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7 Reasons Marriage Is Falling Apart in America
Townhall.com ^ | April 6, 2013 | John Hawkins

Posted on 04/06/2013 7:32:02 AM PDT by Kaslin

It's no secret that marriage has been in decline in America, but most people don't realize how quickly it has been crumbling. The numbers are staggering and the sea change in attitude that has gone along with them would shock previous generations of Americans.

"In 1960, two-thirds (68%) of all twenty-somethings were married. In 2008, just 26% were." "To get a sense of how different attitudes were in the 1960s, perhaps this will do it. (M)arried women were asked, ‘In your opinion, do you think it is all right for a woman to have sexual relations before marriage with a man she knows she is going to marry?’ ...Eighty-six percent said no."

The damage to our society caused by this decline in marriage is almost incalculable.

According to the Index of Leading Cultural Indicators, children from single-parent families account for 63 percent of all youth suicides, 70 percent of all teenage pregnancies, 71 percent of all adolescent chemical/substance abuse, 80 percent of all prison inmates, and 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children.

A study cited in the Village Voice produced similar numbers. It found that children brought up in single-mother homes “are five times more likely to commit suicide, nine times more likely to drop out of high school, 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances, 14 times more likely to commit rape (for the boys), 20 times more likely to end up in prison, and 32 times more likely to run away from home.”

There are no easy fixes for this problem, but before we can even begin to consider solutions, we need to get a better understanding of what has gone wrong. Why is marriage collapsing in America? What are the root causes of the phenomenon? If studies show that married couples are happier, more financially secure and generally better off across just about every variable you can imagine, why are there so many people who are reluctant to get married?

1) The Sexual Revolution: There have always been people who've had sex outside of marriage, but there was a time when that was widely considered shameful. Fifty years ago, a book like The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On would have been considered nothing more than obvious common sense. Today, if you write a book like that, you'll end up on TV facing hosts who can't believe there's anyone left who believes in not having sex before marriage. In other words, the promise of easy access to sex used to be a big reason to get married. These days? Fifty nine percent of people polled at MSN Dating said they would have sex within the first three dates and less than 7% said they would wait until marriage.

2) The Inability Of Many Poor Men To Support A Family: There was a time in America where a hard working man with a high school degree and limited skills could still make enough money to support himself, a wife and a child or two. Granted, they might have had to scrape by, but they were able to make it. Unfortunately, as automation and technology have replaced some of those jobs and others have moved overseas to workers in China and India, the economic prospects for many men in this group have plunged. What that means as a practical matter is that a lot of men who would have been married and providing for a family in a previous era are now single and can barely afford to take care of themselves.

3) A "Marrying Up" Gap: Women have always been inclined to "marry up." In a world where female incomes have dramatically increased and there have been more women than men getting college degrees for the last twenty years, that means many ladies believe they have a much smaller pool of potentially acceptable mates than ever before. The male CEO may be content to marry the pretty maid who wants to take care of him, but a female CEO probably isn't going to marry a butler.

4) No Fault Divorce: When Ronald Reagan was governor of California, he signed the nation's first "no fault" divorce bill into law. Later on, Reagan called that act his "greatest regret." It should have been because it led to those laws, which made divorce much easier to get, spreading across the country. As a result, between 1960 and 1980, the divorce rate in America more than doubled. Happily, the numbers have since stabilized, but they ended up almost twice as high as they were before. The more divorces there are, the less attractive marriage becomes because it increases the risk factor. "No fault" or not, divorce is usually a devastating process for everyone involved and the more likely marriages are to end in divorce, the less likely people will be to want to get married in the first place.

5) Increased Economic Options For Women: There was a time when the surest path to economic security for women was to get married. Today, that's not necessarily true. Women on the low end of the pay scale can have the government step in to pay many of their bills. Women with college degrees or in demand skills can make just as much as a man if they're willing to put in the same hours. Those additional economic options make marriage -- and staying in a difficult marriage -- less attractive to women.

6) Marriage has become a much less attractive option for men: There was a time when the man was expected to provide for his wife and kids and in return, he was treated as the king of the castle. Now, men are often treated more like partners than kings. Moreover, if there's a divorce, men know they may not be treated fairly by the court system. Almost every man knows a guy who has had access to his child used as a bargaining chip, who has to pay Draconian child support payments or who has otherwise been generally treated unfairly because of his gender, not the merits. No man wants to end up as the guy paying a huge chunk of his income to a woman who broke his heart while he wonders if he'll be allowed to have access to his own child.

7) Children have become more of an economic hindrance than a help: There was a time when having children was essentially an insurance policy. If you became disabled or too old to work, your kids took care of you. Today, the government fulfills that role. Additionally, the cost of raising a child has skyrocketed. You'll now have to take $235,000 out of your wallet to raise a kid to 17 -- and that doesn't even include college costs. While a married couple can bear this expense much more easily than a single parent, as a practical matter what it means is that less Americans are having children. If you take away the need to have a partner in raising a child, you've removed one of the biggest reasons for marriage to exist in the first place.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: academicbias; america; culturewar; feminism; gayandlesbian; gaymarriage; gayrights; homosexualagenda; hookupculture; marriage; nofaultdivorce; samesexmarriage; sexpositiveagenda; sexualrevolution; smashmonogamy; smashthepatriarchy; traditionalmarriage; waronreligion; welfarestate
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To: Gaffer

It appears that Hollywood is the seat of Satan’s power. It is full of willing subjects.


51 posted on 04/06/2013 10:09:12 AM PDT by DennisR (Look around - God gives countless, indisputable clues that He does, indeed, exist.)
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To: hosepipe

“...Propaganda is a scientific fact..

I have no idea what Logans Run is, however I do know that this country is brain washed to the extent that they are oblivious.


52 posted on 04/06/2013 10:12:29 AM PDT by stonehouse01 (Equal rights for unborn women)
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To: ex-snook

Thanks,what I can’t figure out is why the my daughter’s 30 something friends are afraid to be mother’s.They have told me this.


53 posted on 04/06/2013 10:14:52 AM PDT by fatima (Free Hugs Today :))
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To: RegulatorCountry

“It’s falling apart because it’s very legally disadvantageous to men.”

That’s right, and our aging spinsters will shake their fists at the men who won’t marry them while insisting on keeping those laws in place.

In may area the only people breeding are immigrants; the whites that bother to get married get his and hers dogs...

The article is right in the first sentence; this is not something unfolding at some future point; it is happening NOW, and the political ramifications are frightening.


54 posted on 04/06/2013 10:18:00 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: fatima

“Thanks,what I can’t figure out is why the my daughter’s 30 something friends are afraid to be mother’s.They have told me this.”

They’ll have to focus on something more important than themselves, and the commitment is for the rest of their lives. It is a lot easier to spend money on yourself, raise an animal instead, and complain about the proliferation of dark people jabbering in strange tongues in your old neighborhoods...


55 posted on 04/06/2013 10:22:56 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: Lexinom

“...that which is ubiquitous is deemed less valuable...”

The women gave it up - why did they do it? the rare thing they had, their feminine value, the women in power threw out. They echanged their true value for nothing.


56 posted on 04/06/2013 10:33:35 AM PDT by stonehouse01 (Equal rights for unborn women)
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To: stonehouse01

“The demise of this county has already happened.”

Absolutely; I’ve said for years that the demographic nightmare is here NOW, not 40 years down the road. In my area, Americans are disappearing and being replaced by Asians and Hispanics; pregnant whites are rarely seen, while nearly 1/3 of Hispanic females over 16 seem to be pregnant (and showing).

Neither party will defend Americans (even within their own constituencies); the Repubs selling out the white middle class has been matched by Dems selling out the black permanent underclass.


57 posted on 04/06/2013 10:39:06 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: kearnyirish2

“...Americans are disappearing ....”

See my post#19. I was astounded by the Mexican children in this incubator house. I suppose I was niave because I knew about it intellectually per se, now I saw it in real life.

We are done. To quote you - the Dems have sold out to make the black the permanent underclass. The permanent dem plantation.

Lest I sound racist - look at the Irish not hired in the 20’s/30’s!!! Irish need not apply - not permanent victim statuS !!!


58 posted on 04/06/2013 11:00:29 AM PDT by stonehouse01 (Equal rights for unborn women)
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To: Kaslin

I’m there...


59 posted on 04/06/2013 11:06:11 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: P.O.E.

You nailed it. The article is OK, but it failed to mention the #1 reason why marriages are failing.

And that is the family is under attack by our government. From the divorce courts, from the welfare agencies, from the same-sex marriage laws, from the overturning of DOMA, and a thousand other laws, policies and regulations stemming back from the onset of the Great Society - Our government is dead-set on destroying the backbone of our culture; that is the family.

Sure there are a ton of cultural and social ills like pornography and the homosexual agenda. But none of these would be nearly effective as they are if it were not for a willing and powerful government.


60 posted on 04/06/2013 11:23:49 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: FReepaholic

“It’s the fault of Wal-Mart and McDonalds.”

It is their fault!! They created this mess!!


61 posted on 04/06/2013 11:39:56 AM PDT by stonehouse01 (Equal rights for unborn women)
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To: Responsibility2nd

1) Government policies

2) Public schools

3) Universities

4) MSM


62 posted on 04/06/2013 12:37:53 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker
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To: anoldafvet

“...Not only the programs, but also the commercials..”

Avoid TV - unwatchable for the discerning.


63 posted on 04/06/2013 12:47:05 PM PDT by stonehouse01 (Equal rights for unborn women)
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To: stonehouse01

I don’t know why they did it. I’m a single man and wish I could find a woman like that in my age group. Almost to a person they do not value romance and chivalry and expect to be jumped on the first date. I guess I’m odd for a guy, but I find that both distasteful and disgusting.


64 posted on 04/06/2013 1:02:36 PM PDT by Lexinom
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To: Lexinom

Well, I wish there were more men like you.


65 posted on 04/06/2013 1:09:00 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: Kaslin
My girlfriend and I are planning to get married this July, but am seriously debating to file a marriage license.

With Obamacare coming, and possibly seeing the prospect of loosing employer health coverage it would possibly be best not to be married.

Since she works part time, she would be able to get fully subsidized coverage from the gov’t and if we have a child, he/she would be covered under her Obamacare policy.

I would just pay the fine for not having any until I need it then sign up.

The prospect of having to pay $25,000/yr for a plan to cover a family would be about 1/3 my take home salary and leave hardly anything else for mortgage/bills/etc...

I can see the divorce rate go way up after Obamacare as people won't be able to afford care and companies drop coverage and pay the “fine”.

66 posted on 04/06/2013 1:15:06 PM PDT by CapnJack
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To: Kaslin; GeronL
When I was very small, I dreamt of entering an enchanted adulthood like that envisioned in Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (as seen on TV, 1965).

What followed:

The Pill.

Vatican II.

"Women's liberation." "Free to Be You and Me." (Remember that one?)

Roe v. Wade.

The world I entered as an adult is a very bleak landscape.

I cringe when I hear a woman refer to her live-in male companion as her "partner" as if it's some bloodless business arrangement.

I walk by an Arthur Murray Dance Studio and wonder if they still have any business.

I remember when ladies wore hats and gloves, and men wore suits and ties, and opened doors for ladies and walked curbside to protect them.

I remember when marriage (man and woman marriage, so sorry I have to define what has been traditional!) was something to cherish and look forward to.

I remember when a date was supposed to end with a kiss under the porch light.

Silly me.

67 posted on 04/06/2013 1:18:58 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: stonehouse01

I liked the “incubator” reference; too true.

Welfare was reformed because the breeding of suburban Americans starting resembling that of the permanent urban underclass; now all Americans are subsidizing the “replacement Americans”, not needed for workers so much as students in our classrooms and consumers (not producers) of other “services”.


68 posted on 04/06/2013 1:36:27 PM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: thecodont

Nope, I’m different. The different are culled from the herd and (according to conventional wisdom) destroyed. This man, though, won’t go without a fight for right.


69 posted on 04/06/2013 1:38:25 PM PDT by Lexinom
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To: stephenjohnbanker

5) Hollywood/TV

6) Popular Music


70 posted on 04/06/2013 1:45:35 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: WorkerbeeCitizen

100% of all divorces started in marriage.

Being told the majority of things I do are wrong (cooking, cleaning, etc) I am at the point of why bother?

The Caucasian male is the butt of most jokes, the imbecile, the bigot, the liar, cheater, drunk, murdering rapist pedophile. We get that treatment on TV, radio, work, and now at home. Is there any wonder why American men are marrying foreign women?

If anything happened to my American wife, I can safely say I would never marry another American.


71 posted on 04/06/2013 1:59:46 PM PDT by ro_dreaming (G.K. Chesterton, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. It’s been found hard and lef)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Yep


72 posted on 04/06/2013 2:01:03 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker
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To: stonehouse01

I have no idea what Logans Run is, however I do know that this country is brain washed to the extent that they are oblivious.


Logans Run—>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WUUnc1M0TA


73 posted on 04/06/2013 2:22:50 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: Kaslin

Dr. Laura used to tell women to find a guy who’d swim through shark-infested waters to bring them a lemonade.

I love my husband.
He’s put up with me for 37 years.
The man’s a saint.


74 posted on 04/06/2013 2:28:29 PM PDT by b9
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To: dhs12345

“...we conservatives need to push back harder...”
It is way too late for push back. We have to lead and it has to be our teens/early twenties who can do it.

I am skeptical - very few can raise their children against this grain. Good luck to all


75 posted on 04/06/2013 2:33:59 PM PDT by stonehouse01 (Equal rights for unborn women)
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To: b9

Post of the day!!!! Mine has put up with me for 35!!!


76 posted on 04/06/2013 2:35:30 PM PDT by stonehouse01 (Equal rights for unborn women)
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To: stonehouse01
";^)
77 posted on 04/06/2013 2:41:02 PM PDT by b9
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To: PapaBear3625
Guys see other guys financially destroyed by divorce, and their kids alienated from them. Most of the time, the guy didn't do anything other than not being fulfilling or exciting any more.

I've seen many of my friends dumped by their wives when they found boyfriends they considered less boring or more prosperous.

And therein is the problem. After a divorce I was ruined financially for 15 years. I had zero say in any of it. I lived in the "hood" because I couldn't afford better, drove a POS car because I simply couldn't afford better, and if I had the temerity to purchase a newer car my CS payments went up in the equal amount to the loan amount. Almost zero contact with my kids. Zero prospects for a girlfriend since I had no disposable income for things like "dates". Ivy League educated Engineer/Project Manager and I had less than two nickels to rub together

Not that I wouldn't have gotten married again, there were no takers at that time, and a girlfriend would have been grounds to raise the CS even further.

78 posted on 04/06/2013 4:30:43 PM PDT by Ouderkirk (Obama has turned America into an aristocracy of the unaccomplished.)
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To: stephenjohnbanker

Absolutely correct - I might reverse or adjust the order though.


79 posted on 04/06/2013 6:19:04 PM PDT by stonehouse01 (Equal rights for unborn women)
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To: Christie at the beach
Agreed with everything in your comment #27: great observations and truth.

"It's like they know the best..and it comes across as they must control us ..not making sure the government is not over stepping. They only want to grow it more into our lives. They're doing activities and over reaches like we read about in books of earlier civilizations. I wonder often, why we have the rebellion 60's movement in charge. They are the last group that needs this kind of power."

I can tell you why. The most publicized and/or influential '60s counter-culture kids were the children of the crop of the most influential constituents before them. They were bound to be in influential positions. It's not all merit-based ("who you know"). The moral slide was gradual at first and not so much noticed, then accelerated. Notice what the moral slide has done to potential new competition (crushed scattered families, regulations, "free" trade, political correctness and so on).


80 posted on 04/06/2013 7:44:15 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: Kaslin
"7 Reasons Marriage Is Falling Apart in America"

We all know what was done to marriage--especially no-fault divorce. Some of us are more honest about it, others aren't.

But that's nearly behind us. See where our economy is going. See the outrageous saturation of our society immorality, regulations and other corruption against new competition from families.

That saturation of our country and people with a heavy storm of intrusions and regulations against families will be the undoing of the corruption behind it. There are not enough revenues to support such a socialistic, counterproductive mess, as we are seeing.


81 posted on 04/06/2013 7:49:48 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: Kaslin

Little correction of my last comment here. See the outrageous saturation of our society with immorality,...


82 posted on 04/06/2013 7:51:49 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: RegulatorCountry
It’s falling apart because it’s very legally disadvantageous to men.

Modern marriage is often just the first stage of divorce. After the wife initiates the second "formal divorce" stage, the man learns that when he chose to marry he also unintentionally agreed to subjugate himself to a series of feminist judges in the family court system. If there are kids, that subjugation continues for many years after the marriage is gone. Eventually chump-hubby learns to call the ongoing nightmare his "life."

Strangely enough, those men tell their friends, and word gets around.

83 posted on 04/06/2013 7:56:28 PM PDT by TChad (Call them Oppressives, not Progressives.)
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To: familyop

—>>>I can tell you why. The most publicized and/or influential ‘60s counter-culture kids were the children of the crop of the most influential constituents before them. They were bound to be in influential positions. It’s not all merit-based (”who you know”). The moral slide was gradual at first and not so much noticed, then accelerated. Notice what the moral slide has done to potential new competition (crushed scattered families, regulations, “free” trade, political correctness and so on).

Great comments and so agree. Thank you for sharing with me.


84 posted on 04/06/2013 8:18:32 PM PDT by Christie at the beach
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To: Christie at the beach
I will tell you that, when checking the names on school book receipts, a kid having the same last name as their parent was rare enough to make me comment to a colleague.
85 posted on 04/06/2013 8:51:14 PM PDT by EinNYC
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To: Kaslin

As with many things, government is much to blame. When government took over caring for people (social security, medicare, medicaid, welfare), then families were no longer a means of financial support. Now with the army of counselors and do-gooders, families aren’t even expected to provide emotional support. Uncle Sam has become husband, daddy, and caretaker of our elderly. Not going well, is it?


86 posted on 04/06/2013 9:03:33 PM PDT by Pining_4_TX (All those who were appointed to eternal life believed. Acts 13:48)
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To: Ouderkirk
After a divorce I was ruined financially for 15 years.

I've seen exactly this with several of my close friends. Now, every day I come home and my clothes aren't in a pile in the driveway, I THANK GOD, and give my wife a BIG hug.

Honestly... given what she COULD have gotten? I don't know why she didn't leave me. I think, I would have left me... :-(

I have two sons... and, I have VERY mixed feeling about whether or not I want them to marry. I have taught them one thing for sure: Getting "married" doesn't really change your life that much.. you just know who your date is. Having CHILDREN.. CHANGES EVERYTHING... It's a 21 year economic contract.. that may, or may not involve being able to enjoy your children.

Anymore... ? I'm not sure the risks are worth it. I feel EXTREMELY LUCKY, after 30 years of marriage... but, it's STILL a day-to-day thing.

87 posted on 04/07/2013 5:48:54 AM PDT by SomeCallMeTim ( The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them)
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To: Kaslin
"In 1960, two-thirds (68%) of all twenty-somethings were married. In 2008, just 26% were." "To get a sense of how different attitudes were in the 1960s, perhaps this will do it. (M)arried women were asked, ‘In your opinion, do you think it is all right for a woman to have sexual relations before marriage with a man she knows she is going to marry?’ ...Eighty-six percent said no."

My first was in 1977... it finally happened after about 6 MONTHS of progressively heavier petting.. and begging, and groveling....I must have rounded 20 bases trying to get home!

In the end, I didn't marry that one...

A few years later, my wife gave way MUCH quicker.... about 1 1/2 hours after we first touched one another. But then, we'd been "friends" for 7+ years...so, I guess she COULD claim a longer time. She STILL fires me up quickly! :-)

88 posted on 04/07/2013 5:53:34 AM PDT by SomeCallMeTim ( The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them)
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To: RegulatorCountry

Be careful who you marry.


89 posted on 04/07/2013 1:57:09 PM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: Kaslin

Personally, I think it is because we subsidize bastardy.


90 posted on 04/07/2013 2:16:09 PM PDT by Little Ray (How did I end up in this hand-basket, and why is it getting so hot?)
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To: stonehouse01
Actually in the 20s and 30s, the Irish dominated most large city political machines and engaged in racism/discrimination of the worst sort against Jews, blacks, amd Italians. They had their own form of welfare in the form of no-show and make work jobs, and were tax eaters, rather than tax contributors (unless your name was Kennedy, that is).

BTW: No Irish Need Apply signs have never been historically documented.

91 posted on 04/07/2013 5:43:26 PM PDT by Clemenza ("History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil governm)
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To: hosepipe

I’m in my late forties, so I saw Logan’s run way back when. It was the canary in the coal mine. It accurately describes what our society has become. The only thing that it doesn’t accurately portray is the whole hand crystal thing. There won’t be security forces terminating runners. People will self-terminate. With the majority of Americans unprepared for retirement (yes – we all get too old to work), the younger generation unable to find work, and the destruction of the family, there will be no way to survive. Suicide will become the norm. The great social programs are all going bankrupt. 17 trillion of national debt – increased yearly by trillion dollar deficits). 80 to 100 trillion in unfunded liabilities (SS, Medicare, public sector pensions) and 1.2 quadrillion (1000 trillion) in derivatives (next ephemeral wealth bubble getting ready to burst). I was born at the beginning of the sexual revolution and have witnessed first-hand the beginning – to – end destruction brought about by progressive ideals. I don’t blame any political party. I blame ‘we the people’. We’ve destroyed ourselves. Our political leaders were voted in by us. They reflect our collective values (or lack thereof). If you chose to live your life responsibly, you’ll be the one to pay the highest price. Disillusionment is the state of being freed of illusions, enchantments and false beliefs.


92 posted on 04/08/2013 6:42:55 AM PDT by FullyAwake
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To: GeronL

A whole generation of young people will look back someday and notice they had no real childhood, no real innocent childhood sweethearts, no real romances-just meaningless hookups and nothing to have fond memories about....

I dont think they will be too happy about it


So true, when the beauty and thrill of youth fades, the reality of adulthood will come crashing down.....


93 posted on 04/08/2013 7:43:59 AM PDT by patriotspride
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