We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Public housing today, even in the post-welfare-reform era, continues to give priority to those of lowest income, which, as a practical matter, means female-headed, single-parent families, who still dominate the projects and the Section 8 housing-voucher program. Census data from the 1950s makes it possible to compare marriage rates in white and black St. Louis neighborhoods. The numbers show that black marriage rates have long lagged behind white rates. In nine predominantly black census tracts, married persons (husbands and wives, not including children) constituted 16.4 percent of the population. In predominantly white census tracts, the number was 24.5 percent—half again higher, before the advent of public housing. Without question, the perverse incentives of public housing and public assistance worsened this situation. In contrast, the incentives created by the private housing market—to maintain two-parent households so as to pool incomes in order to get ahead—would have worked in just the opposite direction.
It's really all about help that wasn't helpful - or even wanted - and perverse incentives.
To the point, Twolane.
My father, who graduated from Tulane, once ran through the numbers with my new bride and me on how much money we could have made off the government if we had only lived together and not gotten married. The sum was astounding. He finished up with a heartfelt thank you as he said, "Thank you for growing up and taking responsibility for your own lives. I say that because the government never will." That was 1980.
Cynical leftist operatives probably like keeping people on the dole in order to control them, but well-meaning leftist friends of mine don't think that way. They distrust safety nets that depend on the goodwill of an individual's small group of intimates, because they worry that individuals will too often let a really needy person down. They really believe that the government won't. The perverse long-term incentives are something they just don't like thinking about, or they consider them a necessary price to pay for a really robust, nationwide safety net.
Yes, Texan 99, we all have well-meaning liberal friends and relatives. They are ruining our country, but they are good people. Just hopelessly naive. I don't know how to reach them. If anybody has any ideas, I'd love to hear them Mostly I just let it go as "well, you have your ideas, and I have mine."
The left doesn't address the costs of family breakdown because it is patriarchical and non-diverse to not regard any group of people as a family; because all family structures are equally valid; and because it's the responsibility of those of us who are favored by the patriarchical non-diverse American culture to support those whom American culture suppresses.