These two posts are actually interesting because they’re close, but their own ideological blinders make them miss that the cognitive sort has led to *most kids being the children of smart people*. As well as *the elites totally care about marriage, because now simply being married is a marker of economic separation*.
Class in America has changed and has different division lines. Married people are the new upper middle class. That wasn’t true before the 1960s, but it has become true since wages stagnated in the 1970s.
A substantial minority of people dealt with the wage stagnation by partnership marriages where mom got more and more higher education and could be a much bigger backup/co-earner than in the past. This allowed that group to capture, over time, some of the productivity gains in real income and married people began to break away as a distinct class by the 1980s. Once you adjust for what was available to buy in the 1970s and 1980s, it’s clear that the upper middle class rapidly became the married class within less than a generation.
Technological advances also allowed a cognitively unusual slice of the population to have significantly more economic success and consequently marital and reproductive success.
This is just something the right has to deal with. Marriage is not by default the province of hardworking poorish people. This is a common right-wing trope/meme/narrative, but it hasn’t been true for a long time, including when many of the people spreading it were newly married. And it leads conservatives and generically right wing married people into weird and not-useful places by denying that there’s been a big shift upwards for the “average” married couple, particularly those with children under 18.
As I already posted, there are 21-22 million married couples out of 57 million who have six-figure household incomes. This is not an “elite”. At the 75k level that is effectively six-figure in many parts of the country, that’s another 9 million households. 30/57 is more than half of married households making 6500 dollars a month or more.
There’s only 125 million households in America.
Also, while the numbers are sadly still high, unwed childbearing is decreasing steadily. Married childbearing is on the increase at the higher birth orders, astonishingly.
All the “stuff” that goes into raising kids today is not frivolous once you look at the actual conditions we’ve all let happen for various reasons. And wrapping oneself up in an illusion that nothing’s really changed in terms of what’s needed to be a functional married family is part of why the list of stuff is so long.