Friday, June 17, 2016

Depend on Dad

Father’s Day is Sunday. There’s plenty of serious data we can get to in a minute. But first, a couple of short videos that are more what being Dad looks like—and feels like.

This first is an award-winning animated short from Brigham Young University. You just need to see it.

Now another one for your viewing pleasure. The world has changed when a commercial has become a short documentary worth seeing. This Gillette commercial is so good, it might even sell their product. But, better than buying you dad shaving gear, watch this with him. Or just ask him something.

This third video is a little more serious. It's called "Black Fathers Matter," which Larry Elder did for Prager Univeristy--an online collection of informational videos that you should discover, if you haven't already. I suggest you watch the video first. But then, in case you didn’t take notes, I’m following it with some of the included data (which may have some minor discrepancies with other sources, but not enough to change the overall meaning).

·         Fatherless children are 5 times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime.
·         Fatherless children are 9 times more likely to drop out of school.
·         Fatherless children are 20 times more likely to end up in prison.
·         In 1960, 5% of American children began life with single mother.
o   By 1980, 18%.
o   By 2000, 33%.
o   By 2015, 41%.
·         Blacks during slavery, even for whom marriage was illegal, were more likely to be raised by their father and mother than black children today.
·         Between 1890 and 1940 a black child was more likely to grow up with married parents than a white child.
·         Black out-of-wedlock birth in 1965 was 25%; in 2015 it was 73%.
o   White out-of-wedlock births in 1965 was 5%; in 2015 it was 25%.
o   Hispanic out-of-wedlock births in 2015 was 53%.
·         In 1949, the national poverty rate was 34%.
·         By 1965, the poverty rate was cut in half, to 17%.
·         In 1964 (during Johnson's State of the Union Address), the War on Poverty began.
o   $20 Trillion has been spent on anti-poverty programs.
o   The poverty rate has remained stagnant for 50 years.
o   The likelihood of women being in poverty has dramatically risen.
o   64% of poor say the poor have more out-of-wedlock children in order to get more government benefits.

Let those sink in a moment.

Now, let me repeat the formula we know, through social science and economics, for avoiding poverty in America:

1.      Don’t have sex before age 20.
2.      Don’t have sex until after marriage.
3.      Stay married
4.      Obtain at least a high school diploma.

That’s a bare minimum, just to stay above the poverty line. Add some additional education, some consistent work ethic, and a stable, loving home, maybe a helpful and supportive religious community, and outcomes for children (and for parents) approach the American dream. Even in today’s bad economy.

Feminists have this hackneyed phrase, “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” Fine. Live without a man. That’s a choice.

But for a woman who wants to be a mother, she—and the children—need a man. A good man. One worthy of being called Dad.

To those who are such a man, and to those blessed with one in their lives, Happy Father's Day!

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