07 Mar Financial Security is born in the Family
March 7, 2013
From the Desk of Carol Soelberg:
The manipulations and untruths have already begun. Monday marked the beginning of a two-week session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and United Families International has a team at the UN working almost around the clock to protect the family.
Two international-reach newspaper sources (here & here) have run articles implying that Iran, the Holy See [Vatican], Russia and other right-wing delegations were attempting to stymie women’s rights and in effect, encourage violence against women. Of course this is false; this is an attempt to obscure the fact that pro-family countries are trying to remove abortion-related language from the documents while the anti-family forces are trying to insert language that moves them towards legalization of abortion worldwide. They are also spreading the meme that if there is grid-lock during the negotiations, it is only because some countries don’t value women and their rights.
It seems the opposition’s plan is to start the smear campaign early in order to intimidate and embarrass countries that dare to stand up for the family, for religion, for parental rights and for life. In addition, the opposition is also heavily using social media to spread their fiction. We wanted to give you the “heads up” so you can help us get the message out: pro-family countries and their UN delegations are supporting the things that you hold dear and they deserve support – not derision, including a public shaming.
Oh What a Difference Marriage Makes!
“‘Families are the rampart against tyranny!’ The words sunk deep into my heart. I had been in Warsaw, Poland less than two hours when I heard these words in broken English from a guide with a strong Polish accent. The first scheduled event at World Congress of Families IV was a VIP tour of Old Town Warsaw. We listened to the guide tell of the rebuild of the city after it was devastated by both Nazism and communism, and felt the great heart and determination of the Polish people who more than once rebuilt their city and their lives. According to this guide, one of the great lessons the Poles learned was that strong natural families are imperative to peace, freedom and prosperity.”
That is how I reported my FIRST experience with World Congress of Families in 2007. Since that time we have helped sponsor each successive Congress–every time coming away with the same renewed commitment to strengthen and preserve families. Last week we invited you to join us in Sydney Australia for World Congress of Families VII, May 15-18, 2013. We promise an equally amazing experience as we interact with the great people and organizations around the world who know, teach, and fight for the protection of traditional families.
It was in Warsaw in 2007 that I was asked to speak on the influence of the mother in the home as it relates to the economy of the nation. I was reminded of my remarks when I read the statistic that Tom sent over for our alert this week. In this month’s “Case for Traditional Marriage” Tom offers research that verifies the value of stable marriages in the economy of the family and hence society. As I told the good folks in Poland, when marriages are stable, men and women are able to contribute their different but vital roles in creating economic and cultural prosperity!
Families, who build homes on the principles of providence, learn to recognize and value their resources, and create a strong family work ethic, make the building of character in their family members the focus of all their efforts. This is where financial security is born.
UFI thanks Tom Christensen for his compilation of the following research that points to this outcome.
President, United Families International
The Case for Traditional Marriage
Part III: Income
According to the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finance, average incomes for families with children under the age of 18 are as follows: intact family ($54,000), cohabiting ($30,000), divorced ($23,000) and the never married ($9,400). Median assets for couples reaching retirement was $132,000 for the intact family, $35,000 for those never married, $30,000 for the divorced family, and $7,600 for the separated. (1) Looking at younger families with children under the age of eighteen, the intact family had higher assets than any other family structure. (2)
For a variety of reasons, marriage tends to boost many out of poverty. According to Smith’s study, marriage doubles the chances for one to move out of a poor neighborhood if currently residing in one. (3) Evidence also confirms a causal relationship between marriage and a 27 percent wage increase. (4) This is known as the “marriage premium.”
On the other hand, divorce is devastating to a family’s income. After divorce, nearly half of those families drop into poverty. (5) Data gathered over 27 years show that after divorce, household incomes are cut between 28 to 42 percent, a cut that mimics the economic loss experienced during the Great Depression. (6) In addition, three-fourths of women who apply for welfare do so because of the effects of divorce. (7) Cohabiting and remarriage cannot make up for the loss. (8) Divorced mothers reported the highest income-to-needs ratio for their six month old babies. (9)
Cohabiting couples also struggle to compete financially with the intact family. One third of those who cohabit fail to finish high school. (10) They have lower earnings and are more likely to work longer hours. (11) Also unlike the five percent of children from intact families that need public assistance, 25 percent of children from cohabiters need public assistance. (12) One reason for this phenomenon is that partners in a cohabiting relationship are less financially supportive of each other. Single mothers, however, do the worst financially. In a survey of seven western countries, families with single mothers and children had the highest rates of poverty. (13)
Evidence accumulated also shows that the parents’ income correlates with their child’s future propensity for income, thus demonstrating a continuing cycle of poverty. Those with less income currently receive less education and, comparatively, a smaller future income. Furstenbert found that women whose parents divorced during childhood were more likely to be less educated, earn a lower income, be on welfare, and live in social housing at age 33 than those women whose parents did not divorce during childhood. (14)
Intact families work more hours in the marketplace than any other family structure. However, married individuals do not necessarily work the most hours per person. (15) Because intact families are able to earn the largest incomes, are less dependent on government support, and are able to contribute positively to the marketplace, a country cannot afford family dissolution.
More than any other single element, a nation needs a constant or growing supply of married couples with children.
Next Month: The case for Traditional Marriage; Part IV Crime/Abuse/Addictions
Tom Christensen, former CEO of United Families, is a successful father, attorney, and politician. He has written extensively on the natural family and has addressed UN delegations in behalf of UFI in Istanbul, New York, Nairobi, the Hague, Lisbon and Geneva.
- Smith, J.P. 1995, Marriage, Assets, and Savings, Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, CA. Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finance, 2001
2. South, S.J. & Crowder, K.D. 1997, ‘Escaping distressed neighborhoods: Individual, community, and metropolitan influences,’ American Journal of Sociology, vol. 102, pp. 1040-1084.
3 Korenman, S. & Neumark, D. 1990, ‘Does marriage really make men more productive?’ The Journal of Human Resources, vol. 26, pp. 282-307.
4. Antonovics, Kate & Robert Town, 2004, “Are All the Good Men Married? Uncovering the Sources of the Marital Wage Premium,” The American Economic Review, Vol. 94, No. 2, pp. 317-321.5.
5. Heath, J.A. & Kiker, B.F. 1992, ‘Determinants of spells of poverty following divorce’, Review of Social Economy, vol. 50, pp. 305-315.
6 Corcoran, M.E. & Chaudry, A. 1997, ‘The Dynamics of Childhood Poverty’, Future of Children, vol. 7, pp. 40-54.
7. OECD, 1989.
8. McKeever, M. & Wolfinger, N.H. 2001, ‘Reexamining the Costs of Marital Disruption for Women’, Social Science Quarterly, vol. 82, pp. 202-217.
9. Aronson , Stacy R & Aletha. C Huston 2004, “The Mother-Infant Relationship in Single, Cohabiting, and Married Families: A Case for Marriage?” Journal of Family Psychology Vol. 18, pp: 5-18.
Ozawa, M.N. & Yoon, H-S. 2003, ‘Economic impact of marital disruption on children,” Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 25, pp. 611-632.
10. Brown, J.B. & Lichter, D.T. 2004, ‘Poverty, welfare, and the livelihood strategies of nonmetropolitan single mothers,’ Rural Sociology, vol. 69, pp. 282-301.
11. Manning, W.D. & Lichter, D.T. 1996, ‘Parental cohabitation and children’s economic well-being,’ Journal of Marriage and the Family, vol. 58, pp. 998-1010.
12. Brandon, P.D. & Bumpass, L. 2001, ‘Children’s living arrangements, coresidence of unmarried fathers, and welfare receipt’, Journal of Family Issues, vol. 22, pp. 3-26.
13. Christopher, K., England, P., Smeeding, T.M. & Phillips, K.R. 2002, ‘The gender gap in poverty in modern nations: Single motherhood, the market, and the state’, Sociological Perspectives, vol. 45, pp. 219-242.
14. Furstenbert, Frank F & Kathleen E. Kiernan, 2001, “Delayed Parental Divorce: How Much Do Children Benefit?” Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 63, (May) p: 452.
15. Survey of Consumer Finance, 2001