral code kept me fairly straightlaced through high school and I did not end up pregnant or on drugs in part because of religion.

In church I belonged to the youth group, which had outings and other activities that I remember fondly to this day. (The actual going to church part I did not enjoy so much.)

Going back to my earlier point about the media - no amount of government programs or even church can make up for the constant and never-ending media assault on our children. I know how to do hypnosis - and in one session I can get you to stop smoking. You think TV ads and shows don't have an effect on kids' brains?

I don't suggest that morality should be legislated, but that those people putting out content that kids might consume should consider putting out better content. Bratz dolls are ridiculously shallow, sexist, and consumerist. Someone came up with that idea and decided to market it. They should instead be marketing more positive images for young girls. Not by the point of a gun - but because they know it's the right thing to do.

There can be profit in being positive vs. negative. Will Smith actively decided not to put out negative rap music, but instead put out clean and more uplifting songs. His worst phrase is "gettin' jiggy with it!" And look at him - a huge success, international movie star, and he hasn't been shot and killed, or died of a drug overdose at the age of 22.

It's up to us to create a culture that is more life affirming. We do that by what we create and what we choose to consume.

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Social Problems Are Costing Us

 What is wrong with hope ? ? Is it not what we cling to ? What moves us to get out of bed ?    We  are not finding it anywhere else . We keep up hope to the very last breath . Take away hope and we perish .

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Re: Social Problems Are Costing Us

I am not dissing hope,  I am lamenting the options piece.

Any mind set which says government is the answer or government is not the answer is missing the point of government.

Any mind set that says religion is the answer or religion is not the answer is missing the role of religion.

My overall point is that viewing social problems as an intractable problem caused by one group of people that will "cost us" is sort of a bad way to view it.  Social problems will cost us,  as a people, as a culture.  But, insisting on looking at them on a cash basis or a blaming basis gets us no where.

 

Dollar cost averaging arguments don't persuade those who wish to blame.  

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Re: Social Problems Are Costing Us

Hau kola Ms Full Moon,

Hope is the fuel which drives one to accomplish their dreams or to take action in the face of seemingly overwhelming challenge.  Action, fueled by hope, is what makes a real difference.  Hope without action, hope alone, is worth little and rarely makes a difference.

I offer this from what I realize may be a unique and narrow perspective.

Cetan

Full Moon wrote:

 What is wrong with hope ? ? Is it not what we cling to ? What moves us to get out of bed ?    We  are not finding it anywhere else . We keep up hope to the very last breath . Take away hope and we perish .

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