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America’s Unspoken Crisis Is a “War on America”

Posted by Larry Doyle on July 23, 2012 7:43 AM |

Can you imagine the lengths our nation would go to address and eradicate a social situation correlated very highly with activities (including juvenile murder and rape) that land people in prison?

Can you further imagine the outcry to address this social situation if it were also highly correlated with an increased risk of suicide?

What if over and above those high correlations, this social situation was also very highly correlated with children dropping out of school? Clearly the public outcry would be earth shattering and the march on Washington would be historic in nature, no? 

If those correlations were not enough to generate the front page eye-popping headlines, we have to imagine that the high correlation of this social situation perpetuating a cycle of poverty with accompanying social ills of increased substance abuse, obesity, . . . and more would carry the day.

We have just such a social situation in America and I believe it has reached crisis level. Yet, what do we hear? The silence is deafening and dangerous.

It is time for America to WAKE UP and start talking about this crisis that envelops our nation and is now, in my opinion, an epidemic. What is this great unspoken social situation that many in power and in the media work so hard to keep conveniently under the rug?

Single parent births.

Go ahead and rail on me for daring to elevate this issue and demand that it be discussed. Addressing single parent births is part of the “war on women?” Stop the nonsense.

The unspoken crisis that defines the rapidly escalating rate of single parent births is nothing short of a “War on America.” Really? Yes, really. What do you think is going on in Chicago and what drives the growth in gangs that dominate urban neighborhoods across America?

How is it that I define this crisis as a “war on America?” Let’s connect some dots and address some raw data on this topic. As evidenced in a comprehensive research piece, Family Structure, Family Stability and Early Child Well Being, the writers conclude:

. . . children born to single parents have the most consistently adverse outcomes.

What are some of the outcomes? Say what you want about Ann Coulter, but she pulls no punches in highlighting that:

Children raised by a single mother commit 72 percent of juvenile murders, 60 percent of rapes, have 70 percent of teenaged births, commit 70 percent of suicides and are 70 percent of high school dropouts.

Controlling for socioeconomic status, race and place of residence, the strongest predictor of whether a person will end up in prison is being raised by a single parent.

A 1990 study by the Progressive Policy Institute showed that after controlling for single motherhood, the difference in black and white crime disappeared.

Please recall what I wrote a few days back in My Sense on Cents Solution for America:

How often have we heard those supporting Obamacare promote that there are 30 million people uninsured in our nation? Very often.

How often have we heard that there are 25 million high school dropouts over the age of 25 in our nation? Not often enough.

I do not know the percentage of high school dropouts who are also uninsured but I do know that less than 40% of those over the age of 25 are employed. (WSJ, February 21, 2012, As Job Market Mends, Dropouts Fall Behind). That fact means we have at least 15 million unemployed dropouts over the age of 25 in America. Think there is probably a decent chance the overwhelming majority of these 15 million are uninsured? You think?

The New York Times highlights:

Less than 10 percent of the births to college-educated women occur outside marriage, while for women with high school degrees or less the figure is nearly 60 percent.

Broken down by ethnic groups, single parent families encompass:

Approximately 70% of new born African-Americans, 50% of new born Hispanic children, 30% of Caucasians, and 15% of Asian-Americans.

What is the ultimate reason why I define the growth and accompanying problematic implications of single parent births as a crisis, epidemic, and also a “war on America?”

Single parent births in America now top 40% of newborns. That statistic stood at 17% three decades ago. (New York Times; July 14, 2012).

While I commend and support every parent – single and married – who works tirelessly to support his/her child, the evidence and issues connected to single parent birth rates are overwhelming and frightening for our nation’s future. Time we start to have a serious national discussion on this issue because at that rate of growth, the decline of our nation will not only continue but will be increasingly swift and painful. You can count on it.

So let’s get President Obama, Mitt Romney, pols from both sides of the aisle, and others from a variety of agencies and institutions and let’s have the national discussion. Let’s make sure it is televised in prime time.

The social costs — in both hard and soft dollars — connected to single parent births are an insidious and very real war on America. High time for those who care about our nation’s future to stand up and put this issue front and center. . . or I guess we can continue to sit idly by and allow our nation to continue to decline? What is it going to be?

What do you think?

I welcome hearing from everybody who has an opinion on this most important of national issues. For those who feel and believe differently, along with your opinions, please provide data to support your premise.

Larry Doyle 

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

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