Marriage is never ‘obsolete’
Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
- A story based on a Pew Research Center survey asks the question: Is marriage becoming obsolete? Only 52 percent of adults 18 and over are married, an all-time low. In the survey, 39 percent find the institution “obsolete,” compared to 28 percent in 1978. We might as well ask if honesty or personal responsibility is obsolete. Middle-class self-indulgence in lifestyle choices creates missing-parent voids in the lives of their children and tragedy when mimicked by the poor and uneducated. Marriage is never “obsolete” for children.
- I’m thankful this Thanksgiving for honest people like Jan Laskey, owner of Macon’s Ingleside Bridals & Formals, who spotted a wallet containing credit cards and several hundred dollars in the parking lot of a Macon restaurant, tracked down the owner, by then 20 miles down I-16, and waited until I returned. She declined any reward. She lost a pocketbook once and it was returned; she’s paying a debt forward. I will too.
- With developers, relocating businesses and sports teams across the country continuing to shake down state and local taxpayers for subsidies, it’s commendable that the AJC’s PolitiFact team examines claims made by those who come a-begging. National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodall hinted that a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons could put Atlanta in the Super Bowl running. Atlanta boosters say the 2000 Super Bowl here had an economic impact of $215 million in metro Atlanta. It’s that claim that was put to the test. It’s bloated. The model changed, as they do. Critics say the net effect could be zero; a more realistic figure would be $150 million, says a Georgia State economist who studies such things. Three thoughts:
- One is that of course politicians spin, interpret and misstate accomplishments and the worthwhile impact of what they and their opponents have done in office. The real work of media truth squads should to examine the claims of advocates that we take for granted as true — like, for example, the economic impact of public “investments” and all lists that are assembled by advocates to entice public money or legislation, such as “10 dirtiest cities” or “most-endangered” waters. Government itself can be a culprit, too. Claims need accountability checks.
- Number two, relevant to “global warming,” is that when predictive modeling changes, so do outcomes. And third, a trend that must be reversed before smaller government is anything but a conservative pipe dream is to get sports teams, developers and big corporations off welfare. We can’t ask future generations to pay higher taxes, thus transferring their quality of life to us, to fund new stadiums and other entertainment venues and development projects, to say nothing of the politician’s electric-car and union-gifted enterprises. If we’re to ask babies to work until age 69 and to pay higher payroll taxes en route, we have to give them assurance that the able-bodied and well-to-do are not camped on the welfare rolls.
- It’s unavoidable and therefore no big deal, but Georgia’s unemployment trust fund is in the hole to the federal government by $454.5 million, and growing. The lesson here for politicians is not to look at large sums of money in the unemployment pot in the future and assume that benefits can be expanded. Otherwise, we’ll work through this debt in an orderly fashion when the economy recovers.
- I cringe every time I read a story about some process-milestone where the State of Georgia is asking for approval from the feds to get a piece of the Race to the Top money from the “stimulus” for state and local education. States should never again invite the federal government to expand its reach into the domain of state and local government. Jones County, to its credit, took a bye on the handouts.
- Ajc.com headline: “Bristol Palin drives man to shoot TV.” I have never seen a public figure who more frightens the Left or who inspires more invective from them than Sarah Palin – and now dancing-daughter Bristol, who came close to winning “Dancing With the Stars.” Such things are possible throughout entertainment, government, academia and corporate America, of course, when decisions are based on something other than merit. Mama’s got fans. They vote.