Repairing Relationships

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Should We Look Down on Women With Husbands and Kids?

Amy Glass ignites an Internet firestorm.

Feminist blogger Amy Glass rocked the internet world this weekend with her explosive statement of dripping contempt for stay at home Moms. Amy charged that getting married, choosing to keep a pregnancy, going through nine months of gestation, the painful and traumatic experience of giving birth and raising children are all "doing nothing." She claimed that "you will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids."

Rarely have we heard of someone of either sex minimizing the unique experience women have in pregnancy and giving birth. Yet Amy actually said they are "super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them." Really? Men can't. Complications can leave a woman bedridden for months and permanently affect her health or even life.

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Amy laughs at the idea of "managing a household." She sees marriage in the traditional nuclear family as a roadblock to career and financial equality. Unfortunately for Amy, eliminating the basic building block in America brings on social ills and injustices far more grievous to women than being a stay at home Mom.

University of Pennsylvania Professor Amy Wax has written that without a man and woman present to raise male children in stable and orderly homes, we see a rise in criminality, drug use, financial irresponsibility, violence, poor work ethic, defiant attitudes and flagrant sexual infidelity. These male children grow up angry at their abandonment by their fathers and many seek out replacement role models among other older disaffected youth.

Renaissance man and author George Gilder predicted this outcome four decades ago: Today’s urban unrest is due to the breakdown of the social order of the family. He argued that the loss of the “system of the family” to the “system of the unmarried’ would result in the rise of gangs. It’s hard to believe now, but movies in the 1950s and 1960s like “West Side Story”, “Up the Down Staircase” and “Concrete Jungle” were pointing towards the elimination of mindless gang violence through education and social welfare. Fast forwarding 40 years later, we see that gangs have become a permanent, metastasizing cancerous growth in every town in America. 

George Gilder pointed out that the failure to discipline male aggression in adolescent and young adult unmarried men is deadly to a social order. In  2014 we have grown accustomed to living in fear, joining neighborhood watch committees, cloistering in gated communities or rigging our houses with the latest security alarms, sensors and cameras. We avoid huge sections of our cities and towns or only frequent certain parts of town during the daylight due to the unbridled angry young males that stalk that territory. Women can't safely walk in large parts of every town and city in America or even walk home from the campus library at night without the risk of being assaulted by these angry young men.

These products of the system of the unmarried are not likely to live up to the standards of being a good boyfriend to their female partner or  be a responsible and doting father to their children and will tend to produce more angry young men of an uncivilized bent. Even if Amy Glass chooses not to have anything to do with men, they still affect her life if she ever walks down the street to go to a coffeehouse or chic restaurant, goes to a mall or attends a concert or movie in a city civic center.

As much as Amy Glass might wish, we can't continue to prosper as a country with a social welfare safety net and the ObamaCare socialized medicine system without some women choosing to reproduce and be stay at home Moms. During the 1960s and 1970s the idea arose that we needed zero population growth or the earth would soon run out of food. Biologist Paul Ehrlich predicted in his 1968 best seller “The Population Bomb” that hundreds of millions would starve as population exceeded food production. But the Green Revolution resulted in new, more efficient ways to grow crops. Instead of famine, the new problem in America is obesity. Yet the message of small families has remained. Many couples with four or five children report that they get dirty looks or people ask, “Are you Catholic or Mormon?”

The real problem facing the world is not famine due to overpopulation but under population. Populations in many developed countries in Western Europe, Russia, Japan and even China are going to decrease as older people outnumber younger people for the first time in human history. And we face the same problem in America with the aging Baby Boomers born from 1946 to 1964.

According to U.S. government birth records there are around 78 million Baby Boomers alive today. Each of these 78 million Americans have paid large amounts into government entitlement programs, most often through payroll deductions. Until 2007, these 78 million Baby Boomers have been funding the entitlement system for the current retirees.

But in 2007 the story began to change as the first wave of 3.2 million Boomers turned 62. Each of them will be eligible under the current government standards to apply for early retirement benefits and to receive a monthly Social Security check for the rest of their lives. Instead of paying into the system, they will begin taking from the system. As this first wave  turns 65 these citizens will become eligible for subsidized health care benefits under the Medicare system. Those of the millions of early Boomers who opted not to take early retirement benefits will reach age 66 ( the Baby Boomers the age of Hillary Clinton and David Letterman) and will qualify for their full share of Social Security benefits. It is highly likely that a large majority of retiring boomers will take the early retirement option due to the perceived weakness in the Social Security system. And this first wave is just the beginning.

The worker to dependent retiree ratio was once 16 workers to one retiree, but it has decreased to 3:1 and will eventually fall from the current 3 workers to 1 one retiree to 1.5 -1. There won’t be enough younger workers to pay taxes to meet the housing, food, transportation and healthcare needs of the older generation (Inayatullah:1). If social security as well as Medicare continue to be  transfer payments, more will be required to be taken from existing workers in taxes and it will derail economic growth.

Luckily for America, massive immigration of younger workers from Central America and Asia is solving some of the problem. But the general bias against Americans having large families has to end. Instead of repeating the 40 year old Zero Population screeds against having children and the recent Green message of leaving a smaller carbon footprint, our opinion leaders and politicians  should promote a new message that self-sufficient men and women should consider marrying and have large families as a positive lifestyle choice which will strengthen the social security  and Medicare systems and provide the young healthy adults that are needed to contribute to Obamacare to pay for the  older or sicker high risk pools.

Instead of demonizing women with husbands and children who have chosen to stay at home and raise steady, faithful, considerate, non-violent, law-abiding and industrious young boys who will grow up to be good citizens, good mates to women and  who will spend their adult years contributing positively to society  as they work and pay taxes to fund an aging feminist's  Medicare and Social Security payments, Amy Glass should be thanking them.

J.R. Bruns, M.D., is co-author of The Tiger Woods Syndrome, a book about repairing relationships.

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