Thursday, June 4, 2009

Families need defending

Thursday, June 4, 2009

As the authors of a new study on family breakdown in Canada suggested yesterday, in any rational society the state would have a vested interest in promoting traditional, legally married, two-parent families.

In Private Choices, Public Costs: How failing families cost us all, Rebecca Walberg and Andrea Mrozek of the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, add to a growing body of literature that has reached exactly the same conclusion.

That is that on average, children living in traditional, two-parent families, where the parents are legally married, fare better in life in every conceivable outcome, compared to children who come from single-parent or common-law marriage homes.

And further, that when marriages break down, it's the women and children who are most likely to end up in poverty.

Indeed, "marriage breakdown" today essentially means absentee fathers.

Walberg and Mrozek estimate the cost of family breakdown to taxpayers at $7 billion annually and argue if we could cut that rate in half, society would save almost $2 billion a year.

They use $2 billion, rather than half of $7 billion, or $3.5 billion, to account for the fact that even if the family breakdown rate was cut in half, many of those still-intact families would remain below the poverty line.

Cost savings

In other words, the authors are being very conservative about the potential cost savings.

Further, as they note, lower crime and school drop out rates among the young, less drug abuse and fewer unwanted pregnancies would result from lowering the rate of family breakdown.

Walberg and Mrozek argue our falling marriage rate (in 1961, 92% of all Canadian families were headed by married couples, compared to only 69% today) isn't a neutral statistic, but a negative one.

What's interesting is that you almost never hear this painfully obvious point being made by governments themselves these days.

In other words that while, yes, there are many wonderful single parents and, yes, many couples are trapped in unhappy marriages, on the whole, it is far better for society to have more families headed by married parents, than fewer.

Why? Because the children in those families are far more likely to grow up to be well-adjusted, law-abiding and productive citizens, who will carry those values forward into the families they create for themselves.

Similarly, in the absence of strong families, the reverse is also true -- there will never be enough public money to adequately cope with the aftermath of family breakdown and all the problems it creates.

As Walberg and Mrozek observe: "There is evidence that long-term reliance on welfare has detrimental effects on individuals and society. Take England, for example, where decades of family breakdown and poor social policy have led to children being raised in homes where they've never seen a functioning marriage, or a working adult."

Never form

Actually, you don't have to go to England. You can find that in the giant urban housing ghettoes of Toronto or any other big city, where the problem isn't so much family breakdown as that "families" never form, because none of the adults know what a functioning family is.

And contrary to what your modern liberal politician will tell you, the kids who are the products of these non-families, don't need more basketball courts to help them grow up right.

They need fathers who stick around.

My emails with Mr. Goldstein

You are taking a small slice of Canada and then juxtaposing that on all men. Its called bias. You are also concluding certain cultural values from an ethnic minority might be attributable to all men. That's also bias. You and Obama would agree on the latter but both of you would be wrong when discussing all fathers.

Mike Murphy

Sault Ste. Marie ON
Sent from Sault Sainte Marie, ON, Canada
George Bernard Shaw - "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."

2009/6/4 Lorrie Goldstein <>
- Hide quoted text -

Hi Mike:
Thanks and fair point.
I'm not saying men don't get screwed by the system.
I'm saying there are too many men who abandon their families.
Take a walk through Jane-Finch someday and you'll know what I mean.

From: Mike Murphy
Sent: Thu 6/4/2009 2:48 PM
To: Lorrie Goldstein


I think you already know the answer but I didn’t see it in the column with respect to the last line. “They need fathers who stick around.”

I left the following comments on the TS site. Shared and equal parenting isn’t the end all and be all to solve children’s problems, many other systemic changes are necessary, but it will help. It will treat men as equals and there is a much better chance the children will have a father in their lives on a continuous basis.

Mike Murphy Report Comment
June 4th 2009, 2:28pm
Brian June 4th 2009, 1:51pm -You sound like a self-loathing man and not a very well informed one at that. 75% of divorces are initiated by women in Canada, 66% in the USA. 90% of custody awards go to the mom whether contested or not. You seem to think only men have a wandering eye but you really have no clue about the real world and maybe even not your own small environment where you state 9 out of 10. Give me a break with your personal surveys. Please provide factual data before embarrassing yourself. You have no idea how you - a man - will be marginalized once you come in contact with Family Law. You have a 50% chance of that happening in your lifetime. Once there you will know exactly how much you count in terms of parenting. ZERO.
xxx Report Comment
June 4th 2009, 2:28pm
Brian, my comment, if you can read properly, blamed feminists and the left...two political ideologies...not all women are feminists, I know this may shock you. I don't blame all women, I blame certain ideologies that have persistently demonised men in matters of the family for at least the the past 2 decades.

You are probably one of those left wing ideologs judging by how quickly you interpreted my original statement as anti woman, and your bias is clear for all to see with your statement that 9 out of 10 men can't keep their dicks in their pants.

Ideology is a prison, maybe you should free your mind from yours.

Have a nice day sir.
Mike Murphy Report Comment
June 4th 2009, 2:20pm
tim June 4th 2009, 12:54pm:

Read the study before you comment rather than just the column. You are adding items to the mix that are canards. This information has been duplicated in other countries especially the UK where the socialists have created a generation of misfits relying in the welfare state to support them.
Mike Murphy Report Comment
June 4th 2009, 2:10pm
Across the nation Family Court Judges create single parent families on a continuous basis each and every day. Its a production line of dysfunction. These judges are the leading edge for the reasons behind the child poverty visible in this report. In a 9-1 ratio they, with great assistance from Family Law (FLAW) lawyers give sole physical custody to the mom. The dad, of course, will remain the ATM, the visitor - if he is lucky - the un-parent and half the man he was. Through this social engineering creating these single parent female family units, judges and lawyers are the leading cause of child poverty in Canada. Shared and equal parenting must be the default position upon marriage breakdown keeping dads involved as equals.
Brian Report Comment
June 4th 2009, 1:51pm

Your comment coming in blamed women, now you want to be fair?

Give me a break.

Of course not all men act this way, but in most cases women are left with the children law or not. Dead beat Dads is a common saying for a reason but it does happen the other way around but very rarely. How many single Dads are left living in poverty because the mother left them?

Anayways, i sure would like to know how we force people to stay together. Does Lorrie want the government to cover maraige counseling or force people to stay in loveless relationships? How good is that for kids?

Weird from a guy who doesn't like government in our lives.

Take care.
Yamez Report Comment
June 4th 2009, 1:43pm
I've never been married, but my last relationship would fall into the category of "She was the Queen/I was the Goat". She demanded I do EVERYTHING, while she slept all day. She was menacing and violent once she moved in with me, not so much when she had her own place & bills to pay. 2 1/2 yrs later, I realized that nothing in her was going to change, even though I made every conceivable change she wanted me to make. And when I would rightly call her on something, WHAM!! Out came the rage and intimidation, and she did put me in my place. But I said "No more". I wanted a family, but not at the cost of my soul.

"Evil" comes in both sexes. So does "Good". How 'bout psych exams for all hopeful marrieds? Now definitely seems the time.
BELLE RIVER GUY Report Comment
June 4th 2009, 1:26pm
To xxx - Coochy always wins
xxx Report Comment
June 4th 2009, 1:06pm
Hey Brian, my wife left me for a richer man after many years of love and devotion that I gave her. My dick was in my pants, but my ex wife's coochy was available for the new rich guy. Not all women are angels and not all men are demons. But the left and the law seem to think only men are to blame for family breakdown.

tim Report Comment
June 4th 2009, 12:54pm
The danger of studies like this is that ALL the social parameters are not included. What about the "virtual" single-parent families (where one of the parents is, say, serving overseas in the armed forces, or because of the nature of employment is away most of the time)? Do they produce problem-children? What about the original society of the parents, where siring as many kids as possible with different women who buy into that model as a sign of manhood, or Widowed Single-Parents? Sorry, too many variables in the study lto make these conclusions.

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