Posts Tagged ‘South Bend Tribune’

Our Marriage Mess: America, It Is Do–And Maybe Die Anyway

March 14, 2014

Our Marriage Mess: America, It Is Do–And Maybe Die Anyway

The March 11, 2014 South Bend Tribune published an article written by Cynthia M. Allen for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (MCT), entitled: The Most Urgent Marriage Discussion.

No, it is not “Gay Marriage”, which is only one of “bell weather” symptoms of America’s foreboding problem with marriage issues.

Ms. Allen states what should be self-evident to all senior citizens who have observed our cultural trends over five to eight decades: Traditional marriage is in deep decline.

Ms. Allen put it succinctly:  “this decline has dramatic and devastating consequences for society, children in particular.”

She asserts “that the connection between marriage and improved economic outcomes is not novel”.

This holds for both the married people and their children and also for societies in which marriage is the norm.

Ms. Allen further reports:

“In 1965, as President Lyndon B. Johnson was declaring “War On Poverty,” a highly controversial report by Labor Secretary Daniel Patrick Moynihan identified the deterioration of the family in the African-American community as one of several major catalysts for growing economic and social inequality.

At the time, more than half of all black women and about two-thirds of Hispanic and Anglo women were married; and just 20 percent of black infants and between 2 percent and 3 percent of Anglo infants were born to single mothers.

Half a century later, those numbers have not declined—they have exploded.

According to governmental statistics, 40.7 percent of all 2012 births were out of wedlock, including 72.2 percent in the African-American community; 53.5 percent of Hispanic children and 29.4 percent of Anglo children.”

In fact the rules for  reward in President Johnson’s new welfare state provided moneys, housing and other services for single women with children who did not work and did not have a husband . In doing so, President Johnson incentivized the undoing of marriage and intact families in America.

Ms. Allen reported findings of the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Economic Mobility Project:

“It found that both ‘children of divorced mothers or (those) who were born to unmarried mothers are less likely to be upwardly mobile in relative terms than are children of continuously married mothers’.”

She then asserted  (and as a behavior therapist/psychotherapist, I strongly agree):

It seems obvious that two-parent households advantage children, as they tend to have greater resources both financial and social (time, energy, attention) that make kids more likely to graduate and get well-paying  jobs and less likely to be incarcerated or become single parents.”

But the impact of family structure has ripple effects that extend well beyond individual households, according to new comprehensive data by Harvard economist Jaj Chetty. Chetty and his co-authors found that ‘family structure correlates with upward mobility not just at the individual level but also at the community level, perhaps because the stability of the social environment affects children’s outcomes more broadly.”

The truth about one of the great causes of this nations steep decline has never been clearer. Our problem is self-inflicted  by governmental and citizen progressive/socialistic political philosophy disguised as  “compassion”, “social justice”,  and “fairness”.

“–attempts to redistribute income and expand the welfare state, including those called for in Moyihan’s report 50 years ago, have not had the success that lawmakers expected”.  

Duh. So, what’s new?! Have we not been able to see that bloated Central Governments generally destroy more than they fix when they make sweeping programmatic incursions into State, local and private affairs?

Ms. Allen quoted Ron Haskins, director of Brookings’ Center on Children and Families, who told The Washington Post:

“We are not going to have an effective solution to the growing inequality and poverty in the U.S. unless we can do something about family structure”.

I agree, but it may already be too late. An even more pressing issue is likely to be governmental intransigence and inertia. What we, through our elected officials, must do is to immediately begin the slow process of returning America’s families’ structure to the way it once was.

We can only do this by ending the governmental rewards (our tax monies) for individuals who structure their broken families the ways they do now. Nothing else will work, perhaps not even this, this late in the game.

America it is falling behind and is somewhere near the end of the third quarter in our game of cultural survival.

It is no longer: “do or die”. Rather, it is do and maybe die anyway.

VTM, 3/14/14

Rewards For Bad Behavior = More Bad Behavior!

March 10, 2013

Rewards For Bad Behavior = More Bad Behavior!

The following was published in the Indiana South Bend (In)  Tribune’s Voice Of The People, 2/26/13.

You would think that by 2013, those who make critical decisions in governments would know about something as psychologically elemental and profoundly impactful on cultural evolution as the Law of Effect…neatly summarized in Charles W. Bower’s concluding statement in the following short article. Mr. Bower is from Elkhart, Indiana.

I will give Mr. Bower an A+ for his practical example of how our ignorance of the Law of Effect is damaging America. You should know that a whole slew of such dumb psychological mistakes are over-taking America under the names of Progressivism and Socialism.

The following is Mr. Bower’s article:

A recent study by the Carsey institute at the University of New Hampshire claims that 16 million children in America live in poverty. How can so many children be in poverty when the government hands out billions of dollars annually on welfare programs such as food stamps, WIC food programs, HUD Section 8 housing, free preschool baby-sitting, heating assistance, Medicaid and free lunches and breakfasts at school?

Could the fact that 40 percent of all births in the U.S. today occur out of wedlock have anything to do with it? Certainly single adult men and women have the right to have unprotected sex. But it should also be their responsibility to rear and pay for children born as a result of their actions.

According to the Pew Research institute only 52 percent of American adults are married, down from 72 percent in 1960. It’s obvious that as marriage decreases in America, childhood poverty increases. As long as society continues to compensate people for having children, while at the same time failing to force the males involved to financially support the offspring, poverty among the young will continue to rise.

By serving as the surrogate bread winner the government is proving the old adage true: When you reward bad behavior you get more bad behavior.

End of quote.

Yes, folks, if you provide positive reinforcement for bad behavior, you will see bad behavior increase in frequency. Within a very large population, this influence will be augmented by a host of other psychological principles that fall under the rubric of Social Learning Theory. Taken in total, all of this is a fine example of bad behavioral contagion within America’s culture.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 3/10/13

Gay and Lesbian Rights

March 21, 2012

Gay and Lesbian Rights

The following is a major issue soon to be voted upon by the City Council in my home town. I have sent my response to the Mayor and each Council member.

I do fear that it will pass and that will be just one more radical left victory over the morals, values, mores and folkways that once made us great.

You can see the issues involved in the following South Bend Tribune article.

The following is my response:

Please vote no on the proposed “human rights” ordinance before the City Council. This ordinance grants special rights, based upon sexual behaviors and life-styles, that are damaging to the traditional religious and family lifestyles of the vast majority of citizens in our area and America. It was these traditions, among other resources, that formed the bedrock of our socioculture that became the greatest in history.

America is now, and has been for some time, in steep decline. Voting yes on the ordinance in question, will accelerate that decline.

This ordinance discriminates against people of faith, employers and essential charity groups simply because they hold to the traditional values that most Hoosiers and their fellow Americans share.

These kinds of ordinances will destroy traditional groups like the Boy Scouts, the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities that are under relentless attacks by the political agendas of various secular humanist, radical left, and post-modern political action groups like the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD). Such an ordinance is a stepping stone to governmentally mandated gay marriage.

This ordinance is radical and divisive. It also places women and children at risk by allowing people with a gender identity disorder, or simply a man who chooses to wear a dress, to enter a women’s restroom or ladies locker room.

I mean no disrespect or harm to any law-abiding gay or lesbian person. But victories for gay and lesbian political action initiatives are certain losses to our Judeo/Christian moral/value system that is now the deteriorating fabric of our historically luminescent socioculture.

This controversial ordinance has failed five times for good reasons. Please vote it down again, or I and others will do our best to vote you down.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Psychology





Teens Having Less Sex?

March 11, 2011

Teens Having Less Sex?

I doubt that very much. Compared to when?

Tell that to the greying graduated highschool classes of 1960!

Whether teen sex has gone up or down a few percentage points over the past few decades does not obscure the fact that our socioculture is in deep trouble because of our pornographic, soft-pornographic, and sexually suggestive portrayals that exist in almost all venues attractive to children and teens.

Has our educated public ever heard of Social Learning Theory: The research on human Modeling and Imitation?!  They certainly have, but have chosen to ignore the findings that children, and adults imitate those with power, celebrity, attractiveness, and those that most resemble themselves. Watch the media models that your children are watching and don’t be blinded by the changing norms of our so called “Post Modern Age”.

You will see just one of many examples of technology, fame and fortune trumping “old-fashioned” Judeo/Christian ethics.  The costs in damaged lives is incalculable and just one of many of our own self-managment problems that is bringing America down.

A recent government study showed that fewer teens and young adults are having sex (discussed in the South Bend Tribune on March 4, 2011).  Do you trust a government study, or a government report of any kind any more?

The study was based upon interviews with approximately 5,300 young people (15 yrs. to 25 yrs.). Do you wonder if 15 yr olds are likely to tell the truth about such matters in an interview? Do you think that sex between 15 year olds might be a greater concern that sex between 25 yr olds?

The study reported that those who said they never had oral, vaginal, or anal intercourse rose in the past decade from 22% to 28%. Do you wonder what the other 82% said?  Again, can you imagine what a similar group would have said 50 years ago?

The article went on to say “The findings are sure to surprise some parents who see skin and lust in the media and worry that sex is rampant”. Well, Moms and Dads (Grandparents too) there is no reason for you to worry. The Government (that legalized Pornography [Miller v. California, 1973] and taxes its revenues, as well as condoms, birth control pills, and other sex problem related services) says that our bad sexual behavior is getting better.

Read more on this important topic by clicking on the following URL.

Also, for an in-depth analysis of the evolution of this problem, read my publication on Sexual Maladaption Contagion in Behavior and Social Issues, Volume 8, No. 2, Fall 1998.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.        3/11/11

Bad Bet Gets Worse

October 19, 2009

Bad Bet Gets Worse

On July 22, 2001 in a South Bend Tribune Michiana Point of View article I authored, I said the following:

“This nation’s social viability is increasingly impaired by poor cultural planning and increasing rates of population maladaptive behavior. Why would such an afflicted culture legalize and encourage gambling activities that damage individuals and ultimately our whole society?”

“I must conclude that our government has predated its citizens in the 1980’s by legalizing gambling and taxing its new revenues.”

Myself and others, such as John D. Wolf of the Indiana Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, spoke out in the 1980’s about the self-defeating nature of legalized gambling. We tried to warn of governmental addiction to short-term gains at the expense of long term damage to individuals, families and communities. All to no avail.

Now the South Bend Tribune states in Our Opinion: “The Bad Bet Gets Only Worse” (9/5/2009).

The following are two quotes from that article:

“Among 39 states that have lotteries, according to a study released in September by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, the average overall lottery income declined 2.3 percent—at the same time Indiana’s take dropped by 17.5 percent.”

“Indiana’s penchant for leaning heavily on gambling as a source of revenue is seriously misguided, both because it is not sustainable and because of the toll it takes on families.”

We tried to warn everyone. The fix will now be far more painful than the prevention.

VTM, 10/19/09

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