View Poll Results: What is the future of the nuclear family?

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  • The traditional nuclear family will remain the bedrock of society

    3 12.50%
  • What defines a "family" is changing for the better

    5 20.83%
  • Family values are disintegrating, to the detriment of our culture

    12 50.00%
  • I love lamp.

    4 16.67%
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Thread: What is the future of the nuclear family?

  1. #1
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    What is the future of the nuclear family?

    Without any doubt, America's biggest problem is not the debt. It's not "fiscal cliffs" or any other metaphorical geology. The biggest problem in America is family disintegration, families being the primary transmitter of "social capital."

    In 1964, Pat Moynihan, then in Lyndon Johnson's labor department, produced a report called "Crisis in the Negro Family: The Case for National Action." He said, "there is a crisis in the negro family today, because 24% of African American [as we now say] children are being born to unmarried women."

    Today it's 72%!

    50-some percent hispanic.

    The rate for all children in America, all races and ethnicities, is 1 in 3.

    We know what this means. We know the social pathologies that correlate with this. Particularly, we know the problem of a constantly renewed cohort of essentially badly parented adolescent males without fathers in the home. We know what that means in terms of tumultuous neighborhoods and schools that can't teach.

    We have no idea why it happened. We do not know why, in 1950, the out-of-wedlock birth rate was 5%, and today it's 33%.

    We've seen family disintegration, historically, during war, famine and pestilence; this happened during peacetime. It didn't just happen here, it happened in Wales, Portugal, Spain, all over the world.

    We don't know why, and hence we don't know what to do about it.

    I will give an answer that will interest and amuse a few of you.

    In the decade before the sexual revolution, there was no birth control pill. Hardly anyone used condoms, because they were thick and clumsy. Abortion was illegal in every state until the 60's and 70's.

    Thus, sex came with some real risk of consequences; a woman engaged in premarital sex might get "knocked up." The threat of consequences instilled a habit of good behavior, for the most part, and, when done collectively, fashioned a culture that was conducive to success.

    After the above technologies and legislation were instituted/invented, sex became viewed as consequence-free.

    The wild 60's and 70's, in my opinion, were a knee-jerk response to this new found sexual freedom.

    As a consequence, sexual permissiveness has now become engrained in American culture, leading in large part to the disintegration of the traditional family discussed earlier.

    My question is: What is the future of the nuclear family?

  2. #2
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    Re: What is the future of the nuclear family?

    I thought this might have something to do with the Simpsons, I was let down momentarily, until I saw the option for "I love lamp". You get points for that one.

    Now if you will excuse me I have to go pour a scotch.. I love scotch, scotchy scotch scotch,
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  3. #3
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    Re: What is the future of the nuclear family?

    I don't like how binary the choice is. The family is obviously changing, it isn't necessarily for better or worse. It is a reflection of evolving social, technological, and economic circumstances. Many of the reasons we needed tight knit families for much of our history was because of the dangers of the world, the need to have people to care for us when we were sick, defend us when threats came to the door, and provide for us when nothing else could. Abandoning your family or being cast out of the clan was an extremely dangerous and risky thing for someone to do even as late as the 19th Century. Obviously these problems have not disappeared but modern technology and wealth has alleviated many of these fears which has given people increased mobility and liberty when it comes to being able to leave their families or raise children on their own for example.

    My personal opinion? Parenting is very important but I'm not convinced the composition of the family is essential.

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    Re: What is the future of the nuclear family?

    "It's the economy, stupid"

    The basis of the nuclear family was a single breadwinner able to support the family with just 40 hours/week per family. Nowadays, two parents have to work a combined total of 80 hours and they still have less money than before. Poorer people get married less than richer people, and wealth inequality has been on the rise for the past 40 years.

    If you want more nuclear families, reverse the trend of wealth accumulating at the top and create jobs that can support a family on a combined total of 40 hours/week.

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    Re: What is the future of the nuclear family?

    Nuclear?

    I think, with so many divorces and economic turmoil, the road is paved to the extended family, where several generations live under one roof.

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    Re: What is the future of the nuclear family?

    I think the extended family is great, especially after having been raised in one. My parents had 6 kids and my maternal grandmother lived with us most of my childhood. My mother's sisters and even her brothers lived with us for lengths of time sometime during my childhood. Plus, if my aunt and uncle and cousins weren't living with us, they were likely living close by, like next door or across the street. We spent alternating weekends (school year) and weeks (summer) with my paternal grandparents. We were never lacking in some family member to take care of us if my parents couldn't. I never had a hired babysitter or went to a day care growing up. There were just too many relatives around to take care of us to justify such an expense. And so far, my children have been able to get to know their aunts and uncles because they help out in raising my children due to mine and my husband's military obligations (I have to go out of state for one month each year). If we didn't have my siblings to help, we would be paying someone a lot of money at least once a month to watch the boys from around 6 in the morning to possibly past 6 at night on a Saturday and Sunday for my drill weekends and then long, odd hours during the month I would have to be gone out of state for AT. Plus, any time we wanted to go out we would need a sitter. And going to school would cost us most of the extra I get for going just for childcare.
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

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    Re: What is the future of the nuclear family?

    Families have always been diverse and challenging. The only difference now is that we don't pretend otherwise, nor spend as much effort condemning people who don't fit the supposedly expected model.
    Liberté. Égalité. Fraternité.

  8. #8
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    Re: What is the future of the nuclear family?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChunkySalsa View Post
    "It's the economy, stupid"

    The basis of the nuclear family was a single breadwinner able to support the family with just 40 hours/week per family. Nowadays, two parents have to work a combined total of 80 hours and they still have less money than before. Poorer people get married less than richer people, and wealth inequality has been on the rise for the past 40 years.

    If you want more nuclear families, reverse the trend of wealth accumulating at the top and create jobs that can support a family on a combined total of 40 hours/week.
    I think that's right on the mark. The classical "nuclear family" had Mom around the house 24/7 - but that just doesn't cut it in the modern economy where Mom has to work and have her own career to make a decent life for the family. The average family shouldn't require 80 hour work weeks just to be average.
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    Re: What is the future of the nuclear family?

    I think something is going to have to give, particularly in black neighborhoods where families just don't really exist anymore.

    Just yesterday Hempstead (NY) High School made local headlines with it's abysmal graduation rate of about 35%.

    Liberal views on the family just are not working and the rest of us are only going to prop up society for so long.
    Last edited by Dapper Andy; 06-05-13 at 11:52 AM.

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    Re: What is the future of the nuclear family?

    Lots of material here.

    First, here in the states the dissolution of the nuclear family had a lot to do with government and welfare programs. Essentially expansion of the welfare system led to the father being relieved of duty. This can be corrected by making some changes in the welfare system, namely including a monetary advantage to married and cohabitating parents. I would also support additional money for those going to school for employable training based on grades. But that is not going to happen because government has a vested interest in a bought and paid for voter base.

    Next is the shrinking of the personal world. With increased technology we have become increasingly focused on our own very small personal space where we can find instant gratification at our fingertips leading to a shape decrease in personal interaction (Facebook is NOT personal interaction) and leading to a decreased value placed on the perspective of others.

    Next is the culture of debt being normalized. As we have been subjected to readily available credit we have discovered that we can have basically whatever we want now without having to pay for it. And as carried debt became the normal, the perception of what one could afford has changed to disregard the actual cost and focus instead on being able to make the payments. The problem here is that with the increased interest on the items we have already bought our dollar does not go as far and our future obligations make us slaves to our paychecks. This is all by design of course. We are no longer "citizens", we are "consumers". Pay attention to what you hear and read and see how often we are referred to as each. We are no longer individuals, we are cogs in an economic machine.

    Now to the point of two earner households. The simple point is it is not necessary for both parents (assuming there are two parents) to work full time to make ends meet. The reason we seem to think this is because we have disregarded some aspects of personal economics (refer to the part about normalized debt load) and the fading lines of "needs" vs "wants. Today people "need" the latest cell phone, 2 new cars and a 2000+ sq/ft home for a family of 4. We also "need" internet, designer cloths and whatever medication allows us to escape our self created stress. More later, got to get back to work.

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