Posts Tagged ‘children in poverty’

The Big Picture Of America’s Decline

December 3, 2011

The Big Picture Of America’s Decline

Over coffee this morning my dear wife, Sally, asked why is the middle class shrinking in America. My first response was, “I don’t know”.

My second response was to think. It was, after all, fairly early in the morning and I was just having my first cup of coffee and some energetic thinking was called for!

As I began to assemble some of the facts that I accumulated studying America’s decline over the past decades,  some interactive and synergistic trends became clear.

I recalled the trends of population reproductive data that I graphed some years ago. The reproductive rates of the middle class were declining. Simultaneously, the reproductive rates of our poor and undereducated population were much higher.

I also recalled that large proportions of our children were, and they still are,  living in poverty. In poverty bad things happen to children at a disproportionately higher rate. These bad things impair the children in many ways that are very difficult, often impossible, to repair. These impairments lead to behavior patterns that do not lend themselves to gainful employment. All too often they lead to increased disability claims for physical and/or mental problems, criminal behavior and/or lives on welfare. Also, keep in mind that the reproductive rate of this population, when grown up,  is going to be disproportionately high.

Beginning in the 1970’s, double-digit inflation forced many mothers to leave their children and homes to enter the workforce. Since then the economy has recovered but now has deteriorated again, even more severely. Parents now are often working two jobs that often have fewer, or none, of the benefits of past years. Also, more frequently now, the jobs are not full-time jobs. Employers are commonly not providing 4o hours of work in order to avoid paying benefits to their employees. A large number of parents have to work two or more part-time jobs and are therefore less often at home while standing still, or falling behind financially. These and other factors related to modernity have increased the divorce rate and have increased the frequency of unmarried cohabitation with children. As a result, middle class children, as long noted by sociologists, are increasingly suffering from family disorganization, a lack of parenting, and a lack of supervision similar to that experienced by children living in poverty. Middle class children are suffering from a lack of acculturation and behavioral/psychological impairments similar to their cohorts living in poverty.

Children living among the monied upper-class are disproportionately more likely to be taught a form of “learned helplessness” because their needs are commonly  over-gratified through no effort of their own.  For markedly different reasons, they too are at increased risk of becoming self-centered, undisciplined, irresponsible and delinquent in ways similar to those children who are so afflicted while growing-up in poverty and the middle-class.

All of this is ongoing in the context of a complex swirl of factors that mediate America’s sociocultural decline. The decline is most evident in a more general loss in respect for law and order and a loss of  traditional mores and folk-ways, morality/ethics, religion with its symbols and Holy Days, and the nuclear family. All of this is continuing to  unravel under the  media subculture’s “carpet-bombing” of our children and youth (not to mention ourselves!) with exciting and enticing displays of antisocial behavior, pornography, gambling, and other mindless forms of ” wine and circus”.

All of this, delivered by an all-pervasive morally bankrupt technological media that babysits and teaches our children and adolescents for more hours, and more effectively, than does our public schools, families, and churches.

All of this continues with increasing pervasiveness as our indigenous population’s overall rate of birth is in decline, the indigenous working-age population shrinks and the burden of our old-age population grows rapidly.

To compensate for our shrinking working-age population, the federal government has  opened, and kept open, the floodgates of illegal immigration.  This has produced a great influx of under-educated, black-market workers, who overburden our incompetent public education system, welfare offices, hospitals, police, courts, and prisons. With this growing  population has also come their increased  birth and crime rates, well-above that of our general citizen population.

Over-arching all of these damaging evolutions, and more not identified, is a largely corrupt political and economic system.  As our Founding Fathers understood, and we will now learn, our Democratic Republic and Capitalistic economic system will simply not work without very strong moral infrastructure. Our increasingly corrupt political system has  gained power, and has grown its constituencies,  by rewarding indolent, immoral, irresponsible, illegal and massively dependent behavior patterns  within our population. Our government also rewards increased rates of reproduction within this growing dependent population (that does not pay federal taxes) and in doing so solidifies its evolving socialistic  form of political power and tyrannical control. The tyrannical control becomes reciprocal when an increasing proportion of America’s population votes itself largess from its government,  stolen from an over-taxed and shrinking middle class.

All of this is destroying America.

Sally then asked, “what can be done to change all of this”.

In frustration I snapped: Nothing!!

Upon further consideration, and looking for a way to get out of this blog, I will simply say:

Stop Our Obviously Stupid and Self-destructive Behavior Patterns!!

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 12/2/11


You can be certain that the Big Picture of America’s Decline, is much more complex than my abbreviated explanation presented here. There are many other domestic and global forces  involved:  More on all of this at a later time.

Causes of Abnormal Behavior

October 16, 2009

Causes of Abnormal Behavior

We can make much better predictions about the development of normal and abnormal behavior if we view large groups of individuals statistically. For example, we can state with confidence that if 100 children are born to drug addicted mothers, are sexually abused, often witness spousal violence, are starved of food, or are subjected to the conditions of war, etc., these groups of children will show significantly more abnormal behavior than those who experienced no drug exposure, traumas, or special hardships.  Abnormal psychologists consider this to be common knowledge, but it is really not. Perhaps many of us do understand that these experiences psychologically damage children who then become adults with abnormal behavior—but many of us then think that these events are someone else’s problems. Tragically they are not someone else’s problems. They also damage each of us and everyone we love.

Damaged children across America become an immediate drain upon all of our precious resources and they represent increased losses to our future due to damaged individual’s reduced adult productivity. These damaged children then grow with an increased tendency to spread even more psychological damage to those with whom they interact.

Charles Manson, in quotes taken from his court trial, explains how we produce abnormal behavior in our children and adults.

“I never went to school, so I never growed up to read and write to good, so I have stayed in jail and I have stayed stupid, and then I look at the things that you do, and I don’t understand”.

“You make your children what they are. These children that come at you with knives, they are your children. You taught them. I didn’t teach them. I just tried to help them stand up”.

“My father is the jail house. My father is your system….I am only a reflection of you”.

“I have ate out of your garbage cans to stay out of jail. I have wore your second-hand clothes. I have done my best to get along in our world—and now you want to kill me? Ha!  I’m already dead, have been all my life. I’ve spent twenty-three years in the tombs that you built”.

The the National Center for Children in Poverty reports  that about  43% of our children are living in low income families. The National Center on Family Homelessness recently estimated that one in every 50 American children was homeless between 2005 and 2006. This was about 1.5 million kids. Our current economic disaster is likely to increase this figure substantially. 

Never forget the truth of Charley Manson’s blood-chilling admonition to us all:

 “These children that come at you with knives, they are your children”.

VTM, 10/16/09


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