Thursday, December 04, 2014

"Generation Unbound" - review

Thanks to a reader for drawing my attention to the following. I was going to cut and paste the entire highly readable  review of a new book by Isabel V Sawhill, Generation Unbound, by libertarian economist Arnold Kling,  but it got unwieldy. Worth 5 minutes of your time. Some of her 'solutions' are most interesting, though I am inclined to the reviewer perspective.

"... by 2012, the teen birth rate had reached the lowest level reported in over six decades. In the meantime, the problem has moved up the age scale. It is now primarily women and men in their twenties who are having children outside of marriage, many of them unplanned... Once a young single woman has had an unplanned pregnancy, followed by a baby out of wedlock, she is less likely to marry and more likely to have additional children outside of marriage... Perhaps the solution is not to bring back early marriage but instead to encourage young adults to delay childbearing until they are ready to marry.1"
Isabel V. Sawhill's latest book, Generation Unbound, describes a significant social challenge in the United States: the increasing incidence of children born into adverse circumstances. The common pattern that Sawhill describes is a woman at the lower end of the income scale who becomes pregnant unintentionally, gives birth, and raises the child as a single mother. The arrangement is likely to involve poverty both for the mother and for her child or children.
Sawhill points out: Indeed, the average woman now has her first baby before she marries. This reversal of the normal sequence first occurred in the late 1980s. One report calls it "the great crossover"—the point at which, for the first time, the average age at marriage exceeded the average age at first birth among American women.
She writes,
"... the youngest generation seems to have decoupled marriage and childbearing. They place more emphasis on the importance of children and less emphasis on marriage".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Part of the problem is that marriage is now such a nebulous thing. We generally admire those that stay married and committed for a long time but seem to not really understand why that is. What is noble should be encouraged but the need to be self indulgent appears to override nobility and ethics nowadays.