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Old 10-19-2010, 08:53 AM
 
Location: PNW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briolat21 View Post
Just a quick note - divorce rates have been going down since the 1970's.
That's mostly skewed by the fact that marriage has also gone down since the 1970s. The people who then marry are likely to stay for the long haul. But the social ills of out of wedlock births and single mothers remain and has actually gotten worse.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:01 AM
 
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Yet Europe and the rest of the Western Worlds middle classes have had a very long rise in living conditions since the 60s/70s. Europe was massivly behind the USA back then. Not so much now.

And out-of-wedlock births and single mothers are far more common there.

Granted, some of that is probaly Europes recovering from WW2, at least at the start. But that only goes for the first period.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briolat21 View Post
Just a quick note - divorce rates have been going down since the 1970's. There have been a bunch of stories/articles on it in the last 6 months (because of the Census they talk about these types of things)..

Not to say divorce is unheard of, its still common. But its nowhere near as bad as it was in the 70's.
Part of the reason divorce rates are dropping is because not as many people get married in the first place.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grim Reader View Post
Yet Europe and the rest of the Western Worlds middle classes have had a very long rise in living conditions since the 60s/70s. Europe was massivly behind the USA back then. Not so much now.

And out-of-wedlock births and single mothers are far more common there.

Granted, some of that is probaly Europes recovering from WW2, at least at the start. But that only goes for the first period.
Yes, that's true about out-of-wedlock births rising throughout the Western World. It's not a positive trend, IMO. Too many people in the Western World are dependent on government transfers in one form or another for their income. With rapidly rising debt levels in many larger Western countries (especially the US, UK, France, Ireland, Germany, Greece, Portugal, & Spain) this is going to end one way or another.

I might add that European economies have grown progressively more sluggish in recent decades as well...so I don't think they're the model we should be looking to.

Last edited by mysticaltyger; 10-19-2010 at 11:34 AM..
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John23 View Post
yahoo finance is part of the mainstream media (which I don't believe).

-I think to some degree the media has exaggerated the decline of the middle class (for their own gain of course). So, you'll save more to retire! You need that financial independence! You need to put your money to work in the market, that's how you'll counter the middle class shrinking! (wink, wink)

What these articles don't point out...

Life is more "liberated" since 1969. Women have a million different options that they didn't have in the late 60's. The locked in, leave it to beaver middle class was partly due to the limits of women working. Maybe some people don't want that middle class anymore.

I'd say there's a new "independent living" in the 2000's that mirrors what traditional middle class looked like in the 60's. Why are airlines or restaurants so full if the middle class is dead? They aren't all poor people. And they aren't all the elite 1%. Who's buying all of these iphones, ipads, kindles? The poor? The elite 1%?

-And out of wedlock birth rates are partly from the media pushing untraditional lifestyles on the american public. Who were media role models in the 50's or 60's?

Annette Funicello? Gilligans Island? June Cleaver? Father Knows Best?

Look at just the titles of tv shows. "Father knows best", to "2 and a half men". To Snooki on the Jersey shore. Some of the blame goes to this illegitimate media.
Yes, I agree with a lot of what you're saying here. I guess the question we need to ask ourselves is this...."Has the pendulum swung too far?" "Was going from 'Father Knows Best' to 'Father's Not Important' a healthy trend?"

It seems to be human nature to go to from one unhealthy extreme to another, and I think that's what we've done.

As far as mainstream media goes, it's good to be suspicious of it...but sometimes they get it (mostly) right. Using discernment is key whether the media outlet is mainstream or not.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
Yes, that's true about out-of-wedlock births rising throughout the Western World. It's not a positive trend, IMO. Too many people in the Western World are dependent on government transfers in one form or another for their income. With rapidly rising debt levels in many larger Western countries (especially the US, UK, France, Ireland, Germany, Greece, Portugal, & Spain) this is going to end one way or another.

I might add that European economies have grown progressively more sluggish in recent decades as well...so I don't think they're the model we should be looking to.
I think the European economies have always grown more sluggishly than the US one.

Or...ok, that is a little bit of an exaggregation. There was probably a lot of growth for a while after WW2, building a continent makes for a lot of economic activity. And Norway and Switzerland has done well. Ireland and Iceland had some good years untill that cracked.

But since the late 70s at least, I think most European economies have grown slower than the US one.

The thing is that the European middle class have undeniably closed the gap between them and the US one in the same period. With more out-of-wedlock births.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grim Reader View Post
I think the European economies have always grown more sluggishly than the US one.

Or...ok, that is a little bit of an exaggregation. There was probably a lot of growth for a while after WW2, building a continent makes for a lot of economic activity. And Norway and Switzerland has done well. Ireland and Iceland had some good years untill that cracked.

But since the late 70s at least, I think most European economies have grown slower than the US one.

The thing is that the European middle class have undeniably closed the gap between them and the US one in the same period. With more out-of-wedlock births.
I pretty much agree with your assesment. But I'm saying the welfare state is what's propping up the middle class in Europe. And unfortunately, that is unsustainable because of its high cost. The other thing about the European middle class is that they have fewer kids than the American middle class. That works for a generation or two. But now they've got even more old people to support on Social Security than America does...yet another unsustainable trend.

One thing the Europeans have right is halfway decent health care at less cost than the US. Our way of doing health care does not encourage healthy lifestyles, and that will have to change or we will go broke trying to pay for all this health care.
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
I pretty much agree with your assesment. But I'm saying the welfare state is what's propping up the middle class in Europe. And unfortunately, that is unsustainable because of its high cost. The other thing about the European middle class is that they have fewer kids than the American middle class. That works for a generation or two. But now they've got even more old people to support on Social Security than America does...yet another unsustainable trend.

One thing the Europeans have right is halfway decent health care at less cost than the US. Our way of doing health care does not encourage healthy lifestyles, and that will have to change or we will go broke trying to pay for all this health care.
The demographic trend in many european countries is quite worrying.

The welfare state I feel is less of a problem. It has been said to be unsustainable since at least the early 70s, that I can remember. Yet it seems to have done fine for 40 years, and despite the present economic hiccup, seems set to continue on doing so for the foreseeable future.

Barring the undeniable demographic problem. But there appears to be unexpected savings in the welfare state. The important thing seems to be having a population who is willing to pay for it, and not sustain it with loans.
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:30 PM
 
29,097 posts, read 31,693,634 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grim Reader View Post
The demographic trend in many european countries is quite worrying.

The welfare state I feel is less of a problem. It has been said to be unsustainable since at least the early 70s, that I can remember. Yet it seems to have done fine for 40 years, and despite the present economic hiccup, seems set to continue on doing so for the foreseeable future.

Barring the undeniable demographic problem. But there appears to be unexpected savings in the welfare state. The important thing seems to be having a population who is willing to pay for it, and not sustain it with loans.
I include Social Security in the general term 'welfare state'. Debt levels in France, the UK, and Germany are at similar level as we have in the US. They don't have the explosion in health care costs that we do, but they make up for it with a larger old age population dependent on Social Security. In France, they're protesting raising the retirement age from 60 to 62, for heaven's sake! In a country, where life expectancy is around age 80, retiring at 60 is just not financially sustainable.

There are a few countries that seem to do the welfare state model well with a minimum of corruption and without running up huge debts to fund it (Switzerland, Scandinavia), but they're the exception that proves the rule.
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,884 posts, read 5,425,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
Yes, I agree with a lot of what you're saying here. I guess the question we need to ask ourselves is this...."Has the pendulum swung too far?" "Was going from 'Father Knows Best' to 'Father's Not Important' a healthy trend?"

It seems to be human nature to go to from one unhealthy extreme to another, and I think that's what we've done.

As far as mainstream media goes, it's good to be suspicious of it...but sometimes they get it (mostly) right. Using discernment is key whether the media outlet is mainstream or not.
As recently as the 90's, there was quality tv, and quality role models. The Cosbys were better role models than "2 and a half men". Or TGIF on ABC. But they killed that. In favor of exploitative trash television. I think aimed at lowering morals, and basically confusing people about what a "family" should look like.

American media is probably worst than european. For some reason, I think american media has more influence. Maybe because America has less traditional roots than germany, france or holland.

-Also not covered in the media, gay couples could be considered part of the new middle class! I never read about that. Like this story, Neil Patrick Harris becoming a parent.

Neil Patrick Harris Becomes a Parent, Welcomes Twins Via Surrogate | TheCelebrityCafe.com

Wouldn't he have been considered single in the 50's or 60's? Whether you agree with it or not, that's a new "liberated" middle class existence.
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