In June, David Popenoe, director of The National Marriage Project and professor emeritus and former social and behavioral sciences dean at Rutgers, released Cohabitation, Marriage and Child Wellbeing: A Cross-National Perspective. In it, he documents that Canada has high rates of cohabitation, largely thanks to Quebec. The province of Quebec in Canada appears to have the highest cohabitation rate in the Western World, at 35% of all couples, writes Popenoe. Why does this matter? Because cohabitation is less stable than marriage, and offers none of the benefits. One study using data from Norway and Sweden, for example, found that compared to married couples, cohabitors overall are less serious, less satisfied, and more often consider to split up from their current relationships. If we consider that in 2006, 45 per cent of Canadian cohabiting couples had children, that’s not a good sign. It’s not a good sign even where no kids are concerned few among us desire to live closer to the edge of a tumultuous break up than we must.Popenoe rather dryly admits cohabitation as a cultural phenomenon isn’t going anywhere. Given this blasé acceptance, his verdict is surprising: In the final analysis, the issue of cohabitation comes down to a conflict between adult desires and children’s needs. It seems a tragedy that, with all the opportunities that modernity has brought to adults, it may also be bringing a progressive diminution in our concern for the needs of children and thus for the many generations to come.
The second marriage-related study quantifies the costs to taxpayers of marital breakdown and unwed childrearing read kids raised in cohabiting couples. The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing released in April examines the costs state by state and federally through higher spending on antipoverty programs and throughout the justice and educational systems, as well as losses to government coffers in foregone tax revenues. The conclusion? Family fragmentation is costing the federal government in the United States 112 billion annually.
The underlying assumption that family breakdown costs money makes intuitive sense. (Tried to hire a family lawyer lately?) But this report quantifies different costs to our culture at large: Children raised in fragmented families are more susceptible, statistically speaking, to poverty, mental illness, infant mortality, lower educational attainment (including greater risk of dropping out of high school), juvenile delinquency, conduct disorders, adult criminality, and early unwed parenthood. Then there are the costs to adults, too, including things like physical and mental illness.
Also in April, the Fraser Institute, a Vancouver-based free market think tank, released a report indicating the total tax bill for average Canadian families has increased more than 1700 per cent since 1961. A welfare state raises taxes, to be sure, and Popenoe suggests that in Europe for this higher tax burden, they get weaker families in return: The more well-developed welfare systems in Europe may also play a role in the greater prevalence of cohabaitation there. These systems tend to make the family, and therefore the institution of marriage, less important in the lives of citizens….(Source)
Remember the sham about how sex was a private affair, that it should be expunged from public policy and public debate? I see the Leftists have no problem making sure that the discussion around sexual license is kept out of the public square, but they demand that taxpayers’ dollars go to fund the fallout. Sexual immorality is bankrupting us.