USA Today asks, “Why not fix the family instead?”

posted at 8:41 am on February 22, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama promised to expand government spending on pre-kindergarten education to make it “universal,” a proposal certain to warm the hearts of middle Americans.  After all, who doesn’t want to help our children get ahead?  However, that prompts two questions — will it actually help, and could we take more effective and less costly action elsewhere?  USA Today addressed the first question yesterday, and argued that the real danger to toddlers isn’t a lack of pre-K education; it’s broken families:

Children are most likely to succeed in school when pushed by parents who provide stability, help with schooling, and instill an education and work ethic. But for decades now, the American family has been breaking down.

Two-fifths of children born in the USA are born to unmarried mothers, an eightfold increase since 1960. Many succeed thanks to the heroic efforts of strong, motivated single parents and other relatives. But research shows that children of single parents suffer disproportionately high poverty rates, impaired development and low performance in school.

Ron Haskins, an expert on children and families at the Brookings Institution, calls single parenthood a “little motor pushing up the poverty rate.” In 2011, the rate for children of single mothers was more than four times greater than that for children of married couples.

Researchers at Princeton and Columbia, following 5,000 children born to married and unmarried parents, have found that the effects of single parenthood seep into every aspect of kids’ lives.

A typical pattern in these “fragile families” looks like this: When a child is born, most fathers and mothers are in a committed relationship. By the time the child reaches 5, though, many fathers have disappeared. As the mothers move on to new relationships, the children face more instability, often with new siblings born to different fathers. Boys without strong male role models are more likely to turn to gangs and crime.

Single mothers read less to their children, are more likely to use harsh discipline and are less likely to maintain stable routines, such as a regular bedtime. All these behaviors are important predictors of children’s health and development.

If more pre-K education provided an antidote to these ills, then it might still be worth it.  However, USA Today alludes to studies showing that it actually does little or no good, and Charles Murray at Bloomberg provides a deeper analysis:

“Study after study shows that the earlier a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road,” said U.S. President Barack Obama in Feb. 14 speech in Decatur, Georgia. “Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on — boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, reducing violent crime.”

Obama wants to help our nation’s children flourish. So do I. So does everyone who is aware of the large number of children who are not flourishing. There are just two problems with his solution: The evidence used to support the positive long-term effects of early childhood education is tenuous, even for the most intensive interventions. And for the kind of intervention that can be implemented on a national scale, the evidence is zero. …

IHDP provided a level of early intervention that couldn’t possibly be replicated nationwide, but it gave us by far the most thorough test of intensive early intervention to date.

The follow-ups at ages 2 and 3 were positive, with large gains in cognitive functioning for the treatment group. But by age 5, those gains had attenuated. Where are things now? In the most recent report, the children in the study had reached 18. For the two-thirds of the sample who weighed no more than 2,000 grams (4.4 pounds) at birth, almost all of the outcome measures weren’t even in the right direction: The control group did slightly better. For those who weighed 2,001 to 2,500 grams at birth, the best news the analysts could find were positive differences on a math test and on a self-report of risky behaviors that reached statistical significance but were substantively small. Combine the results for both groups, and the IHDP showed no significant effects on any of the reported measures — not cognitive tests, measures of behavior problems and academic achievement, or arrest, incarceration and school- dropout rates.

Should we conclude that the IHDP results were depressed because of infants with serious neurologic complications, and that it would have worked on neurologically normal infants? The researchers ran the analysis on children who were free of significant neurological problems and found no difference.

Another possibility is that the aggregate results were damped down because some of the IHDP children were not socioeconomically disadvantaged. Were the results any better when the disadvantaged members of the sample were analyzed separately? The 18-year follow-up report is silent on that question. I can’t help but assume that if the results for the disadvantaged children had been better, we would have heard about them. Based on the published record, the IHDP results give no reason for optimism about even the most intensive early education approaches.

In fact, the federal government studied the impact of their largest, long-term intervention in this area, Head Start.  The results?  No lasting benefit could be found, and in some areas, it actually hurt.  As Murray stated later in his piece, the program may have given a small percentage of children who lived in at-risk environments a few hours in a safer place, and that does have some value.

However, that brings us back to the point of USA Today’s editorial.  Children from broken homes are more likely to live in relatively unsafe environments due to poverty, attention issues, and so on.  Instead of extending the government penumbra and taking kids out of the home for just a few hours of the day for programs that provide no other benefit, why aren’t we focusing on finding ways to incentivize marriage and disincentivize divorce and parental irresponsibility? If we want to improve the learning capabilities of the next generation, we would find much more potential in that approach.

Update: An astute observation from Hot Air reader Neil:

While I agree with all your comments regarding “fixing the family” I believe you’re missing the real rationale behind the creation of a federally funded universal Pre-K program; namely to generate a 100,000 new members of the SEIU; the consequences of which are clear, regardless of programmatic success.

Yes, the rationale behind government expansion is usually government expansion, with all of the usual cui bono suspects.


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Instead of extending the government penumbra and taking kids out of the home for just a few hours of the day for programs that provide no other benefit, why aren’t we focusing on finding ways to incentivize marriage and disincentivize divorce and parental irresponsibility?

I agree that more 2-parent homes are the key to fixing a lot of what ails our society(hey, that idiot Dan Quayle was right about family values after all!), but I don’t see what the government can do to incentivize this. Ironically they could do a lot more good by mothballing or slashing their welfare programs. The Great Society destroyed the black family in America.

Doughboy on February 22, 2013 at 8:44 AM

That doesn’t fit in with their plans.
sorry.

Cleombrotus on February 22, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Isn’t that heresy, or something?

OldEnglish on February 22, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Drone strike at USA Today in 4..3..2..1…………

waterytart on February 22, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Because liberals have more power when they are the “daddy.” Broken families are liberals goal. Why would they fix the families when they can push gay marriage as an alternative, transgenderism, single motherhood, and school indoctrination/

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 8:50 AM

…. why aren’t we focusing on finding ways to incentivize marriage and disincentivize divorce and parental irresponsibility?

You’re kidding, right? Since when did doing the right thing, encouraging independence or just plain common sense ever occur to the enlightened unicorn worshipping left?

It also furthers the narrative that anyone who is against their utopian plans just hate children, the poor, and are just plain evil.

tru2tx on February 22, 2013 at 8:53 AM

It Takes a Village…to program and propagandize a child.

The breakdown of the traditional family plays right into the cradle-to-grave control that this Administration and the other members of the Far Left want over our daily lives. Hence, the push for nationally-run Preschools.

That is how you create a Socialist society.

kingsjester on February 22, 2013 at 8:56 AM

With all this free birth control now-
should fix the problem.

bazil9 on February 22, 2013 at 8:56 AM

You cannot control the masses that way. Replace the father with a welfare check, and the people will beat a path to the voting booth.

rightside on February 22, 2013 at 8:57 AM

USA Today asks, “Why not fix the family instead?”

Because progs don’t want to fix the family; they want to replace it with the state.

petefrt on February 22, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Whatever shortcomings Barrack and Moochelle had to deal with in their many years of history…
Will all be fixed in Obama’s two terms..

Well..

His last term..

Maybe

Electrongod on February 22, 2013 at 8:59 AM

…why aren’t we focusing on finding ways to incentivize marriage and disincentivize divorce and parental irresponsibility?

Because of the, “What about me and my needs?” attitude out there.

Some would be shocked to hear the things I have heard some mothers say to their toddlers, with the F-word used more often in one sentence than many people use it in a day.

Liam on February 22, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Doughboy on February 22, 2013 at 8:44 AM

It’s harsh perhaps, but young ladies(?) must be aware they will be on their own when becoming baby mommas.

Sink or swim, it’s their choice.

Subsidize corn and get more corn; subsidize bastards and…

FOWG1 on February 22, 2013 at 9:01 AM

fix the family??? the way obama grew up is the perfect model. he doesn’t know who his real daddy is and his mother was a whore.

GhoulAid on February 22, 2013 at 9:04 AM

La la la….just do what i tell ya
-dear leader

cmsinaz on February 22, 2013 at 9:04 AM

It’s harsh perhaps, but young ladies(?) must be aware they will be on their own when becoming baby mommas.

Sink or swim, it’s their choice.

Subsidize corn and get more corn; subsidize bastards and…

FOWG1 on February 22, 2013 at 9:01 AM

It’s what’s necessary, but I don’t see that happening until there literally is no money left to be doled out. The Democrat Party is a long ways removed from the welfare reform of the Clinton era(Bill, not Hillary).

Doughboy on February 22, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Instead of extending the government penumbra and taking kids out of the home for just a few hours of the day for programs that provide no other benefit, why aren’t we focusing on finding ways to incentivize marriage and disincentivize divorce and parental irresponsibility? If we want to improve the learning capabilities of the next generation, we would find much more potential in that approach.

I like Ed and I usually enjoy his analysis, but what he wrote is part of the problem, and he even included the statistics about why I say this. Why talk about disincentivizing divorce when the problem is that young women are having kids without getting married in the first place? We need to move away from the idea that it is ok for single mothers to have kids.

thuja on February 22, 2013 at 9:06 AM

he doesn’t know who his real daddy is and his mother was a whore.

GhoulAid on February 22, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Utopia!

Electrongod on February 22, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Oh awesome. Let’s fund another level of teachers who get immediate tenure for babysitting.

John the Libertarian on February 22, 2013 at 9:10 AM

I don’t see what the government can do to incentivize this.

Doughboy on February 22, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Think like a Democrat/Liberal. First step is to set up a new cabinet position, call it the “Department of Families and the Elderly” or something. Spend lots of time and money on realigning government programs from other departments and agencies into the DFE organization. And, of course, DFE will need office space in DC for their HQ (FBI Building is about to be available). Once all that is done, then DFE will be free to think up ways to incetivize families by providing them with a gift card to Target for showing up at Parent/Teacher conferences or something (this is an actual program in Detroit).

Happy Nomad on February 22, 2013 at 9:10 AM

In the 80′s and 90′s of the young troops that passed through my duty stations in the Army maybe 1 out of 10 males had a dad at home and most of the unmarried females had a kid.

docflash on February 22, 2013 at 9:11 AM

A DoJ study says that children living with one parent are 3.8 x more likey to become victims of violence.

Intact families are a much better way to prevent “gun violence” against “children” (teen gang members) than an “assault weapons” ban or background checks.

My “scarequote” key is wearing out from commenting on lefty policy.

juliesa on February 22, 2013 at 9:11 AM

1) Proponent of SSM
2) Forced birth control on religious institutions
3) Advocate of late term abortions and shelving them if born alive
4) Absent from church attendance

and we think he is pro-family? Please.

hillsoftx on February 22, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Fixing families does not cost zillions of dollars & it cannot add to the national debt. Fixing the family would impact more black families than any other race. Blacks already vote liberal. Wanting to fix the family instead of wanting universal pre-k means you loose an opportunity to say Republicans hate children. USA Today just forfeited their invite to the next off record sit down with Obama

drivingtheview on February 22, 2013 at 9:13 AM

“Don’t let a crisis go to waste”

Electrongod on February 22, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Didn’t George Bush in term two do an initial trial of encouraging marriage and get roundly derided for it?

Crazy part is, if Obama did the same thing, he would be thought a visionary. Problem is, he would never go there…does’t fit with his socialist agenda.

marybel on February 22, 2013 at 9:14 AM

I fear that, even if by some miracle those in control of all our institutions and outlets of information dissemination suddenly had an Epiphany and actually realized the damage they’ve caused and repented, that damage is now so deeply entrenched; the misunderstanding of what makes for a healthy and stable society so deeply ingrained and the understanding needed for renewal so lost; the armies of the maladjusted so vast and their reinforcements from the next generation geometrically increasing by the day, that it’s too late.

Unless there’s a Nineveh type of national repentance, and soon, our goose is cooked.

Satan has done his job well.

Cleombrotus on February 22, 2013 at 9:14 AM

1) Proponent of SSM
2) Forced birth control on religious institutions
3) Advocate of late term abortions and shelving them if born alive
4) Absent from church attendance

and we think he is pro-family? Please.

hillsoftx on February 22, 2013 at 9:11 AM

They omitted “extermination” at the end of the “pro-family” phrase. That way we can make sure no one is ever punished with a baby.

Stoic Patriot on February 22, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Once all that is done, then DFE will be free to think up ways to incetivize families by providing them with a gift card to Target for showing up at Parent/Teacher conferences or something (this is an actual program in Detroit).

Happy Nomad on February 22, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Your effing kidding…
well,I see that is working well.

As JTL said..baby sitting. throw in a free meal and a snack
to boot.
Mamma’s will have more booty call time and to kick
it.

bazil9 on February 22, 2013 at 9:16 AM

I like Ed and I usually enjoy his analysis, but what he wrote is part of the problem, and he even included the statistics about why I say this. Why talk about disincentivizing divorce when the problem is that young women are having kids without getting married in the first place? We need to move away from the idea that it is ok for single mothers to have kids.

thuja on February 22, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Yes, but what you are talking about is “legislating morality’ and what other people considering judging. It will be presented as those poor poor mothers or look at what you are doing to those children.

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Home school.

Mr. Arrogant on February 22, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Yes, but what you are talking about is “legislating morality’ and what other people considering judging. It will be presented as those poor poor mothers or look at what you are doing to those children.

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Well, we’ve gotta start somewhere, and that means going after root causes. I think thuja’s on the right track.

Stoic Patriot on February 22, 2013 at 9:20 AM

1) Proponent of SSM
2) Forced birth control on religious institutions
3) Advocate of late term abortions and shelving them if born alive
4) Absent from church attendance

and we think he is pro-family? Please.

hillsoftx on February 22, 2013 at 9:11 AM

And what people don’t realize is that SSM marriage is another step in getting daddy government more in the home. Can’t you see the studies in ten years? So far all studies have pointed to a father being instrumental in the home and that single mother hood is detrimental. In ten years, the studies will go like this: Well fathers are expendables look two lesbians can raises “healthy kids” so if we just “give” single mothers a decent living from the government then those kids will be raised happy and healthy. Thus creating the 1$100,000 a year welfare mom.. waalaa

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 9:21 AM

incentivizing single motherhood, perhaps the dumbest idea in our tax code ever. no worries, uncle sam will be your daddy

burserker on February 22, 2013 at 9:21 AM

I don’t see what the government can do to incentivize this.

Doughboy on February 22, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Cut welfare down to the absolute most needy.
Get rid of Social Security, ENTIRELY, cold turkey.

If you have a child under those conditions, it will be with someone who will help.
If you imagine having a secure future, you will imagine it with several children there to support you in your failing health years.

As it is now, government replaces daddy and the children in these instances, giving incentive to the bad actions, and because it requires money from responsible people, creating disincentives for the good actions.

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Instead of extending the government penumbra and taking kids out of the home for just a few hours of the day for programs that provide no other benefit, why aren’t we focusing on finding ways to incentivize marriage and disincentivize divorce and parental irresponsibility? If we want to improve the learning capabilities of the next generation, we would find much more potential in that approach.

I certainly wouldn’t want the government to expend resources to keep broken marriages together. Too compassionateconservatisimy for my tastes. As far as the “disincentivize parental irresponsibility” idea goes, we already have laws on the books to go after deadbeat parents, and local and state governments have their own child protective services that, in some cases, do more harm than good.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 9:22 AM

The saying is: If the Republicans are the party for the rich and the Democrats are the party for the poor, wouldn’t the Democrats need to make people poor in order to get more voters and the Republicans make people rich in order to get more voters?

Some young Repub laughed at the suggestion. I was too tired to point out that the Democrat party HAS been actively making people poor since 1964.

LoganSix on February 22, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Yes, but what you are talking about is “legislating morality’ and what other people considering judging. It will be presented as those poor poor mothers or look at what you are doing to those children.

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 9:17 AM

I get told this often by people on the left. I live in a dark blue area. Someway it depresses me more to hear you say the same thing. Thanks for ruining my day by honestly stating the problem we face.

thuja on February 22, 2013 at 9:23 AM

1) Proponent of SSM
2) Forced birth control on religious institutions
3) Advocate of late term abortions and shelving them if born alive
4) Absent from church attendance

and we think he is pro-family? Please.

hillsoftx on February 22, 2013 at 9:11 AM

5) Go on separate million dollar vacations at taxpayers’ expense.

Happy Nomad on February 22, 2013 at 9:23 AM

We need to move away from the idea that it is ok for single mothers to have kids.

thuja on February 22, 2013 at 9:06 AM

There is no such thing as “single mother”. For all women who don’t have a partner, the government gladly fills the role. Of course, it also takes on other duties that naturally belong to the male partner, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to limit itself to single women…

Archivarix on February 22, 2013 at 9:24 AM

incentivizing single motherhood, perhaps the dumbest idea in our tax code ever. no worries, uncle sam will be your daddy

burserker on February 22, 2013 at 9:21 AM

I doubt that there are many women who become single mothers in order to get tax credits/breaks. There might be some who might do it to get welfare benefits, but they don’t pay taxes anyways.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 9:25 AM

A ‘family’ nowadays is whatever the head of a household defines it to be. But use the term ‘traditional family’ around a bunch of liberals discussing this topic, and you will be ripped a new one.

Liam on February 22, 2013 at 9:26 AM

I don’t see what the government can do to incentivize this.

Doughboy on February 22, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Let’s try the novel approach of getting out of the business of subsidizing anything!

Society used to provide the disincentive for single parenthood, etc. by using the tried and true methods of shame and ridicule. Bring those days back IMO.

BierManVA on February 22, 2013 at 9:27 AM

get told this often by people on the left. I live in a dark blue area. Someway it depresses me more to hear you say the same thing. Thanks for ruining my day by honestly stating the problem we face.

thuja on February 22, 2013 at 9:23 AM

I am not saying I agree with them. I am saying that that is how the left will present it, and you know it. And if the GOP tries to even present it; we will be anti-woman. Hey, I am a dinosaur when it comes to this issue. I refuse to go to teenage girls baby showers. I will help her out and buy diapers and formula discreetly, but I refuse to go to a party that celebrates a baby and “encourages” her teenage friends there to get the same attention.

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Obama and the left continue to confuse correlation and causation. Kids who do well in school tend to not end up in prison or on welfare, so Obama assumes that spending more time in school will keep kids out of prison and in jobs. But kids who do well in school usually do so because they come from homes with two parents who spend time with the kids and emphasize the importance of education. It’s the caring and responsible parents who cause the kids to do well, not the amount of time spent in school.

Years ago, studies showed that people who owned homes were more responsible, stayed longer in their jobs, had more savings, etc. So the left decided that the quickest way to make more people more responsible was to give them all mortgage loans! We all know how well that worked out. Irresponsible people did not magically become responsible overnight just because the government handed them a house.

Until Obama and the left learn the difference between correlation and causation, we’re going to continue to see government doubling down on proven failures like Head Start.

AZCoyote on February 22, 2013 at 9:31 AM

get told this often by people on the left. I live in a dark blue area. Someway it depresses me more to hear you say the same thing. Thanks for ruining my day by honestly stating the problem we face.

thuja on February 22, 2013 at 9:23 AM

The left is really my biggest problem with gay marriage and how they will use it as a bludgeon. They use all special interest groups this way. I have a cousin who had beautiful civil union ceremony in Illinois, and I know a couple who have been committed to each other for 21 years as long as my husband and I have been. If you ask me if I support their ability to commit to each other- the answer is emphatically yes. If you ask me if I think if the state gets involved will it be used to bludgeon and coerce everyone else- my answer will be the same..

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 9:31 AM

juliesa on February 22, 2013 at 9:11 AM

I worked in juvenile corrections for a time.

The majority of those kids all had the same common denominators.

single parent households-very young parent/parents with little education-
abuse,violence,drugs, alcohol-in the home. The majority also being minorities.

I recall one girl I met who had 5 kids at age 20-each with diff fathers. None of this is surprising. Her mother had done the same. It is a cycle and an acceptable one-just the norm.
Zero had a huge opportunity in his position to reach out but of course chose the Sharpton route.

I am sure libfreedie can come on and enlighten everyone on how we don’t understand the urban culture and history behind it. It is a failed one that is celebrated.

bazil9 on February 22, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Society used to provide the disincentive for single parenthood, etc. by using the tried and true methods of shame and ridicule. Bring those days back IMO.

BierManVA on February 22, 2013 at 9:27 AM

My cousin got married to a bum about 20 years ago, although she didn’t know the guy was a bum until they got married. The man continues to be a bum after they got divorced, and even tough he makes a passable income, it’s all under the table, so she can’t prove he can pay child support. The guy even taunts her about not being able to get a dime out of him for their only child.

She doesn’t ask for a single penny from entitlement programs, and she doesn’t need to because she has a decent job. Out of curiosity, what good do you think “shame and ridicule” would do her?

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 9:33 AM

I am not saying I agree with them. I am saying that that is how the left will present it, and you know it. And if the GOP tries to even present it; we will be anti-woman. Hey, I am a dinosaur when it comes to this issue. I refuse to go to teenage girls baby showers. I will help her out and buy diapers and formula discreetly, but I refuse to go to a party that celebrates a baby and “encourages” her teenage friends there to get the same attention.

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Keep on being a dinosaur! Maybe we can get some dinosaur values back in America.

thuja on February 22, 2013 at 9:34 AM

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Your cousin is not anything like what we are talking about and you darn well know it.

MelonCollie on February 22, 2013 at 9:37 AM

How do you destroy a society? Break down it’s most basic compononet, the family; cheapen an institution created by God called marriage with easy access to divorce; corrupt the institution by perverting it with homosexual inclusion; keep the father away by making his absence a prerequisite to get welfare and then society starts rotting away from the core. Almost sounds Satanic doesn’t it?

iamsaved on February 22, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Related: Menendez is introducing legislation to limit spending on abstinence-only sex education, calling it The Real Education for Healthy Youth Act.

Things like this are the answer to USA Today’s question.

http://www.jammiewf.com/2013/irony-pervert-bob-menendez-co-sponsoring-comprehensive-sex-education-legislation/

Liam on February 22, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Liam on February 22, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Maybe he should issue legislation on how to get sex without having to pay for it.. Just a thought..

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Your cousin is not anything like what we are talking about and you darn well know it.

MelonCollie on February 22, 2013 at 9:37 AM

That was my take…I was raised by a single mother after a divorce.
I think the issue at hand is young people running around screwing everything that moves and it being cool/acceptable to pop out babies
without a thought. The stage of the Jerry Springer show comes to mind.
We actually have shows with titles called-Whose my babies daddy?
That says something right there…reflects our society.

bazil9 on February 22, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Society used to provide the disincentive for single parenthood, etc. by using the tried and true methods of shame and ridicule. Bring those days back IMO.

BierManVA on February 22, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Those only work when there is potential consequences. Since government underwrites all bad behavior, there is no such thing as shame anymore. At least not amongst those who need it most.

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Our family was “broken” back in ’43 by my Dad’s death. My Mom was suddenly faced with raising two teenagers and two under 9 years. She had no job skills. The problems we faced can’t be fixed by money. Strong families, communities, churches, schools with good moral guidance are the answer. By the way, back then we prayed in school.

Herb on February 22, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Your cousin is not anything like what we are talking about and you darn well know it.

MelonCollie on February 22, 2013 at 9:37 AM

No, I don’t know that. And BierManVA can speak for himself, so relax.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Liam on February 22, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Maybe he should issue legislation on how to get sex without having to pay for it.. Just a thought..

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

I rather see him in no position to ever again introduce legislation of any kind. And, while he’s under investigation (allegedly), he and no other Congresscritter should be allowed to do it, either.

Liam on February 22, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Liam on February 22, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Much as I’d like to see the only 100% effective method the only one getting funds, I doubt it will get very far. Still, good luck to him.

MelonCollie on February 22, 2013 at 9:46 AM

She doesn’t ask for a single penny from entitlement programs, and she doesn’t need to because she has a decent job. Out of curiosity, what good do you think “shame and ridicule” would do her?

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Well, regardless of her lack of entitlement takings, the single fact that it is a single parent household means her children are far more likely to fail in life.

A little shame might get a dad if not the father in the house.

A little shame on the front side likely would have made her think more about who she was marrying and having a child with and caused a better outcome.

But hey, who cares about the future success of her child/children. As long as she is happy, that is all that matters.

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 9:47 AM

We actually have shows with titles called-Whose my babies daddy?
That says something right there…reflects our society.

bazil9 on February 22, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Worse are the Maury Povich guests: “Six paternity tests and I still don’t know who’s my baby’s daddy!”

Liam on February 22, 2013 at 9:47 AM

he doesn’t know who his real daddy is and his mother was a whore.

GhoulAid on February 22, 2013 at 9:04 AM

…don’t forget that his granny was a bigot!

KOOLAID2 on February 22, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Yous gotta be kidding me. Have gubmint “fix” family problems?

“Yes, Madame, we are from the gubmnit, and we are here to help.”

Sir Napsalot on February 22, 2013 at 9:49 AM

That was my take…I was raised by a single mother after a divorce.
I think the issue at hand is young people running around screwing everything that moves and it being cool/acceptable to pop out babies
without a thought. The stage of the Jerry Springer show comes to mind.
We actually have shows with titles called-Whose my babies daddy?
That says something right there…reflects our society.

bazil9 on February 22, 2013 at 9:43 AM

I agree it’s a problem, but don’t believe that it’s the government’s job to fix people like that either. This is why I’m uneasy about Ed’s suggestion that there should be incentives or disincentives for marriage and divorce.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Researchers at Princeton and Columbia, following 5,000 children born to married and unmarried parents, have found that the effects of single parenthood seep into every aspect of kids’ lives.

Idiots. They need to go to Princeton and Columbia to grasp what every farming parent knew a hundred years ago.

Cleombrotus on February 22, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Worse are the Maury Povich guests: “Six paternity tests and I still don’t know who’s my baby’s daddy!”

Liam on February 22, 2013 at 9:47 AM

I was at the gym and unfortunately had the pleasure of seeing something like that once. No words.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 9:50 AM

No argument here.

bazil9 on February 22, 2013 at 9:54 AM

His last term .. Maybe

Electrongod on February 22, 2013 at 8:59 AM

I expect a Putin-esque maneuver with a 2016 ticket of Joe/Barack … thus forcing the alternative ticket of Hillary/Bill.

Carnac on February 22, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Well, regardless of her lack of entitlement takings, the single fact that it is a single parent household means her children are far more likely to fail in life.

A little shame might get a dad if not the father in the house.

A little shame on the front side likely would have made her think more about who she was marrying and having a child with and caused a better outcome.

But hey, who cares about the future success of her child/children. As long as she is happy, that is all that matters.

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 9:47 AM

You lost me here. How would shaming her have provided her insight for her decision to marry someone she thought was a good person who would make a good husband? I could see your point if you’re saying she was too young and naive to see through the guy, but that’s not what you seem to be saying.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 9:56 AM

This is even worse than a bid for 100,000 new SEIU members. It’s a totally cynical proposal, just like the $9 minimum wage, that is designed to further portray Republcians as heartless bastards who don’t want to help kids or struggling families. It’s the worst kind of Santa Claus politics. Obama knws damn well that neither of these proposals will actually work, but he also knows the House will not pass them and he can beat Republicans over the head with them in 2014.

Every single thing Barack Obama says or does in the next 20 months must be viewed as another whack at Republicans. Obama is trying to do to the entire party what he did to Mitt Romney in 2012; turn it into a caricature of a heartless, old, rich, white, male, square, out-of-touch party that seeks to protect only old rich white people and their money. This is how they think they can win back the House and keep the Senate in 2014.

rockmom on February 22, 2013 at 10:00 AM

You lost me here. How would shaming her have provided her insight for her decision to marry someone she thought was a good person who would make a good husband? I could see your point if you’re saying she was too young and naive to see through the guy, but that’s not what you seem to be saying.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Actually I can answer that: I would have used teaching our girls life skills. Here’s the issue since I am going through something similiar. My sister has been with a guy since she was 18. Apparently there was a lot of “writing on the wall” WHICH SHE CHOSE TO IGNORE because she loved him and they had so much history. They got married two year ago, had a baby a 6 months ago. When she was eight months pregnant he left her for another woman. She subsequently found out that he had been cheating on her the whole relationship and SHE SUSPECTED but he made her feel paranoid. Now today he wants her back and my twit of a sister is considering taking him back. Now in ten years when he does it again, because he will- and they have three more kids- won’t my sister bear some blame in her prediciment?

I say she does. I say she does now, because there are always warning that guys aren’t what they seem. Dating is not fun. Dating is a frickin interview for marriage. If it isn’t good when you are dating; it is going to get worse during the marriage.

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Why would Obama want to address broken families. He likes broken families.

rrpjr on February 22, 2013 at 10:04 AM

You lost me here. How would shaming her have provided her insight for her decision to marry someone she thought was a good person who would make a good husband? I could see your point if you’re saying she was too young and naive to see through the guy, but that’s not what you seem to be saying.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 9:56 AM

No, having shame as a part of society would have given her more role models to see the negative impacts of poor decisions. Would have made her more wary of making that mistake. Obviously, some people are just stupid and incapable of making good decisions, but giving the right incentives to put the best effort into making good decisions is still paramount. Obviously, she did not put much effort into reviewing the man she married. Obviously, she thought it was a barely worthy cause of effort to do so.

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 10:04 AM

As a society we’ve been undermining “traditional family values” since the 1950′s. Now we’re trying to fund government programs to deal with the fallout of the symptoms that arise from broken families. The result is the erosion of individual liberties and responsibilities via a growing centralized bureaucracy and a deteriorating educational system that succeeds primarily in producing citizens that are dependent on government employment and programs from cradle to grave. The average American seems content with turnover individual liberty for a government welfare check as long as “someone else” has to pay for it. This won’t end well.

EA_MAN on February 22, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Actually I can answer that: I would have used teaching our girls life skills. Here’s the issue since I am going through something similiar. My sister has been with a guy since she was 18. Apparently there was a lot of “writing on the wall” WHICH SHE CHOSE TO IGNORE because she loved him and they had so much history. They got married two year ago, had a baby a 6 months ago. When she was eight months pregnant he left her for another woman. She subsequently found out that he had been cheating on her the whole relationship and SHE SUSPECTED but he made her feel paranoid. Now today he wants her back and my twit of a sister is considering taking him back. Now in ten years when he does it again, because he will- and they have three more kids- won’t my sister bear some blame in her prediciment?

I say she does. I say she does now, because there are always warning that guys aren’t what they seem. Dating is not fun. Dating is a frickin interview for marriage. If it isn’t good when you are dating; it is going to get worse during the marriage.

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 10:03 AM

With respect, you’re description of your sister seems to point to some serious self-esteem issues in addition to other deficiencies you mention. Maybe it’s because I’m not a psychologist, but I really don’t see how adding shame to the equation would help her at this point.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Actually I can answer that: I would have used teaching our girls life skills. Here’s the issue since I am going through something similiar. My sister has been with a guy since she was 18. Apparently there was a lot of “writing on the wall” WHICH SHE CHOSE TO IGNORE because she loved him and they had so much history. They got married two year ago, had a baby a 6 months ago. When she was eight months pregnant he left her for another woman. She subsequently found out that he had been cheating on her the whole relationship and SHE SUSPECTED but he made her feel paranoid. Now today he wants her back and my twit of a sister is considering taking him back. Now in ten years when he does it again, because he will- and they have three more kids- won’t my sister bear some blame in her prediciment?

I say she does. I say she does now, because there are always warning that guys aren’t what they seem. Dating is not fun. Dating is a frickin interview for marriage. If it isn’t good when you are dating; it is going to get worse during the marriage.

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 10:03 AM

With respect, your description of your sister seems to point to some serious self-esteem issues in addition to other deficiencies you mention. Maybe it’s because I’m not a psychologist, but I really don’t see how adding shame to the equation would help her at this point.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 10:10 AM

As a society we’ve been undermining “traditional family values” since the 1950′s. .. This won’t end well.

EA_MAN on February 22, 2013 at 10:09 AM

It won’t end at all as long as those who have skin in the game refuse to call them what they REALLY are and keep referring to them as the generic “traditional family values”.

They are not “traditional family values”; they are BIBLICAL values, and when even those on the correct side of the issue refuse to deal with this, nothing will change for the better.

Cleombrotus on February 22, 2013 at 10:14 AM

The woes of single-parented children are just one of the side “benefits” of the general culture rot that has afflicted this country.

BTW, I guess we’ll be hearing a rousing endorsement for this article from the (ever so progressive) American Academy of Pediatrics real soon now… no? After all, it’s “for the chirren”.

And, of course, the simple answer to the question “Why not fix the family instead?” is that it would be antethetical to the progressive government-centric agenda. I’m surprised that USA Today didn’t know that (duh!).

bofh on February 22, 2013 at 10:15 AM

She doesn’t ask for a single penny from entitlement programs, and she doesn’t need to because she has a decent job. Out of curiosity, what good do you think “shame and ridicule” would do her?

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Your cousin is not anything like what we are talking about and you darn well know it.

MelonCollie on February 22, 2013 at 9:37 AM
No, I don’t know that. And BierManVA can speak for himself, so relax.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 9:46 AM

You can relax too. I’m talking about the business that the gov has gotten into with subsidizing bad AND good behavior. It’s one thing to put people in jail for committing crime,(a disincentive) it’s another to give handouts to single women for having babies out of wedlock. The welfare state has become entrenched in our young society. And it’s more than welfare now…food stamps, WIC, housing programs, etc. etc. etc.

My point was earlier that society used to frown on unwed mothers, etc. Shame them, whisper in the back room. Bringing it out into the forefront of society and making it “OK” has only legitimized it and increased it 8 fold in only a couple generations.

For what it’s worth, hope your cousin has good support around her.

BierManVA on February 22, 2013 at 10:16 AM

With respect, your description of your sister seems to point to some serious self-esteem issues in addition to other deficiencies you mention. Maybe it’s because I’m not a psychologist, but I really don’t see how adding shame to the equation would help her at this point.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Shame is a word I didn’t use. I said life skills. Self-esteem is a bunch of bunk. What we need to teach girls is practicality, and the fact that dating is a interview to marriage. We have done this to girls by downing their worth. The woman’s movement has done this to women by screwing with their head. It has to be a societal thing. That is what we are saying. We need to start teaching our girls that they have to be selective about their mates like nature intended. The problem is easy access to sex has made that impossible for them to do that i.e., the woman’s movement has taken away women’s power.

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 10:17 AM

No, having shame as a part of society would have given her more role models to see the negative impacts of poor decisions. Would have made her more wary of making that mistake. Obviously, some people are just stupid and incapable of making good decisions, but giving the right incentives to put the best effort into making good decisions is still paramount. Obviously, she did not put much effort into reviewing the man she married. Obviously, she thought it was a barely worthy cause of effort to do so.

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Having “role models to see the negative impacts of poor decisions” would have helped only if she realized that she was making a poor decision. And how exactly do you know that “she thought it was a barely worthy cause of effort” of reviewing the man? Maybe she thought that she did, which is what I suspect. But I’d attribute her inadequate judgment to her lack of life knowledge rather than a lack of propriety. Good moral people make bad decisions all the time, both for themselves and those they care for. Shaming them for mere non-criminal errors of judgment seems like the wrong remedy, especially since the outcome of their bad decisions are usually enough to teach them the necessary life lessons.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 10:18 AM

I’ve seen the results of this in my classroom on an increasingly frequent basis over the last decade and more. It used to be one or two difficult students per class, now it’s a third of the class…or more. There’s no surprise why I can’t teach, I’m too busy trying to maintain a proper learning environment. I can’t wait to retire.

Bob's Kid on February 22, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Having “role models to see the negative impacts of poor decisions” would have helped only if she realized that she was making a poor decision. And how exactly do you know that “she thought it was a barely worthy cause of effort” of reviewing the man? Maybe she thought that she did, which is what I suspect. But I’d attribute her inadequate judgment to her lack of life knowledge rather than a lack of propriety. Good moral people make bad decisions all the time, both for themselves and those they care for. Shaming them for mere non-criminal errors of judgment seems like the wrong remedy, especially since the outcome of their bad decisions are usually enough to teach them the necessary life lessons.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 10:18 AM

You throw away role models as part of the argument, and then you moan she did not have life knowledge enough to make a good decision.

I think I see the problem which led to her situation.

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 10:28 AM

My son told me the other day a co-worker of his, 21 years of age, told him she was thinking about having another child. He looked at her and said, “are you crazy? You make 8 bucks an hour PART TIME and you’re thinking of having another kid?” She already lives in government housing and gets all kinds of assistance, so she figured what the heck, she’d just get more help! That’s the kind of kids we’re raising.

scalleywag on February 22, 2013 at 10:29 AM

For what it’s worth, hope your cousin has good support around her.

BierManVA on February 22, 2013 at 10:16 AM

I appreciate that, and I’m sure she would too. I could be wrong, but I believe that having a tight-knit family (both nuclear and extended) helped her get through that road bump. She didn’t need the government creating incentives and disincentives to get her back on track.

There was a time when support from church and family was the primary way to help people pick themselves up from a fall. Our dear leaders have decided over time that government will always do a better job at that.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 10:30 AM

I wonder if there is a statistic available that differentiates (both in number and outcome) the children of single-parent-with-one-child (i.e. perhaps a one-time “bad choice”) from single-parent-with-multiple-children (two or more is getting on towards being a lifestyle)? My gut feeling is that there would be a big difference between the outcomes of those two groups.

Of course, I suppose the MSM-endorsed answer to this is simply “more abortions!”

bofh on February 22, 2013 at 10:34 AM

If Satan wanted his own political party in this country he would be hard pressed to find one that would represent his goals better than today’s liberal Democrats. They destroy virtually everything they touch from the black family to the American culture.

Anything Obama suggests can be traced directly to the destruction of western civilization. And “educating” 4 year olds is nothing more than an opportunity to indoctrinate even younger children by the state and generate more teacher unions.

artman1746 on February 22, 2013 at 10:37 AM

My son told me the other day a co-worker of his, 21 years of age, told him she was thinking about having another child. He looked at her and said, “are you crazy? You make 8 bucks an hour PART TIME and you’re thinking of having another kid?” She already lives in government housing and gets all kinds of assistance, so she figured what the heck, she’d just get more help! That’s the kind of kids we’re raising.

scalleywag on February 22, 2013 at 10:29 AM

I really want to smack girls like that. My husband and I married at 18 when he was on exodus from basic training. We watched as all his cousins have kids (single) and went on welfare, and the E-1s and E-2s around us have babies and got WIC and food stamps, and swore we wouldn’t do that. It took us SEVEN years to be able to afford a child. He was a E-5 by then off to warrant officer school by the time I got pregnant.

melle1228 on February 22, 2013 at 10:37 AM

You throw away role models as part of the argument, and then you moan she did not have life knowledge enough to make a good decision.

I think I see the problem which led to her situation.

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 10:28 AM

I suppose you would see the problem, except I don’t “throw away” the importance of role models. What you emphasized is the importance of role models to demonstrate to people the “negative impacts of poor decisions.” What she needed was an understanding that she was making a poor decision rather than a lesson on why she should not make a poor decision. And again, you aren’t being clear about how shaming her would have improved her judgment.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 10:38 AM

And again, you aren’t being clear about how shaming her would have improved her judgment.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 10:38 AM

You are obviously intentionally missing the point. It is having the risk of being shamed, not shaming her in advance of having done something.
Role models come in all varieties. If shaming was prevalent, then she would see the lady down the street barely able to make ends meet, who has no friends, but has children from a father she thought was the bees knees. Maybe if she had a family that was willing to teach her in advance life’s lessons by actually showing her the down side of life, because they were not willing to live through the shame of having a daughter like her, she might have had life’s knowledge at her disposal to know she was making a bad decision.

Obviously you do not find much shame in her condition, why should she? Congratulations, you and the rest of your family are the direct link as to why she is a failure in family life. Lack of shame in society holds a pretty high level of blame.

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 10:44 AM

In fact, the federal government studied the impact of their largest, long-term intervention in this area, Head Start. The results? No lasting benefit could be found, and in some areas, it actually hurt

.

This fact keeps getting glossed over. Many in Washington feel we have to do something to solve every problem, even if that something has been proven to be ineffective. Early intervention by the government simply doesn’t work.

How does one make the nuclear family fashionable again?

Fallon on February 22, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Isn’t this what Hillary proposed when running in ’08, and Barry adopted it? Wasn’t her goal to take over the actual raising of children?

budfox on February 22, 2013 at 10:49 AM

How does one make the nuclear family fashionable again?

Fallon on February 22, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Get rid of welfare and social security.

Let nature be the proper incentive maker.

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 11:02 AM

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 10:44 AM

One thing I’ve learned is that the use of the word “obviously” multiple times is a big red flag of a flawed argument. Just sayin’…

Actually, you are the one missing the point. The risk of shame, or lack thereof, is not the reason she made her error in judgment. Bad decisions are very often the result of a poor understanding of the facts at hand, as was the case with my cousin. Adding a risk of shame to an equation like what you suggest might instill in people an added incentive to not make a bad decision. But a fear of shame does not, on its own, help a person with poor judgment improve his/her judgment. I agree that teaching young people life lessons is important to help them understand what to take into account when making big life decisions, but you don’t need to threaten them with shame to do that.

As to finding “shame” in her “condition”, she’s a productive member of society who is raising a son who has learned enough from her mother to get good grades, treat people right, and stay out of trouble. Nothing you said so far is shows why that’s shameful.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Well, if you’ve lost USA Today…

HiJack on February 22, 2013 at 11:07 AM

It is all very simple and politically unpopular.

Cut the welfare programs – cut em hard. No more payments for additional kids. Reduce the food stamps and limit what they can buy.

Turn medicaid into a CDHP type of health plan. Restructure unemployment so that you have some sort of savings first and that it doesn’t last forever.

If they want my money – they have to have some rules. You want no rules – you get no money.

I’m not into shame but more their are consequences for your actions. Happy to help someone get back on their feet – but if they screw up while I am helping – there should be some penalty, and somewhat of a signicant one.

Zomcon JEM on February 22, 2013 at 11:12 AM

As to finding “shame” in her “condition”, she’s a productive member of society who is raising a son who has learned enough from her mother to get good grades, treat people right, and stay out of trouble. Nothing you said so far is shows why that’s shameful.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 11:05 AM

And, hence why people around you will be failures. Nothing is their fault, and as long as it appears things are ok, no future negative impacts could possibly come about.

Your cousin deserves derision, because despite how well the kid is doing, with a father, and at least a dad in the house, the child would do BETTER. But hey, nothing to feel ashamed about when you decrease the OPPORTUNITY of the next generation. keep on going!

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 11:14 AM

And you would have to deal with the gangbangers with a gun – you kill someone you don’t come out and you get no communications in the pen. Its over – if you don’t qualify for the death penalty first.

And drug users get probation and then time. Why go after the supply? GO after the users.

Zomcon JEM on February 22, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Why would Obama want to address broken families. He likes broken families.

He, and the dems, like broken families, because it gives reason for them to have government step in and be the Daddy who supports them, which in turn creates more votes for them from the government dependent class.

hawkeye54 on February 22, 2013 at 11:17 AM

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Oh, and by the way, the deadbeat dad. Have someone follow him around and watch him get paid, record, and turn over to the IRS. While it is not illegal to get paid cash, it is illegal to not report said cash to the government.

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 11:20 AM

And, hence why people around you will be failures. Nothing is their fault, and as long as it appears things are ok, no future negative impacts could possibly come about.

Your cousin deserves derision, because despite how well the kid is doing, with a father, and at least a dad in the house, the child would do BETTER. But hey, nothing to feel ashamed about when you decrease the OPPORTUNITY of the next generation. keep on going!

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 11:14 AM

I’m going to respond to you again, even though it’s clear now that you’re trolling. The reason I know you’re trolling is that you make disingenuous conclusions about what I believe, such as your erroneous suggestion that I don’t think that my cousin is at fault for making a poor decision, as well as your erroneous suggestion that I favor children having one responsible parent rather than two. Furthermore, you accuse us being “failures” despite the fact that you don’t have enough knowledge about us to make this conclusion.

I suspect that you post these things in order to give conservatives a bad name, but only God knows your heart.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 11:23 AM

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