The War on Happiness

posted at 9:30 am on April 6, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

There’s a whole lot of navel gazing going on this week on both sides of the aisle, and it seems to center on an event hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, (AEI) specifically a speech by Charles Murray on “The State of White America.” (Video of the speech is available here.) One portion of his remarks seemed to have dealt with the fact that people are taking longer to grow up and take on the full plate of adult responsibilities than they did in “the good old days.” This was first noted by Adam Serwer.

Murray’s basic conclusion was that something went deeply wrong in the mid-1960s, an idea that caused everyone in the room to nod their heads solemnly. And the basic thing that went wrong was that President Lyndon Johnson’s extension of the American welfare state undermined the essential virtue of the American people by making them soft, weak, and lazy where once they were hard, strong, and industrious. America’s decline can be traced to this moment. Liberals laugh at that old Ronald Reagan speech declaring the end of freedom with the advent of Medicare, but conservatives actually think that on some level, he was right. That’s the kind of moral outlook that’s guiding Ryan’s proposal, which basically abolishes Medicare and Medicaid as we know it while shifting the tax burden to the less well-off.

Such an observation was enough to send Mr. Yglesias into a tizzy, while adding in some recent comments by Monica Potts for extra flavoring.

Hymowitz’s argument, essentially, is that not only has feminism opened up new doors of opportunity to women, but it’s helped contribute to the growth of a society in which young men are less crushed down with family and household obligations and are spending more time enjoying themselves. Except she means this as a bad thing! In both cases the conservative conceit seems to be that a decline in human suffering is a bad thing because it leads to a corresponding decline in admirable anti-suffering effort. John Holbo memorably dubbed this Donner Party Conservatism.

First of all, at the risk of breaking out in a rousing chorus of “you darn kids get off my lawn,” I mostly agree with John Hawkins on this. Too much generalization always courts the risk of falling flat on your face, but there does seem to be a pervasive sentiment among left leaners on this subject. They will frequently make the case that one of the defining characteristics of all strains of conservatism is “a deep, abiding fear that somebody, somewhere may be having a good time.”

But the fact is that times have changed since I was a young man. Back then, men in their early twenties frequently were already busy with a job, mowing the lawn and working on getting a wife if they had not done so already. Going to college was more the exception than the rule, and young men graduating high school frequently went straight into the job market. We married younger, started families sooner, and generally expected to be somewhat “established” in life by the time we reached our early thirties.

Society has undergone a dramatic shift. Life in general is more expensive, particularly since we all have to have so many things which our parents never thought of. You’ve got to have a cell phone, a laptop, a high speed internet connection and 327 channels of cable television. (312 of which you will never watch.) It takes longer to save up the money to position yourself for marriage and two incomes are often required to maintain a modern lifestyle, so children are often put off until later in life.

Is this a war on happiness? It’s a silly concept since, as John points out, studies consistently show that married people are happier than single people, religious people are happier than non-religious people, and conservatives are happier than liberals. But how are we to define happiness? That is best left to the observer, but the ability to spend your days playing games on your X-box and then hitting the clubs until all hours of the night might not be all it’s cracked up to be in terms of long term life satisfaction.


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I thought this was going to be about the Happy Meals in NY.

fossten on April 6, 2011 at 9:33 AM

One makes one’s own happiness – if one is left alone to so do.

OldEnglish on April 6, 2011 at 9:40 AM

I have three sons, all in their 20′s. One is going on his third hitch with the Marines, the other two are fully employed, still taking post-grad classes, both engaged, both own their own homes, and drive new cars.

My contribution to all of this? Being or striving to be a good Dad, a single parent dad, at that. The rest is totally on them. They got handed nothing, but good advice and reassurance when things weren’t going so well. But the jobs, the schooling, the home ownership, investments, new cars, great credit ratings, all of it is their effort.

Their high school peers? Mostly still hanging around, living with the ‘rents, getting cash from Mommy and Daddy when they need a new whatever or they’ve blown their minimum-wage paycheck buying beer or video games, or trying to impress babes, who are not impressed by unemployed guys who still live with their parents.

The point?

The welfare state, the nanny state, is part of the problem. The other major part is parents who believe that if they don’t do everything, provide everything, for their kids so their kids won’t have it as tough as they had it, they are failing as a parent. Giving your kid what they want when they want it is the only way to be a good parent.

They never kick the little birdie out of the nest when the times comes and little birdie never learns to fly…and eventually dies in the nest.

Even if the economy were doing great, a good large portion of these kids would still be living with the parents, asking Mommy for extra cash for “stuff” and letting their parents take care of them. Why not? It’s free.

So, too, with the welfare state.

coldwarrior on April 6, 2011 at 9:48 AM

One makes one’s own happiness – if one is left alone to so do.

That is true – for many people. But some people are just unhappy all the time and want to spread their misery to everyone else. Many of them are on the “left” politically.

More on-topic I think humans need a goal in life to work towards and extending the teenage lifestyle into the 20s and 30s goes against the normal developmental process = ie the person feels unhappy.

MidWestFarmer on April 6, 2011 at 9:48 AM

The pursuit of happiness is not about being happy, but of the concept of happenstance which is where you are on this earth and must deal with to move through life. With happenstance also comes fortune, which is not just a reward but a risk as one’s fortune can be good or ill in life.

We have moved away from the eternal concepts of dealing with our happiness to utilize our fortune through our liberty and freedom to craft a good life and, instead, seek out the temporary satisfaction of the moment and do not prepare for our future needs and if our fortune ever turns ill. When bad times come it is those who have seen that fortune does not always run good, that our happenstance is ever in the balance, and that it is we who determine our future that will prosper by their frugal application of liberty to secure their freedom. Those that chase after the temporary and ever present ephemeral satisfaction do not prepare for the day of ill fortune that no life is without.

That is what ‘delayed adulthood’ is all about: reducing your life’s happenstance to ephemeral satisfaction for longer periods and depending on others to provide you with that satisfaction by postponing your life. Life is what you make of it, and that isn’t about computers, celphones, the internet, nor any of those mere material frivolities. If you can make something better with those frivolities, then you see your liberty exercised to the benefit of yourself and those around you. Are the items a distraction or a way to enable yourself to prosper with your happenstance and molding your fortune? Are the devices your servant, or are you the servant of the devices to get ephemeral good feelings?

ajacksonian on April 6, 2011 at 9:49 AM

This was on C-Span when I got off the election thread last night. Mr. Murray was taking question. People use to consider their employment and doing a good job as a source of pride, not it’s just some place that gives you money.

Cindy Munford on April 6, 2011 at 9:49 AM

…hitting the clubs until all hours of the night might not be all it’s cracked up to be in terms of long term life satisfaction.

I’m in trouble…

One makes one’s own happiness – if one is left alone to so do.

OldEnglish on April 6, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Exactly my point in the gay marriage debate, for example. Leave gays alone to marry and be happy.

JetBoy on April 6, 2011 at 9:51 AM

I put things off too long.

Ladies, view my profile on okcupid.com

I am AyeGuy

Let’s do this thing!

pseudonominus on April 6, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Leave gays alone to marry and be happy.

JetBoy on April 6, 2011 at 9:51 AM

What do you mean by Gays? Gay means happy and carefree. Are you talking about homosexuals? If you are they the term gay really doesn’t apply. The only unhappier group of people I’ve ever seen in my life is feminists.

Tommy_G on April 6, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Liberals are people that believe, you can take the prize money for a boxing match, split the total in half, give half to each boxer before the match, and not change the character of the boxing match. They imagine what human nature should be–not what it is.

RBMN on April 6, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Background: I’m a middle aged, uptight, Midwestern, white guy who is a partner in a long running, successful law firm in a mid-market.

Problem: We’ve had all kinds of trouble trying to find young people who are willing to work. They demand long vacations, leave at five, and are basically irresponsible. We’re trying to find people to take over this multi-milllion dollar business but they do not seem to want to do so. (One of them left to be a shoe salesman, for Christ’s sake.) Basically, they been told they are wonderful all their lives and that good things will naturally come to them through no effort on their part – and they believe it. We’re not sure what we’re going to do.

Oh. I almost forgot: Get off my lawn.

Hucklebuck on April 6, 2011 at 10:02 AM

I can’t wait for my daily grind of trying to excel in the office of a dying company. I expect that if I could be content to just say “meh” and glare at Facebook all day – instead of working diligently – my stress levels would go way, way down.

I wonder if my alma mater would release a copy of the letter of recommendation written for me by my supervisor at my high school job. I would like to frame it, underlining the sentence that says “[Jeddite] may experience difficulty slowing down when working with people who are not as motivated as he is.”

Hmmm… maybe I should use company time to find her on Facebook, so I can thank her ;)

Jeddite on April 6, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Leave gays alone to marry and be happy.

JetBoy on April 6, 2011 at 9:51 AM

But that is at the expense of everyone who follows traditional custom.

My point concerned the interference being practised by those who wish to dictate to others – by those who wish not to let well alone.

OldEnglish on April 6, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Leave gays alone to marry and be happy.

Why do they need state approval to be happy? Why can’t they just live together and find happiness in each other?

One of the greatest joys in life is being happy despite others.

Crawford on April 6, 2011 at 10:14 AM

They will frequently make the case that one of the defining characteristics of all strains of conservatism liberalism is “a deep, abiding fear that somebody, somewhere may be having a good time.”

We’re not the ones banning Happy Meals. Heck, the Left’s entire m.o. is to make everyone equally miserable. And hedonism doesn’t equal happiness either in case that’s what they mean by a “good time”.

Buy Danish on April 6, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Happiness? We dumped God and have been unhappy ever since. We now need the state to give us faux happiness, and to raise our children, the ones we don’t slaughter in order to keep our happiness. The ones we allow to live, are gifted happiness by their government schools(it’s called self esteem)and license to unbridled and incosequential sexual freedom Our new god – the state has given us permission to be unproductive living off the efforts of others while rejecting our parents’values – as long as we vote for them. Voting for them is what makes us all happy, unless they really try to take our Happy Meals away….

Don L on April 6, 2011 at 10:20 AM

I think it’s the fluoride in the water. They warned us back in the 50s.

rgeaste on April 6, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Life is what YOU make of it.

Unfortunately many believe it should be branded, packaged and sold to them – with a guaranteed refund if they are not “happy”.

GarandFan on April 6, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Hucklebuck on April 6, 2011 at 10:02 AM

So, you’re hiring? Because I’ve been fed up with my job for a long time now.

And I live in the midwest.

fossten on April 6, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Leave gays alone to marry and be happy.
JetBoy on April 6, 2011 at 9:51 AM

You’re already happy, you’re gay.

Bishop on April 6, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Life in general is more expensive, particularly since we all have to have so many things which our parents never thought of. You’ve got to have a cell phone, a laptop, a high speed internet connection and 327 channels of cable television. (312 of which you will never watch.) It takes longer to save up the money to position yourself for marriage and two incomes are often required to maintain a modern lifestyle, so children are often put off until later in life.

It’s actually more a result of the anti-family Federal Reserve with its vicious inflation tax.

Rae on April 6, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Exactly my point in the gay marriage debate, for example. Leave gays alone to marry and be happy.

JetBoy on April 6, 2011 at 9:51 AM

They ARE free to marry (or shack up). They just don’t have the right to call it what it’s not.

Words have real meanings.

Squiggy on April 6, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Leave gays alone to marry and be happy.
JetBoy on April 6, 2011 at 9:51 AM

You pick and choose what you want from your church when it’s convenient, don’t you? Well, that just makes you typical.

mankai on April 6, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Murray’s basic conclusion was that something went deeply wrong in the mid-1960s

Baby-boomer Liberals have done, and continue to do, enormous damage to this country.

visions on April 6, 2011 at 11:02 AM

how are we to define happiness? That is best left to the observer

Nah, nah, nah, you’ve got it all wrong, Jazz. According to the Nanny-staters, it’s up to them, thus banning Happy Meals, salt, muscle cars, an endless list of happiness. We’re just sheeple, and we need to fall in line…../sarc

Robert17 on April 6, 2011 at 11:03 AM

You pick and choose what you want from your church when it’s convenient, don’t you? Well, that just makes you typical.

mankai on April 6, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Yes, typical since most of those Americans still filling the Catholic pews do the same.

dedalus on April 6, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Having a behavioral professional background and using just about every popular motivation speaker out there in my company, it is my observation that unhappy people never change. They say if only I could have______________I would be happy. It it was marriage, new House, New job etc. Around 6 months after they have the thing that would make them happy, they are back to their same previous level of unhappiness. If we provide and pay for all the gays to get married, in 6 months it will be something else. and they will be unhappy and blame others for it.

seven on April 6, 2011 at 11:17 AM

seven on April 6, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Though the founders saw happiness as something pursued not simply endowed and enjoyed.

dedalus on April 6, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Feminism.
Then no fault divorce.
Two things that should have never been allowed to run amok.
People actually congregate into familial units for a reason.

There are a lot of good comments here.
As a teacher, I see what some have mentioned here. The selfishness & pure laziness & unmotivation of today’s youth.
There’s 2 reasons why big companies (like Microsoft, etc.) want to hire foreigners for highly educated technical positions:
1. they’ll probably work for peanuts compared to American expectations
2. They are motivated, don’t mind actually working & doing their jobs, & don’t feel the world owes them a living.
That ismostly why Americans are losing out to foreigners.
I demand certain things from my students & if they can’t perform to those expectations, they will fail.
Sometimes I have had half the kids in my 9th grade class failing.
I do not lower the bar.
I catch hell for it.
But I won’t change this.
Bcs I know what the real world is like.
That’s why I despise special education & what it has done to people with real disabilities.

Badger40 on April 6, 2011 at 11:55 AM

After I grew up (which probably happened around my mid-fifties), I began to realize that part of happiness in life is the satisfaction of coping with all the setbacks, boredoms, responsibilities, and disappointments of life and going on to enjoy the good parts anyway. Now, looking back, I can say that I did the best I could and it was pretty darn well. Those who grow up pampered and sheltered are missing that, I think.

RebeccaH on April 6, 2011 at 12:00 PM

The reason why people are unhappy is the fact that, for most Americans, wages have stagnated over the past 20-30 years. Now, it’s important to point out (which no one does) that we are strictly talking about white people and highly educated minorities. Those blacks with only a high school degree? Who cares.

Anywho, top-1% incomes have risen by nearly double digits every year for the past 20 (they’ve tripled since the 80′s). Median income has barley budged. In fact, families are now living worse today thanks to the fact that it’s harder to buy things today than it was 20 years ago, and they are getting paid proportionally less and are living in communities with failing public services. There’s a few reasons for this, and one big one being the cutting of benefits/wages by American corporations and a tax philosophy, written by wealthy people, claiming that cutting their taxes at the expense of everyone else will improve the economy. The stats show that it’s just not the case.

So where does these people turn? The Democrats are idiots, and the Republicans promise to be these harbingers of the middle class. Than, you turn on Fox News, and learn that executives as Citibank who helped tank the economy NEED to get paid their $500,000 bonus every year, but the teacher in Wisconsin dealing with 6 classes of 30 inner city black kids with the same education level as that Citibank executive doesn’t deserve 45k a year. It doesn’t even need to be a teacher, let’s talk about factory workers, police officers, middle management in companies, who are being destroyed wage wise so the top-1% can see those insane profits. Than, you have people like Hannity going around bemoaning the middle class for “not paying any taxes” (that story lasted about 2 days before his producers got a hold of his neck, didn’t it?).

Long story short: it has nothing to do with feminism or homosexuailty. It has to do with 30 years of stagnant wages in all but the highest parts of American society, and an American middle class that’s being told to sacrifice to help these mega-corporations while they are one missed check away from defaulting on their mortgage.

Rainsford on April 6, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Yes, typical since most of those Americans still filling the Catholic pews do the same.

dedalus on April 6, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Most? Try “all”.

I only respect the (until recently) sedevacantists. I disagree with them on just about every theological point, but at least they actually believe what their church used to teach.

mankai on April 6, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Rainsford on April 6, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Stagnant wages? The reason for unhappiness?

Only if possessions and money are the sole rationale for living. And only more and more of each will satisfy a growing hunger. Sorta like a meth head or crack junkie…if only…

But, I see more and more Americans seeing the same thing…if only I had more money or better pay, I’d be happy….

Sad. Truly sad.

coldwarrior on April 6, 2011 at 12:17 PM

War on Happiness? There certainly is one.

The left wants to take away my income, my rights, and control my day to day activities more closely then any tyranny in history.

Yes, yes, they’ll allow me to have sex with who I want and all the soma I should desire. And in return, all I have to give them is control over every other decision I wish to make.

I could not think of a better way to destroy the notion of happiness…

18-1 on April 6, 2011 at 12:18 PM

mankai on April 6, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Funny thing…the only “new” Catholic church built in this area in well over 20 years is a sedevacantist named after Blessed John XXIII.

A large and growing parish, too.

Me? I’m a typical Catholic. Miss the old Latin Mass from in my youth, in the Pius XII days.

The current arrangement is between myself and God. Hope he understands.

But, generally happy as the years grow.

coldwarrior on April 6, 2011 at 12:22 PM

I did my part. As a single working mother, collecting no Government money. My son became self supporting at 18 years old. This did not just “happen”. If he wanted money he had to find a way to earn it from age 5years on. He was taught the world does not give something for nothing. This may seem harsh to some but it worked. He was my little entrepreneur, now he is my big entrepreneur. He owns his own small businesses (needs more then one to make it). When he could not find a job he started his first business. His attitude was, if I can not find a job I will make one. I am so proud of him! Now if the Government will stop hammering him every time he turns around he will find his “happiness”.(financially)

IowaWoman on April 6, 2011 at 12:29 PM

The current arrangement is between myself and God. Hope he understands.

There is only one theology in the world… yours (which is true of all of us).

;)

But, generally happy as the years grow.

coldwarrior on April 6, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Pursue truth with vigor, and happiness will result.

mankai on April 6, 2011 at 12:40 PM

You pick and choose what you want from your church when it’s convenient, don’t you? Well, that just makes you typical.

mankai on April 6, 2011 at 10:56 AM

What does that have to do with this? And I do believe I’ve said repeatedly how I feel about The Church re this topic.

JetBoy on April 6, 2011 at 12:49 PM

mankaion April 6, 2011 at 12:10 PM

coldwarrior on April 6, 2011 at 12:22 PM

I am a catechist who trained under Bishop Charles Chaput, and a more devout and loyal bishop than he does not exist. And he once told me that it is very unwise to judge the people in the pews next to me because we have NO IDEA what is really in their hearts.

Should they be taking the teachings of the church they are sitting in more seriously? No doubt they should, but so should we all. There is not a one among us who is not a sinner and we should have compassion for the people who have been misled into thinking they can pick and choose what is truth and what is not. Especially our brothers and sisters in Christ.

We do not know where they are in their journey or how far they have come, just to be sitting in the pew. They could be fighting a heroic battle and we don’t even know it.

I suspect come judgement day, there will be surprises.

Lily on April 6, 2011 at 12:53 PM

And he once told me that it is very unwise to judge the people in the pews next to me because we have NO IDEA what is really in their hearts.

Absolutely.

JetBoy on April 6, 2011 at 1:04 PM

The War on Happiness

Never saw this movie, probably never will. The Pursuit of Happyness is more to my liking.

But the fact is that times have changed since I was a young man.

Times have changed since I was a kid. Back then, kids were mowing lawns and delivering newspapers. Adults have taken most of those jobs now. It has become increasingly more difficult to instill work values among kids today as there is little work available to them.

Going to college was more the exception than the rule, and young men graduating high school frequently went straight into the job market.

Going to college was still somewhat the rule back then, the exception being in my family, we were expected to attend college and work at the same time. Today those going to college frequently receive a ‘get out of work card’.

Life in general is more expensive, particularly since we all have to have so many things which our parents never thought of.

Our parents defined those have to have items as want to have items, and if we wanted to have them bad enough, we had to get a job and pay for them. Unfortunately, many are now simply handed those have to have items.

the ability to spend your days playing games on your X-box and then hitting the clubs until all hours of the night might not be all it’s cracked up to be in terms of long term life satisfaction.

It is when someone else is paying for it. Reality tends to set in only when the money faucet gets shut off.

rukiddingme on April 6, 2011 at 1:06 PM

I am in my mid-fifties, working for a salary in middle management. The lifestyle I have would have been considered borderline wealthy by the standards that were present during my youth. I’m amazed that my stories of growing up are almost as incredible to kids as my parents stories were to me.
The new generation coming on are less ambitious and much more demanding; it’s far easier for my employer to hire immigrants who have a better work ethic and less expectations (sad but true). My wife was just having difficulties training new employees in her company; they kept playing with their cell phones instead of working.

mad scientist on April 6, 2011 at 1:06 PM

I’ve said this before:
It’s easy for an established individual in their 30′s-50′s to meet/date/marry/live with one of the 25-year old perpetual adolescents. It’s called “quarter-life crisis”, it’s scary that it’s common enough to be given a term and category of it’s own.
This is not exactly a path to adulthood for the adolescent, and not a basis for relationship between equals.

mad scientist on April 6, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Lily on April 6, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Thanks, Lily. But the good bishop doesn’t take the Popes and Councils seriously… and neither does anybody else.

I was educated in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia under the auspices John Cardinal Krol (“Saturday mass is for sinners!) and I taught Religious education classes (Sacraments, Death, Confirmation) in two dioceses… then I studied the words of the Popes and Councils… let’s just say that the house of cards has longs since fallen.

mankai on April 6, 2011 at 1:31 PM

mankai on April 6, 2011 at 1:31 PM

You obviously have no idea who Archbishop Chaput is when you say he doesn’t take the popes and councils seriously.

Neither does it make sense to say that no one else does either. You have no way of know who does or does not. You can only make that determination for yourself.

Lily on April 6, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Lily on April 6, 2011 at 1:50 PM

I’d quote a few popes and councils, but apparently that is tantamount to “Catholic bashing” and “anti-Catholic bigotry”… so I’ll refrain.

Especially our brothers and sisters in Christ.

By this, I assume you mean your fellow Catholics… so I will again refrain.

mankai on April 6, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Especially our brothers and sisters in Christ.

By this, I assume you mean your fellow Catholics… so I will again refrain.

mankai on April 6, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Us Catholics refer to Protestants as our “brothers and sisters in Christ”.

JetBoy on April 6, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Us Catholics refer to Protestants as our “brothers and sisters in Christ”.

JetBoy on April 6, 2011 at 2:27 PM

So you haven’t read the Popes and Councils… or if you have you don’t believe they know what or who is a Christian.

mankai on April 6, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Long story short: it has nothing to do with feminism or homosexuailty. It has to do with 30 years of stagnant wages in all but the highest parts of American society, and an American middle class that’s being told to sacrifice to help these mega-corporations while they are one missed check away from defaulting on their mortgage.

Rainsford on April 6, 2011 at 12:08 PM

I’m not going to say that your rant here doesn’t participate in making Americans unhappy.
Mega corps suceed bcs the govt lets them.
Monopoly laws already on the books are not enforced at all, unless selectively.
Lobbyists grease the palms of Congress, as well as help write, or write, the legislation that affects business, always making sure they get the long end of the stick.
So it is govt that is the problem in the 1st place.
A business should be free to pay people it employs whatever the hell wage they see fit.
This whining about CEOs making tons of $$ is not why Americans are getting crappy wages.
It is more complicated than that.
As a rancher, if we were to hire someone, we would not be able to afford very high wages bcs of the profit margin, which is thin in this business.
So if I pay myself a higher wage than my grunt, that means I’m evil?
Making profits is not evil.
And notice people are free to get ahead in life any way they see fit.
There is a lot to factor in for why wages are the way they are.
How about the millions of illegal aliens the federal govt does nothing about?
They pretty much set the price for labor.
Even in technical fields, i.e. Indians from India working in tech fields & big companies fighting each other over visas for them to come & work vs hiring an American.
The foreigners will work for less & harder than the American.
So there is more to it than you are saying & you know it.
And feminism & no fault divorce are a part of the puzzle that has made Americans the way that they are.

Badger40 on April 6, 2011 at 3:20 PM

mankai on April 6, 2011 at 3:01 PM

I fail to see how attacking JetBoy for being who he is religious-wise does anything for anyone here.

Badger40 on April 6, 2011 at 3:22 PM

I was a bit of a “helicopter” mom, they would say definitely overprotective of them. They were often regaled with tales of my own childhood in a small town in the midwest and the hours and hours spent wandering around in search of adventure.

But, times were different then and they were raised much differently than I.

I told them more than once, “I grew up with very few things, but with great freedom. You on the other hand have a lot of things but very little freedom.”

I guess I inadvertently prepared them for this new America.

I wish I had figured out sooner rather than later how wrong liberalism is.

Jvette on April 6, 2011 at 3:25 PM

People are definitely waiting longer to start families. I think you are better of starting a family in your 20s though; I’m glad I did. Keeping up with small kids is hard physical labor and a lot of nights with little sleep. I can’t imagine doing something like that in my 40s as more and more people are doing. Plus, my youngest will be out of college before we are 55 so we can set our sights on retirement.

Another thing people never seem to think about… Getting pregnant in your 20s is usually free while getting pregnant later often requires fertility treatments. IVF is EXPENSIVE. In this state it is about $20k a round, and it can take multiple rounds to get preggers.

Another subtle benefit of having kids young… My husband seems to be advancing a lot faster in his career than guys he graduated with who don’t have families. He does better on his performance reviews, offered the big projects and is generally promoted faster.

Our beautiful children make us happier than anything else, but some extra in the bank, faster career advancement, and an early retirement certainly don’t hurt. Why would you put all that off for ten or more years?

bitsy on April 6, 2011 at 3:30 PM

I fail to see how attacking JetBoy for being who he is religious-wise does anything for anyone here.

Badger40 on April 6, 2011 at 3:22 PM

How come only his faith is off-limits?

I’m calling him on his hypocrisy. He claims his Catholicism and has, in the past, presented it here… yet he doesn’t even believe what they teach. He supports the “evil” of “gay marriage” and is thus censured (if not condemned) by an entity he wants others to either consider or respect.

If he doesn’t care what they think about what is evil and what is not, why should I take him seriously on the subject?

mankai on April 6, 2011 at 3:37 PM

They will frequently make the case that one of the defining characteristics of all strains of conservatism is “a deep, abiding fear that somebody, somewhere may be having a good time.”

Whereas what we really fear is that select people are having a good time at the taxpayers’ expense. Or even a lazy, unrewarding time at the taxpayers’ expense.

disa on April 6, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Of course it’s not a war on happiness. People choose to be happy or unhappy, it really has little to do with their circumstances.

For example, women are unhappier than ever, with everything feminism has provided them. They still think they “deserve” to “have it all.”

Boy, Mom was righter than I ever knew. If you give it away, who’s gonna buy the cow and raise calves?

disa on April 6, 2011 at 5:46 PM

Studies show:
That Muslims are happier than nearly anybody,
Communism was working
and under Hitler the trains ran on time.
Later studies showed that: Muslims aren’t allowed to be unhappy, Communism worked especially well in uninhabited villages
and reporting train incidents under Hitler invoked the death penalty.

Observation on April 6, 2011 at 5:59 PM

mankai on April 6, 2011 at 3:37 PM

I’m wondering why that fight was necessary to pick here at all really.
But that’s your business.
I find him a seriously confused person. And I am not sure how badgering him would bring him to your side of thinking.
But that is just my opinion.

Observation on April 6, 2011 at 5:59 PM

+10

Badger40 on April 7, 2011 at 8:02 AM

It has to do with 30 years of stagnant wages in all but the highest parts of American society, and an American middle class that’s being told to sacrifice to help these mega-corporations while they are one missed check away from defaulting on their mortgage.

Rainsford on April 6, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Well, stagnant wages are definitely a problem. Many of my peers can’t afford to move out and certainly can’t afford to buy a house. (Hint: It’s not the fault of “mega corporations”; every one of my friends would love for some big corporation to hire them.)

But the affluence of our kids, the lack of work ethic and the insane assumptions they are encouraged to make about their lives are also a problem. We are telling our kids all they need to succeed in life is to get accepted and graduate from a good school. That’s patently false.. Employers aren’t impressed anymore by kids with fancy degrees because they know those kids most likely had parents who paid the tuition and the kids themselves probably wasted four years on drinking and sex.

We aren’t teaching children to work hard. We aren’t encouraging them to earn their own money from age 14-16 on. Almost no teen has a part-time job, and it’s usually because they think working the drive-in window at McD’s is beneath them. Mom and Dad have plenty of money, they buy everything the kid needs so the kid can “focus on school”. This is depriving the kid from actually learning useful, marketable skills. It’s insane.

alwaysfiredup on April 8, 2011 at 3:00 PM