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The end of middle America? Working class white families are unraveling before our eyes
NY Daily News ^ | December 19th 2010 | Kay Hymowitz

Posted on 12/27/2010 2:33:51 PM PST by neverdem

Foreclosures, plant closings, offshored jobs, underwater mortgages, miserable rates of unemployment, stagnating incomes: Is there any end to the woes of the struggling American middle? Apparently not, because now comes news of a trend guaranteeing trouble ahead for the more than half of the nation that make up the moderately educated and moderately earning middle — even if the economy improves.

That seismic shift, outlined in a new report from the National Marriage Project and the Institute for American Values, is towards more divorce, more out of wedlock births and, ipso facto, fewer kids with a hopeful future.

Family breakdown, to put it simply, has hit white middle America big time.

Researchers have known for a while now that there is a significant "marriage gap" between affluent couples and low-income, largely minority, ones. The children of well-to-do college educated couples are considerably more likely to be growing up in a home with both their mother and father present than the children of the poor — who are more often than not living without their fathers. It surprises most people to hear it, but rates of divorce among college-educated women have actually been declining since 1980...

(Excerpt) Read more at nydailynews.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: affluent; closings; economy; families; jobs; lowincome; marriage; middleclass; minority; mortgages; offshored; opportunities; plants; trends; unemployment; white; whites; whiteworkingclass; work; working; workingclass; workingclasswhites
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1 posted on 12/27/2010 2:33:54 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

They forgot:

High taxes
Supporting endless litters of illegitimate children


2 posted on 12/27/2010 2:39:13 PM PST by Niuhuru (The Internet is the digital AIDS; adapting and successfully destroying the MSM host.)
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To: neverdem

This is Obama’s goal. Eliminate the middle class, and create two classes, the Nomenclatura-elites and the masses of poor, dependent on the government.

Guess which class Obama and his Marxist buddies are in.


3 posted on 12/27/2010 2:43:27 PM PST by Signalman
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To: neverdem
Interesting results for the accompanying poll

Poll Results
Has the dismissal of marriage in society caused a deterioration of the American family?
Yes 39%
No 59%
I don't know 1%

I know this is a NY paper but that wasn't a rocket science question.

4 posted on 12/27/2010 2:45:01 PM PST by Menehune56 ("Let them hate so long as they fear" (Oderint Dum Metuant), Lucius Accius, (170 BC - 86 BC))
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To: Signalman

I think they are quite successful.
I read they’ve added 17 million to the food stamp rolls in 2 years.


5 posted on 12/27/2010 2:47:53 PM PST by nascarnation
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To: neverdem

I always laugh at the “grow up without their fathers” data.

Of course the kids grow up without their fathers: the family court system is designed to alienate the fathers and remove them from the rearing of their children.


6 posted on 12/27/2010 2:48:21 PM PST by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
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To: nascarnation

Most certainly, but they forget that this poor population has guns. A poor, demoralized population with rage at politicians is not a good combination.


7 posted on 12/27/2010 2:50:05 PM PST by Niuhuru (The Internet is the digital AIDS; adapting and successfully destroying the MSM host.)
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To: neverdem

I won’t consider the middle class extinct until millions of people take up arms against the government.


8 posted on 12/27/2010 2:52:33 PM PST by Brilliant
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To: neverdem

The last paragraph:

“Not so long ago, the moderately educated were the imagined heroes of the American Dream. With marriage disappearing, that dream is ending.”

Damn glad I’m old.


9 posted on 12/27/2010 2:53:34 PM PST by upchuck (When excerpting please use the entire 300 words we are allowed. No more one or two sentence posts!)
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To: neverdem

10 posted on 12/27/2010 2:55:03 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet ("You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body." CS Lewis)
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To: neverdem

They’re all getting those green jobs!/sarc


11 posted on 12/27/2010 2:55:09 PM PST by Red6
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To: neverdem

The Church had incredible prescience in the matter of oral birth control.


12 posted on 12/27/2010 2:56:03 PM PST by johniegrad
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To: Niuhuru
Bottom line-

What benefit do I have if I have three or four kids, get married and stay married?

At the end of the day, if I have no children I might pay a little more in taxes, but nothing that even nearly approaches the real cost of having them. Yet when I'm older I will reap all the benefits from those children even if I choose to have none, which would not have been the case 150 years ago, before we became so advanced, progressive, cultured and with a social/safety net.

If I gave you a trillion dollars and it were all in a huge pile but you were the only person left alive on this planet, what would that money do for you other than warm you as you burn it? Money is nothing more than an abstract concept of human capital/labor/creativity. It always has been and it will always be that the young feed the old. In our system today those that choose to have no children and live hedonistic into the day can live out their wildest fantasies, and in the end those with kids who self sacrificed will have their kids pay for the savage in his old age.

We have created a system that punishes having children. That punishes being married in its tax code. That gives the institution of marriage no status or privilege legally other than having a spouse being able to make a claim against one for alimony in case of a divorce. Try getting information on your married spouse when the doctor’s office calls that you wish to relay. Not even the most basic powers are assumed present when married; no you need to get a power of attorney for that. Divorce by the way is very easy and near consequence free……..

Most people will follow the path of least resistance and are outright hedonists (maximize pleasure). We have de-incentivized and devalued marriage in every respect. In the arts and entertainment, legally where it brings nothing other than risk if separated, in costs were the tax code essentially punishes people, granting anyone essentially the same privileges and perks of being married (i.e. gays), where those with kids won't even be the ones reaping the benefits of those kids when they are old and their kids are providing to sustain the system but those who chose to not have kids will still benefit...........

What do people expect? Seriously!

13 posted on 12/27/2010 3:22:22 PM PST by Red6
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To: neverdem

This can’t be right.

I have it on the authority of President Barack Hussein Obama that history is marching relentlessly forward, we are making progress, and life is constantly getting better.


14 posted on 12/27/2010 3:27:57 PM PST by WilliamHouston
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To: neverdem

After marrying my ex I was surprised to discover how many of her friends were divorced with children.

It seemed to be a pattern. You get married, have a kid or kids, and then you get divorced. That’s the program.

When I meet a new woman at work or at a party etc, she is just as likely to be divorced as married. Its like 50/50.

Divorce is so easy and common these days, there is no stigma anymore, it is like breaking up with a boyfriend.

As soon as there is a problem of any kind or someone gets “the grass is greener” complex, just get divorced. Hey, Why not?


15 posted on 12/27/2010 3:34:35 PM PST by 240B (he is doing everything he said he wouldn't and not doing what he said he would)
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To: Niuhuru; neverdem; Signalman; Menehune56; nascarnation; Jewbacca; Brilliant; upchuck; ...
Most certainly, but they forget that this poor population has guns. A poor, demoralized population with rage at politicians is not a good combination.

Tell it to the Iraqis. Tell that to Al Qaeda. Tell that to the Taliban. Tell it to Somalians.

Sure. The greatest military in history has been training how to deal with "armed-to-the-teeth, poor, demoralized populations with rage for their politicians" for 20 years now, and they've learned a trick or two...

Think they won't "just follow orders" and fire on "bitter clingers" here?

How about maybe when a DADT progressive senior officer is looking over the Predator airman's shoulder???

Shooting a man one-on-one after breaking down his door is one thing. Pushing a button on a "domestic terrorist" blip on his screen?


16 posted on 12/27/2010 3:39:33 PM PST by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: Signalman; Niuhuru
This is Obama’s goal. Eliminate the middle class, and create two classes, the Nomenclatura-elites and the masses of poor, dependent on the government.

Guess which class Obama and his Marxist buddies are in .

I would say the useful-idiot class. Look at Europe: how many taxpayers are storming the streets, angrily (and sometime violently) making their displeasure about high taxes known?

None of them. Instead, the anger's coming from thwarted entitlement mentalities angry about their subventions being cut.

I can't figure out why, but it's the takers who are more aggressive than the makers. Impinging on so-called "positive rights" tends to cause riots; impinging on so-called "negative rights" (i.e., liberty) produces peaceful protests at most.

Europe and the U.S. are fortunate that Communism has been generally discredited, because the above-noted disparate reaction is a revolutionary Communist's dream - especially given the U.S. government fingers the likes of you guys as the 'domestic terrorists'.

One side note: Atlas Shrugged, despite its sparks, is oddly quietist with respect to politics. Its underlying political message is: "If you're good, you can only win by escaping." Despite this theme being profoundly anti-Nietzschean - who else but a slave wins by escaping? - Rand is still called Nietzschean. Go figger.

17 posted on 12/27/2010 3:47:30 PM PST by danielmryan
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To: Red6

Red, I have to agree with most of your conclusions. However, I’d like to add another reason for the decline of marriage in the middle class. It seems to me that a large portion of blame belongs in the pulpit (if they are used anymore) and the failure of today’s ministers to lead their flocks and hold them morally accountable. Pastors today are shadows compared to the leading lights of Christian preachers years ago. They preached the Word, and made sure that their congregations knew what God asked of them. Most of today’s churches are more concerned with their bottom lines and how contemporary their music is. For what it’s worth...


18 posted on 12/27/2010 3:51:33 PM PST by TheBlueMax ("To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them" -George Mason)
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To: sam_paine; Niuhuru; neverdem; Signalman; Menehune56; nascarnation; Jewbacca; Brilliant; upchuck; ...

What Good Can a Handgun Do Against An Army?
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-backroom/2312894/posts


19 posted on 12/27/2010 3:53:18 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet ("You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body." CS Lewis)
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To: Jewbacca

Who designed and put into law the family court system? Men.


20 posted on 12/27/2010 3:54:50 PM PST by donna (Imagine...women who honor men enough not to tempt them.)
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To: neverdem
All these trends, they're purely accidental, and inevitable....
nothing can be done except throw more government $$$ at the problem.
21 posted on 12/27/2010 4:00:58 PM PST by YankeeReb
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To: johniegrad

Also folks looking at marriage as just another gubberment contract that can be broken and resumed as long the state says so. Now lots of folks have been conditioned to think that marriage is defined by and originates from the state, so they accept any “marriage” the gubberment tells them to.

Freegards


22 posted on 12/27/2010 4:01:59 PM PST by Ransomed
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To: neverdem

23 posted on 12/27/2010 4:02:50 PM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: neverdem

Wasn’t that his (THIER) plan


24 posted on 12/27/2010 4:05:53 PM PST by ronnie raygun (V)
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To: Ransomed

Yep.


25 posted on 12/27/2010 4:06:20 PM PST by johniegrad
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To: Red6
Good analysis, the only thing I might disagree with is...
Divorce by the way is very easy and near consequence free……..

It's consequence free unless you're the father of kids, and you want to do the right thing and stay involved in their lives but your ex chooses to move them away. As my divorce lawyer said to me, "Face it, you have a bullseye on your back." Usually she gets all the rights and you get all the responsibilities, that's the American divorce system.

26 posted on 12/27/2010 4:08:07 PM PST by YankeeReb
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To: TheBlueMax

So very true. Priests nowadays are eager to embrace every leftist cause and completely silent when it comes to Christianity. It’s all a disgusting form of vanity where the priests are more worried about whether the leftists say they are good or bad then actually doing good. -Or even defining what is good and evil based on Christian morality.

It’s the very reason I don’t go to church.


27 posted on 12/27/2010 4:13:31 PM PST by LastNorwegian
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To: neverdem
***The children of well-to-do college educated couples are considerably more likely to be growing up in a home with both their mother and father..***

How about some credit for those high school educated parents who worked like dogs for the same thing AND SUCCEEDED!

28 posted on 12/27/2010 4:13:38 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (I visited GEN TOMMY FRANKS Military Museum in HOBART, OKLAHOMA! Well worth it!)
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To: Jewbacca; rlmorel
I always laugh at the “grow up without their fathers” data.

Me too. FReeper rlmorel pretty much did as well as well as millions of other good men over time. Many times it is not just the court system that has fathers away from their children. Many times it is duty as well. Check it out.

rlmorel

Hats off to rlmorel AND his Mom and Dad!

29 posted on 12/27/2010 4:39:47 PM PST by houeto (Government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.)
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To: donna

“Who designed and put into law the family court system? Men.”

Sure, at least until the last 20 years. But so what?

It is designed to alienate fathers and use them as cash machines.


30 posted on 12/27/2010 4:52:59 PM PST by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
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To: neverdem

leftist hell
the psychologist’s dream world


31 posted on 12/27/2010 5:14:05 PM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Jewbacca

the stupid dads want to sow their seeds, find themselves and see how many baby mamas they can have


32 posted on 12/27/2010 5:15:28 PM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: houeto

Thank you for noticing, houeto...

I will say this about my dad: he spent the first 18 years of his career away at sea (basically between 1946 and 1964 (his last ship, USS Bristol out of Newport, RI, on which he was the XO, was one of the vessels that stayed longest on quarantine duty in Cuba 1962-63)

In 1963, when his orders came up, he requested shore duty. He knew that would be the end of his promotion path, for the most part. At that time, he had six kids ranging from one to seven years old, he was 38 years old, and had spent very little time with us.

He chose his family over his career.

He started out as a reservist in 1945 and was recommended for transfer to the regular navy, which in postwar 1946-1950 may have been a compliment, as I have been told by at least one source that many officers were trying to make that jump. I have all of his papers and service records now, and his fitness reports all included the coveted “recommend this officer for promotion and command” statement. There was a copy of a report of his performance when his ship was first on the scene in Belize in 1961 when Hurricane Hattie basically destroyed the main port and much of the country, hitting it square. His ship could not enter the harbor due to damage and the channels being destroyed, so they anchored a good ways offshore and sent my dad in with a team of sailors on a launch to survey the damage and find out what could be done. My dad advised his CO that they needed water and generators first, then began helping the shocked people there get things organized, begin dealing with bodies and so on.

In any case, he wanted to be with us, and so he was. For the next ten years, we traveled together around the world as a family. He never once expressed regret for not pursuing a command, and the fact that he never rose above Commander.

It is often said of men of his generation that they didn’t know how to express their love to their families. Well, I never heard my dad say the words “I love you” until he was in his seventies.

But he sure as hell said it loud and clear with his actions as a family man. My mom told me this aspect of his career after he passed away, something that had occurred to me, but he never discussed it and I never asked. I guess there were probably a lot of conversations between my mom and dad back in 1963 as his orders were coming up.

So my mom did that amazing balancing act that military spouses often do. They run everything, do everything, pay all the bills, and when the husband returns, they hand control back over to them until they leave again. Now, I suppose that doesn’t happen (or happens less often) since most people can see the inherent issues with transferring control back and forth like that, and probably choose to let the same person handle stuff.

Back then, the man did it, usually with no questions asked. And I now know that generated a HUGE amount of friction in not only their relationship, but the relationships of many people they knew.

On the subject, though...I DO believe with all my heart that a man is vital in a child’s life. For those early years of my life, even though my dad wasn’t there, the threat of having to answer to him when he came back in eight months was very real indeed, and it kept me from straying to far, even though I was a kid who could push the confines of common sense to dangerous and unsafe limits. I wasn’t evil or bad (my parents often said I was the quietest and least trouble of all) but I simply had no commonsense whatsoever. So I got in trouble a lot by getting hurt or ending up in compromising situations (like the time in Japan where I set a field on fire by firing smoke bombs into it from my house across the street with a slingshot. It didn’t occur to me that the red, blue or yellow smoke coming out also had sparks too, that could light dry grass on fire...)

So even though my dad wasn’t around, he was ALWAYS on my mind!


33 posted on 12/27/2010 5:44:27 PM PST by rlmorel ("If this doesn't light your fire, Men, the pilot light's out!"...Coach Ed Bolin)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

AMEN!!


34 posted on 12/27/2010 5:44:43 PM PST by annelizly
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To: Jewbacca

The last 20-years men have been in majority as well. I have no idea why men did this to themselves.


35 posted on 12/27/2010 6:05:54 PM PST by donna (Imagine...women who honor men enough not to tempt them.)
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To: donna

They are liberals before they are men.


36 posted on 12/27/2010 6:23:01 PM PST by rlmorel ("If this doesn't light your fire, Men, the pilot light's out!"...Coach Ed Bolin)
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To: rlmorel; donna; Jewbacca

Yes!!

They were anti-Christian,anti-family commie loving liberals.
The destruction of Western Civilization was MORE important, to them, than ANYTHING else. It IS their religion. Destroying families is their delight. Destroying this country is the goal.

Delenda est liberals!!!!


37 posted on 12/27/2010 6:50:30 PM PST by TruthConquers (Delendae sunt publicae scholae)
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To: neverdem

Started back in the ‘50s with all the feeling sorry for the poor misunderstood criminals.

Add in the government as daddy for children of the unwed.

Ever since then it’s been a downhill slalom from one wasteful program after another.

Feed the weeds enough and they will choke out the garden.


38 posted on 12/27/2010 6:54:30 PM PST by P.O.E. (A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous. Got me?)
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To: neverdem

The only time popular culture praises marriage is when it’s between two gay people. Marriage between a man and a woman is usually portrayed as a joke by liberal cultural elites.


39 posted on 12/27/2010 7:01:40 PM PST by GOPJ
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To: neverdem

The diminishing job opportunities for the middle class plus the government as sugar daddy to unwed mothers is now having a predictable result with a growing number of whites. The government is more dependable support than the job prospects of all too many.


40 posted on 12/27/2010 7:03:44 PM PST by Will88
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To: LastNorwegian; Red6
Priests nowadays are eager to embrace every leftist cause and completely silent when it comes to Christianity. It’s all a disgusting form of vanity where the priests are more worried about whether the leftists say they are good or bad then actually doing good. -Or even defining what is good and evil based on Christian morality. It’s the very reason I don’t go to church.

You describe the effects of Vatican II. The problems are so dire that we need true religion more than ever. This is true for everyone and especially for those with children. Don't give up. Find a traditionalist priest.

41 posted on 12/27/2010 7:09:53 PM PST by mas cerveza por favor
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To: rlmorel
On the subject, though...I DO believe with all my heart that a man is vital in a child’s life. For those early years of my life, even though my dad wasn’t there, the threat of having to answer to him when he came back in eight months was very real indeed...

Back in the supposedly benighted days, single mothers and widows could draw authority from...God the Father. Not to mention, for widows, the soul of the real father gazing down from the afterlife.

Nowadays, the typical single mom doesn't have that source of strength. Need I point out how things have gone?

42 posted on 12/27/2010 7:29:05 PM PST by danielmryan
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To: TruthConquers

That motto definitely sounds like it belongs over a background of Scottish tartan...


43 posted on 12/27/2010 7:29:56 PM PST by rlmorel ("If this doesn't light your fire, Men, the pilot light's out!"...Coach Ed Bolin)
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To: danielmryan

Sigh. How did we get here? I do believe liberal tenets are primarily responsible. Sad.


44 posted on 12/27/2010 7:32:42 PM PST by rlmorel ("If this doesn't light your fire, Men, the pilot light's out!"...Coach Ed Bolin)
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To: Red6
At the end of the day, if I have no children I might pay a little more in taxes, but nothing that even nearly approaches the real cost of having them. Yet when I'm older I will reap all the benefits from those children even if I choose to have none, which would not have been the case 150 years ago, before we became so advanced, progressive, cultured and with a social/safety net....

We have created a system that punishes having children.... Most people will follow the path of least resistance and are outright hedonists (maximize pleasure). We have de-incentivized and devalued marriage in every respect.

Classic, classic tragedy of the commons. What a way to make Social Security even shakier than it would have been otherwise.

Sad to say, it gives a powerful incentive for unrestricted immigration. It's not that hard to shrug off the "legalize and tax" argument with respect to marijuana, because doing so wouldn't add that much to government budgets on a percentage basis. Besides, any such tax revenue would go into the general till. If there's any tax-desirous constituency that'd be really swayed by that argument, it'd be government-employee retirees - or soon-to-be retirees.

On the other hand, "legalize immigrants and FICO-tax them" has a bigger constituency. The liberals either haven't clued in yet or have yet to launch a campaign on that basis.

Imagine seeing this sign held by an illegal immigrant on the news: "GRINGO - I PAY YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY!" It'd be a sign that the pro-amnesty faction is pulling out the main artillery.

45 posted on 12/27/2010 7:42:02 PM PST by danielmryan
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To: Niuhuru

The American people have never learned and never will, I suspect.


46 posted on 12/27/2010 7:49:12 PM PST by Theodore R. (Rush was right when he said America may survive Obama but not the Obama supporters.)
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To: P.O.E.

Downhill, but remember algore said what is supposed to be up is down, and what is supposed to be down is up. And the American voters in their infinite ignorance had to agree.


47 posted on 12/27/2010 7:51:05 PM PST by Theodore R. (Rush was right when he said America may survive Obama but not the Obama supporters.)
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To: rlmorel
Sigh. How did we get here? I do believe liberal tenets are primarily responsible. Sad.

To be honest, I think it's because "liberalism" is a gaggle of several types of liberals, each with their own agenda and hobby horse. Look at how often the actions of social liberals (in the narrow sense) have undone the work of economic liberals. The left hand often undoes what the right hand has done.

Result? Liberals need to blame conservatives - or anyone else - for being 'obstructionist'. Such are the wages of a side that can't get its own act together, except for disbursements from the Treasury or clamping down on some part of the private sector.

48 posted on 12/27/2010 7:53:11 PM PST by danielmryan
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To: Niuhuru

I agree with you. Out of wedlock births are a disaster. Here in Texas Medicaid (for the destitute) makes up 25% of the state budget. One half of all children are born at public expense, and two thirds of those in nursing homes are paid for by the state. I’m sure other states are just as bad. Our governments engender this type of social dysfunction and the Democrats exploit it to the max. Capitalism is a great system but it wasn’t meant to make these type of people members of the middle class. The Democrats would have you believe that it is greedy Republicans at the root of our dissolution. I know better.


49 posted on 12/27/2010 8:02:42 PM PST by donaldo
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To: rlmorel

Aye, laddie, a wee bit of the tartan is just the ticket!!!


50 posted on 12/27/2010 8:16:23 PM PST by TruthConquers (Delendae sunt publicae scholae)
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