Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Liberals on the Wrong Side of Main Stream of Life

I agree with Roger L. Simon.  The problem is not gay marriage, it's marriage, and marriage is declining sharply among low-income Americans.

That's the whole point of Charles Murray's Losing Ground.  We, the top 20 percent, the educated class, the ruling class: we are doing fine.  We are educated, married, credentialed, prosperous.  But the middle-income folks are not doing so well, and low-income folks are not doing well at all.  Low-income women are not getting married, not much,  and low-income men are not working, not as much as their upper-income betters.

We know why low-income women aren't getting married.  It's the benefits.  If you are a single woman there are all kinds of government benefits out there for you, Julia, so why not get yours?  Why not marry the state instead of a low-income man who is disinclined to "get out and get me some money / like some other men do," as the song goes.

But if you don't get married and have children more or less in that order you are cutting yourself off from the main stream of life as a social human.

And if you, Julian, don't get a job, and don't marry the mother of your children and support them into adulthood you are cutting yourself off from the main stream of life as a social human.

Same goes for gays and gay marriage.  Look, if you decide to live with a same sex partner, our modern society says OK.  And it makes sense that it should make tolerant accommodation for people that make that choice.  But gay marriage, or "marriage equality" is not going to wish away the basic fact that gays  cut themselves off from the mainstream of life as a social human.

And that is true whatever the settled science about homosexuality eventually tells us about the "gay gene" or the notion that almost everyone is instinctively bisexual.

Last Fall, I voted in Washington State for gay marriage.  But I still think it is stupid.  I am taking the Benjamin Franklin attitude: experience keeps a dear school, but they will learn in no other.  Gays are politically powerful.  They won't leave us alone until we give them gay marriage.  OK.  So now you got it.

What gays will want after gay marriage, God only knows.  Because once a political cadre gets a movement organized, it seldom walks away from political power once it has got what it wants.

And that is the larger point.  Liberals are drunk on political power.  That means that liberals always need a political issue to divide the country, because Politics is Division.  It always means that they are dangling free stuff in front of the voters, because the basic originary form of politics is the warrior band marching through the world looting and pillaging.

But liberals are tempting people off the main stream of life with their glittering free baubles from gay marriage to welfare.  It's not an easy life being poor, but the payoff from marriage is huge if you are poor.  A Brooking study says that
the poverty rate among families with children could be lowered by 71 percent if the poor completed high school, worked full-time, married, and had no more than two children.
Yeah.  The Census Bureau data shows that the lowest-income household quintile has the least number of people working, and the top quintile has the most people working.

So the more that liberals subsidize single parenthood the more they are encouraging poverty.

You could say the same about divorce.  Speaking as a divorced man, I probably would not have got divorced if it had meant paying support to my ex-wife for the rest of her life, as it used to be before "no-fault" divorce.  And who has benefited most from "no-fault" divorce?

One of the reasons for morality and social norms and social control is to provide guide rails, to shepherd people along the main path of life and make it difficult to go off at a tangent.  In many ways, the whole point of the modern era is to remove the stigma for jumping the tracks of the main line of life.  You can say that it starts with the Romantic movement and the German cult of creativity.  We seem to be determined to deny that there is nothing more creative in this world than creating children and raising them to independence.

But if you are a ruling class you rather like the idea of a dependent and grateful peasantry, tugging at forelocks, or even shouting hosannas at politicians speechifying in front of Greek columns.

Apart from the moral question of living a meaningful and socially useful life on the main stream of life, there is the practical side.  If you build yourself a life with skills, and spouse, and children, and a reputation for kindliness and helpfulness, then you are probably in a good position if the government runs out of money and you are thrown back on your own resources without any lovely government entitlements to smooth your way.

A notable feature of all Democratic voters is that, one way or another, they have voted for plugging into government, just like a plug-in hybrid.  But if you are unmarried, childless, low-skilled, then you are really vulnerable if things go south and the wonderful wind farm can't juice your hybrid because there is no wind.  In the end, it isn't going to do you any good by voting for big government.  In the end, government will take care of itself, not you.

That's a big difference from life in the main stream of life.  Because if you get into trouble on the main stream of life then probably your spouse or your children will take care of you.  It's the social human thing to do.

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