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Tuesday, February 8. 2022
I have written on that topic over the years. Do any readers want to read something by David Brooks in The Atlantic?
If so, he makes some good points. THE NUCLEAR FAMILY WAS A MISTAKE. The family structure we’ve held up as the cultural ideal for the past half century has been a catastrophe for many. It’s time to figure out better ways to live together.
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He raises good points. The problem is in sacrificing the family for the convenience of those with an ulterior motive. (Communist in general, BLM & CRT in particular.)
A good article as far as it goes, but it leaves out two major causes of the disintegration of the nuclear family.
(1) LBJ's "Great Society" welfare state, which paid young mothers to refrain from marrying, or even living with, their mates.
(2) Laws against segregation, which made it no longer possible to wall away bad behavior from either your home neighborhood or your workplace.
They're also using "privilege" in the new, false sense, thus attributing to luck or racism the benefits people get from having two responsible, caring parents at home. Any argument that scorns parents like that, instead of encouraging others to follow their lead, is part of the problem.
I noticed your point #1 as well.
"Corporate families" included mom, dad, and the kids. The rest were extras.
A guy who abruptly kicks his wife to the curb after 27 years to marry his research assistant who's twenty years younger might be a little .. conflicted ... when discussing topics of marriage and family.
The corporate families are just a set of related nuclear families living in close proximity. This is still not uncommon. I know lots of people who have their parents living with or close to them and using this for support of children and elderly adults.
He's so close, but can't quite reveal any insight as to WHY the 1950-1965 model was successful or WHY the decline began after 1965. He points to falling wages in the 70s without offering explanation. He points to the benefits of a community of families without further wondering why families stopped feeling part of a coherent community. He points to benefits of stay at home moms, but simultaneously criticizes the culture women being expected to stay at home.
Leftists like the idea of government-mandated socialism/communism, but reject the historical cultural practices that promoted community, in favor of individual autonomy.
...falling wages in the 70s without offering explanation I have an explanation, having lived through that time period. Mothers had to go to work in order to make ends meet. My wife worked part time while the kids were in school.
I remember reading an article back in the early 89s that described how falling wages were a deliberate move on the part of large corporations because women were arriving in large numbers in the workplace, pretty soon it became a necessity for many families to have 2 workers rather than a bonus
The family is the most successful social structure there is. It's been around since humans first walked the earth. Now that the church has been destroyed, the family is the only thing standing between the all-powerful state and the people who want to run it. Don't believe any socialist garbage about family.
Sorry you lost me at David Brooks, conservative turncoat, reading any further is a waste of time which is reinforced judging by the other comments. Rather read Thomas Sowell.
" Do any readers want to read something by David Brooks in The Atlantic?"
Calling the addition of a widowed grandparent an extended family is pushing it. It is true that throughout history family units did include a wider range of relationships, largely because lots more people died before age 50 and taking care of children or the elderly was considered important. We have gone nuclear because we have gotten wealthy enough that a young couple with children could move on the basis on one income, usually the husband's. Without wealth this doesn't happen. You can pick up with the bride and an infant and go to Massachusetts. Or Ohio. Or Oregon. It was not unheard of in history, but movement of labor is an enormous boost to economies.
Blame the New World. Blame the automobile. Blame the railroad. Blame the interstate system. Blame changes in welfare in the 30s or 60s. They are all true. At what point does Brooks think we could have changed things if congress had overwhelmingly passed legislation decrying the nuclear family and rewarding the extended one? Life wasn't great a thousand years ago, y'know?
This is classic Brooks. Good at asking questions, lousy at providing answers.
It would be a boon to both our economy and our society if the government was to establish incentives for families to grow and stay together, as they have very successfully in some of the Eastern European countries. China is facing a disaster of its own making with population recession, due to its 'one child' legacy. But similar birth rate issues are in play in the US too. Unfettered immigration of people with limited skills to offer, or violent criminal histories, is no way to grow society and culture. No-string Gifts are not the same thing as investments.
Brooks doesn't consider the horrible effect of nearly unlimited immigration that started after Ted Kennedys change of immigration law. Add more laborers and wages go down ... now we need mom and dad to work.
By about 1965 you also have a peak in church attendance and with that comes value and belief changes such as the boomers breaking all the rules per the Fourth Turning.
In the mid 60's we also gained significant competition from the Japanese who were rebuilt anew from WWII.
Also in the mid 60's we escaped the gold standard. Look at the inflation and and decimation of the currency since then. Real money is gone.
There is no chance for improvement in the standard of living until immigration is ended and the Fed is banned from destroying currency.
Shorter David Brooks, "I'm old now and we can do away with the modernity I enjoyed in my youth. Back to all power held by those over 30"
Shorter Neil Young, "I'm old now, fascism is the way to go".
Modernity had a nice run. Long in Britain, in the US a bit of a century, for most since WWII and for some not yet, but let's abandon it for the old tribal ways
Putting it simply, in an embedded peasant economy, when the unit of production and consumption is the family household, it is sensible to have as large a family as possible, to work the land and to protect against risk in sickness and old age. To increase reproduction is to increase production. Yet as Jack Caldwell and others have shown, when the individual becomes integrated into the market, when wealth flows down the generations, when the cost of education and leaving for an independent economic existence on an open market occurs, children become a burden rather than an asset.23 In other words, capitalistic relations combined with individualism knocks away the basis of high fertility, and if this is combined with a political and legal security so that one does not have to protect oneself with a layer of cousin, the sensible strategy is to have a few children and to educate them well.
--Alan Macfarlane, 'The Invention of the Modern World, ch 8'