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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

It Pays to Make and Maintain Traditional Families

Dr. Theo mentioned this report a few weeks ago, but notice of it continues to ripple across the news-scape.

Now the Baptist Press joins the numerous news outlets mentioning the study released mid-April which was sponsored by the Institute for American Values, the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, the Georgia Family Council and Families Northwest.

It's the study which found divorce and unwed parenthood cost the American taxpayers about $112 billion (BILLION) a year. That's about $373 for every man, woman and child in the United States (since not everyone pays taxes--especially children--that works out to about $2,200 per taxpayer).

These extra costs show up in the form of antipoverty programs, criminal justice, and education programs. Studies, and even the welfare rolls themselves, show that single-parent households are 7 times more likely to experience poverty than intact two-parent homes.

It's a simple fact that a group of 2-4 or more people can live more economically in one home than they can in two.

Further, when you couple the emotional anger in children brought on by divorce, and the diminished parental supervision, more are going to end up in the criminal justice system (I know; I'm a former cop).

Many in our society are unwilling to encourage and promote sexual responsibility and strong marriages because it requires those icky "moral judgments."

Even the emotional damage broken homes causes children, and the hit to academic performance doesn't seem to be enough to motivate some to support the traditional family setting.

Is the tremendous financial cost enough to motivate even liberals to support sexual responsibility and healthy marriages? Is it worth $2,200 to you to promote traditional families? What could you do with that money?

This isn't the only study which has reached this conclusion. In fact, an Ohio State University study breaks it down to a level that even a self-absorbed person should be able to recognize the personal benefit of family and marital responsibility.

From the Baptist Press article:

In 2005, a researcher from Ohio State University found that divorce can have a devastating financial impact on a person's wealth but a steady marriage can nearly double it. The study, which was published in the Journal of Sociology, found that married people increased their wealth about 4 percent each year simply as a result of being married, when all other factors were constant.

Divorce reduces a person's wealth by about three-quarters, or 77 percent, compared to that of a single person, while being married almost doubles comparative wealth, or increases it by 93 percent, the Ohio State study found.

The simple truth that we often miss is that moral choices usually have "real-world" consequences. In other words, there's usually a good reason to do the right thing.


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