Thursday, May 25, 2017

Emptying the Nest

Many commentators I admire are aghast that so many parents allow their adult children to continue to live with them or allow them to move back in with them (such as after college). This is seen as part of what is making them "snowflakes".

The idea is that since children become legal adults at age 18, they should be out on their own at that age (and if they are done with high school or should be), and it is only allowable for them to continue to live at home, if it is at all, if they are going to college full time and, perhaps, also working part time. Dr. Laura also makes it clear they have to be following house rules, especially when it comes to not fornicating or allowing a boyfriend or girlfriend to stay over. The adult children are to be kicked out and all material/financial support ceased if it is known that such a rule has been violated. (If the parents do have such a rule Dr. Laura will tell them they should.)

Some parents hear this and are surprised, because they think it would be good for their adult children to live at home to build up financial stability rather than having to share a dump with roommates and struggle.

Dr. Laura sees virtue in that struggle, and she cites her own experiences at that age.

There's a potential problem citing the past, however.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Why I Listen To and Retweet Tom Leykis

Tom Leykis ridicules my faith and any faith that includes theism or anything supernatural. He thinks people like me are not smart. He dismisses many of the moral convictions I hold. He promotes abortion (and has paid for multiple elective abortions himself), even telling guys how to effectively prompt a woman to have an elective abortion if she's knocked up and he was at least one of the guys having intercourse with her. (To be fair, he encourages guys to avoid conceiving in the first place through vasectomies and condom use, although not abstinence). He sometimes bashes political figures and media personalities I respect and admire. Some of his political soapboxing frustrates me. I'm aging out of his target demographic.

And yet, I'm a regular listener.

Why? Many reasons. Here they are, in no particular order:

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Twitter Disclaimer

I'm on Twitter. Here is my disclaimer.

1) When I tweet my own statements, they are my own personal statements, whether sarcastic or ironic or not. They don't represent anyone or anything else, such as an employer.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Married Fathers Do Better in the Workplace?

[Bumped up from Oct. 21, 2014 because it is still relevant.] On the episode of the Michael Medved Show still airing as I type this, Medved is talking about how a study says being a father can increase your success in the workplace while being a mother can limit your success in the workplace. While some of Medved's point is that men and women are different, he also again is trying to sell marriage to men. He cites all of the effort unmarried men put into "chasing women".

The problem with these statistics is that they lump everyone unmarried together. That means guys who can't get a date are lumped in with men who deliberately avoid marriage and fatherhood.

Things have changed a little bit since Medved was a single guy.

Today, the unmarried guys who aren't avoiding women entirely can spend very little time, money, or effort to get sex with a variety of women (thanks, feminism!).

Also, unmarried guys can work more and longer hours and don't have to check in with the "control tower" to get approval to do so. It is easier for unmarried, childless guys to go on business trips, network at happy hours and business lunches, and move for promotions. Married fathers are now expected by their wife/child to take time off to go to school, sporting, and performance events. That's a detriment to work.

Yes, there are the masses out there who let life wash over them and those guys who can't get dates because they have no game. However, there is a growing percentage of men who think these things through and are deliberately avoiding marriage and fatherhood and are better employees as a result.

I know with certainty that I was a better employee when I was single and childless. I know I'd also be taking home more pay, if not outright having a more advanced career.

In a culture in which women are becoming more and more difficult (more personality disorders, etc.), having a wife is increasingly becoming a liability to a man's career. (Remember, I'm talking about men dealing with women. If you're a woman, you might have found men increasingly problematic.)

When people like Medved tout stats about married men earning more, they want us to believe that marriage has "civilized" the man and encouraged him to work harder. But once again we're dealing with a correlation that could have a different explanation: maybe it is the men who are likely to earn more who attract a wife rather than the men who get married who are likely to earn more? Ever notice that women tend to prefer a man who earns more over one who doesn't earn as much? Implying that a man will do better professionally if he marries can be very misleading and set people up for failure.

Finally, even if I did earn more than I would have if I never married and never became a father, since half of my earnings legally belong to my wife, I'd have to earn twice as much to be personally better off. Also, so much of my money goes into raising the children. So a slightly better income is more than offset, isn't it?

Friday, May 05, 2017

Dennis Prager on the Burned "Excuse" For Not Marrying

Dennis Prager has one of the best talk radio shows and writes some of the best columns and books. He is generally a social conservative. He's a religious Jew, and if I understand correctly, he aligns most of all with Conservative Judaism. While many social conservatives rail against divorce, Prager does not. Nobody can accuse him of being a "hypocrite" for being twice divorced. (He is currently married.)

I haven't heard him or anyone else explain why he has been through two divorces, and I wouldn't expect him to. For all I know, he was a great husband in both cases and his wives simply decided to leave. I have not heard him talk about the conditions and results of his divorces, either.

Prager unabashedly promotes marrying.

Here's a disagreement I have with him.

He scoffs at the fear of divorce preventing people from (re)marrying, citing that we don't stop driving because of getting into car accidents.

Well, putting aside that some people do stop driving because of an accident, let's explore this analogy. I've heard Prager cite this analogy when addressing that a man who has been burned by divorce himself - rather than citing the divorce of his parents or siblings or friends - is reluctant to remarry. I've never heard him ask if the person who is reluctant to remarry has minor children. Chances are, they do.

"Second" marriages with minor children have a 70% divorce rate, and that's only counting the ones that end in legal divorce, not the ones where couple is miserable (or the husband is) or separated or the marriage would have ended in divorce if a spouse hadn't died before it could happen.

Let's say that in buying and driving your first car, that no matter how good you took care of it, no matter how much test driving* you did, no matter how well you drove, it didn't stop someone  else who was driving it from crashing it. As a result of that accident, you lost custody of your children, you had to leave your home, you had to pay for two legal teams, you lost half of everything you'd earned, you had to make ongoing payments to the person who crashed your car (and rather than being appreciative and apologetic, that person constantly badmouthed you to anyone who'd listen), and you had to pay a percentage of your salary to children who now hate your guts. You can even remove some of these results from consideration.

Let's say there was a 70% chance of  the same thing happening if you bought another car and let someone else drive it (which is what breadwinning men do when they marry). Would it be a good idea for you to do that?

Now add in that you can either 1) get everything you got by buying and driving your own car without doing so, or 2) live a nice life without those things.

Would it really not be valid to be "afraid" or reluctant to buy another car that someone else could drive?

Prager does acknowledge that some men are unfairly screwed over by family law and courts, and he regularly discusses the difficulties between men and women. But he has this thing about how you should fully experience life, and about how marriage makes people better, and that a guy isn't a real man unless he's supporting a wife. This is despite his insistence that dependency, when it comes to government programs, hurts people. As far as fully experiencing life and making people better, there are people who have, intentionally or accidentally, been left in a wilderness and have had to struggle to survive and make it back to civilization. That was a life experience. That made them a better person. Should we all do that, too?

Prager, at least weekly, says that happiness is a moral obligation. For some people, avoiding remarriage helps them stay happy.

Dr. Laura has taken a different approach. She strongly discourages people with minor children from remarrying, But if someone doesn't have minor children and is reluctant to remarry because of being burned in the past, or is already remarried and is not feeling secure in the relationship because of what a different spouse did in the past, she will point out that they aren't with the same person. True, but there commonalities in the laws, and courts and culture. It's a little like saying "Sure, someone stole your car when you were in that other city, but you're in this city now, with different people." It's not irrational to think there's a good chance the car may be stolen. That's one reason we have insurance. When it comes to remarrying, the best insurance is not to do it at all.

*Test driving can mean any number of things: dating, courting, fornication, shacking up. People can "test drive" without fornicating or shacking up, but others do test drive with those things. I don't recall if I've ever heard  Prager's view on the moral status of intercourse, other forms of sexual interaction, or literally sleeping together. But let's not deceive anyone. There have been people who've shacked up and later decided to end their marriages, but there are also people who didn't even fornicate who've gone through divorce, too.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Don't Do Things You Can't Afford

Matt Walsh writes a lot of good stuff. I follow him on Twitter. I haven't listened to his podcasts or read his new book. Every once in a while, I disagree with what he writes, and this is one of those time.

This time, Walsh wrote to encourage people to go ahead and have children young. Walsh is greatly disturbed that so many people his age are still living with a parent, but even if they're not, he's still bothered that they're not marrying, and not having children. And it probably bothers him a lot (though he doesn't say it in this column) that most of them are fornicating and/or masturbating.

I generally do think people should move out of their parents' home when they finish with college or before, but it doesn't bother me in the slightest that people are not marrying and not having children.

I was 27 and broke when we had kids.
And that was irresponsible of Walsh.
They were twins, so we became a family of four right out of the gate. We didn’t really know anybody where we lived, and we were about 600 miles from the nearest family member.
Bad planning.

I wasn’t making much money at my job, we had nothing in savings, and we were pretty far in the red because of medical bills and my wife’s student loan debt.
This is what you SHOULD NOT DO, kids.’s clear that we were not in what our society would consider the “ideal” position to get married or have kids. We weren’t ready. We couldn’t afford it. And yet we did get married and we did have kids.
Which was irresponsible.

And here we are. All of us (five of us now). Still breathing, somehow.
Yes, it is called debt, handouts from family, and, for a lot of people, public assistance in one form or another. If Walsh avoided all three of these things, I'd be very surprised.
My generation has been stuck in neutral for years, not wanting to get married, not wanting to have kids, refusing to move out of mom’s house and be adults, always insisting that we aren’t “ready.”
People can be living on their own and still not want to get married and even if they do want to marry, still not want to have kids.