The August jobs report revealed that overall employment went up but full-time employment was down. That wasn’t all. There were a lot more figures that didn’t make the headlines but perhaps should have, as Investor’s Business Daily reports:
Numbers from the August jobs report reveal a startling fact: This summer, for the first time ever, the majority of adult Americans were single. The shift has been swift: In 1976, the first year for which data are available, singles made up just 37.4% of adults.
Meanwhile, new Census data crunched by the Pew Research Center show the share of the adult population that is married is now at 50.3% — its lowest in 93 years.
This isn't all. Other recent data show that people are marrying later, more frequently living alone, having fewer children and forming smaller households.
In 1970, only 7% of children lived with a mother who had never been married. Last year, that was 48%.
The so-called nuclear family is in steep decline. In 1970, 40% of all households were headed by married couples with kids. Today, it's about 18%.
These numbers, of course, are all closely related. And the meaning for American society, culture and politics is both profound and troubling.
IBD rightly notes that thriving civilizations start with strong families, where parents have a strong incentives to protect the rule of law, strong local governance, good schools, and thriving economies. Families also serve as is a bulwark against tyrannical governments, which history shows strive to undermine parents’ natural supremacy over childrearing in order to expand their power. Americans should take note that this possibility is very real today, as IBD continues:
Since the early 20th century, it's been a part of the progressive project to take power away from families and give it to an ever-larger and intrusive state.
Take the failed War on Poverty, which just passed its 50th anniversary. One of the worst aspects of President Lyndon Johnson's war has been the destruction of minority families through welfare dependency.
Current policies aim to do the same to the rest of us. Whether ObamaCare, Social Security, food stamps or welfare, Democratic programs breed dependency and weaken families.
Single people are more likely to be liberal than married people, and to be less concerned about our exploding national debt, because they're more likely to be dependent on government, Wall Street economist Ed Yardeni recently opined. It's hard to argue with that.
We worry today about the threat from the Islamic State and an unguarded border, and rightly so. But the death spiral of the American family is another threat — long-term to be sure, but potentially just as deadly.
The weakening of marriage and the family along with corresponding government dependency are not faits accomplis. The “progressive” vision from Washington of an America where government is the solution to every ill is not the only—much less predominant—one. A growing number of citizens, young, old, single, married, realize that government promises come at a steep price. Centralized education, healthcare, social security, and welfare policies, to name just a few, rarely (if ever) work as planned and more often have sweeping unintended consequences.