Where are the young Christian marriage partners?

Evangelical Christian private schools.  There is a great blog that tracks research and what data exists on homeschooling, and in this link there’s a discussion of some research into whether homeschooled kids marry and have kids differently than kids educated other ways (particularly public school kids).

In a nutshell, evangelical Christian private school attendees end up marrying before 25 and having their first kid a few years later.  Catholic school attendees marry around 28-30 and have their first kid ASAP.  Homeschool and public school kids have higher rates of teen and early 20s pregnancy and marriage (still fairly low in raw numbers) and higher rates of being unmarried at 39.

Without extreme religiosity, which drives most of the homeschool early marriage, homeschool family formation and childbearing is pretty much the same as public school family formation and childbearing, which is useful information for homeschoolers to have now that the extremely religious are a much smaller minority of homeschoolers these days.

I still haven’t cross-referenced this fully with lifetime births per woman, but I suspect based on demographic patterns that this means homeschoolers and public school kids have slightly fewer lifetime children per woman and probably per man than religious private schoolers of either Catholic or Evangelical Christian persuasion.

Anyway my rapscallionate brood has ended up doing some time in evangelical Christian schools.

Right wing activism vs left wing activism (PIRGs): Milking the base vs milking the crowd

I have more things I want to write about than time to write about them, and some of those things I posted as comments long ago over at Steve Sailer’s blog.  Here are some comments I made about the difference between right wing and left wing activism, including the PIRGs (public interest research groups) as an example.

“There’s also a professional activist culture for Republicans, it’s just not as effective [as professional left-wing activism] because it’s oriented towards milking the base. HSLDA is a case in point. Doesn’t always start that way, but the right-wing activist stuff always seems to end up there, mysteriously.”

“…the left funds professional activists opaquely, with small fees that hit thousands or millions of people, where they skim off a portion (the PIRG system is a great case in point). It tries to not directly milk its base. The right, conversely, does nothing but overtly milk its base and avoids opaque funding mechanisms, favoring direct appeals, even if they have a con-artist sheen.”

“The PIRG money for student PIRGs, the main ones Americans hear about comes from the students, not the government. They also don’t tell students they can claw it back and the few students who figure it out have a major struggle to get a few hundred bucks back out of thousands spent per year. So it’s opaque funding, but not so much that people have a strong incentive to try to eliminate it. That structure is typical of liberal activist stuff. There’s other examples like obscure state level taxes that cost a few bucks a year per person, but in a state of millions, that’s real money.

The hijacking foundations is also a liberal special. Conservatives are fairly bad at working that angle, too. The Birchers in their prime were a good conservative activist alternative approach, but they relied on historical conditions that are unlikely to be replicable by conservatives these days.”

The context was something that is currently on alt-right, dissident right and other conservative-ish minds, effective activism techniques.  Some people were doing the whole “Republicans HAVE JOBS LOL” thing that is standard when this comes up, but Democrats have jobs too, and not just activist-ing.

But mostly they dismiss the successful right wing organizing that does exist (pro-life activism, homeschool activism, 2nd amendment activism) and are unaware that right-wing women were the mainstays of previous successful right-wing activism pushes before the degeneration into base-milking in the wake of the 1960s.

I’ll come back to the right-wing women thing over and over again, because smart right wing women were the backbone of pre-1960s conservative and Republican organization.  Then that energy mostly got diverted into homeschooling and other acceptable fringes.

Ultimately right wing activism is crippled by its inheritance of individualism into believing that getting a dollar from ten million people is “socialism”.  In the post-Trump age this is somewhat less true and the sooner the right moves towards the left’s most common funding model (aka “Let’s get a penny from everyone ten times!”), the sooner they can provide real alternatives to the toxic insanity of the left instead of even more toxic and unworkable alternatives that quietly shift people further leftward.

Bundling works.  Learning to milk the crowd works.  As the left has learned, people will pay a tiny amount of money for something that sounds totally neutral and harmless and they’ll do so for decades on end.  There are so many things that would work as alternatives waiting to be proposed and funded.  But the will must be there, of course.  Is it on the right, dissident or plain-vanilla?  Well?

 

 

It’s not your salary, it’s part of the household’s income, and daycare’s always cheaper than that.

I have batted the notion around a long time, the whole “my salary won’t pay for daycare” and I think I’ve put my finger on the bit that is really “problematic”, aside from the fact that kids are in daycare a lot fewer than 18 years.  It’s a criticism I’ve only seen from feminists and only a few at that.  And that’s the title.  You’re a married woman (generic you) making the argument that you earn x and you’d be paying x+y, but this is the wrong way to look at it.  You’re adding to the total household income, so the cost of childcare should be subtracted from the total, not just the piece you’re taking home.

It’s an okey-doke.  Either you’ve joined households into one or you are running two separate households.  Which is it?

Married couple household income breakdown as of 2019

This is the universe, as the Census Bureau likes to say, of all married couples, so these numbers include married people with no kids at home or no kids at all. So this represents about 58 million families.

  • Nearly 1 in 4, or over 13 million married couples, had household incomes of 100-149k in 2019
  • 11%, or about 6.6 million married couples, had household incomes of 150k-200k in 2019
  • 1 in 7, or over 8 million married couples had household incomes of 200k or more 2019
  • About 10% , or a bit under 6 million married couples had household incomes of 35k or less in 2019
  • 1 in 3 , or about 19 million married couples had household incomes of 50k-99k in 2019
  • 9%, or around 5 million married couples had household incomes of 35-49k

As you can see,  we now have nearly half of married couples with household incomes above 100k.  In 2015 it was less than 40%.

We’ve lost about 1 million married couples earning 50-100k since 2015.

In 2015 we had about 1 in 4 married couples making 50k or less.  Now it’s less than 1 in 5.

Now all of this is pre-COVID data, but the early returns, so to speak of family incomes in 2020 are not showing hefty income drops for married couples.

 

Introducing five precepts of civic natalism

In no particular order.

  1. Your time is not fungible. With the corollary that DIY is anti-community.
  2. Aim for mother-friendly, not child-friendly because child-friendly really means “no siblings allowed”.
  3. Busy is selfish.
  4. Leisure isn’t lazy. It’s how people get the fun social and civilizational goods they claim to (often “traditionally”) support, after all.
  5. Service isn’t servile. Having (usually unrelated) people do things for you and giving them money to do so is not imposing servility on them.  It was a staple of even the very poor in pre-modern times.  The modern era is defined most sharply as the point where paying people to do things for you was utterly deprecated.  In America, this was actually the postwar era, but in the rest of the West, it was early Vietnam-era.

These precepts are just a beginning, a tiny seed of a bigger idea, and working the implications out is a longer term goal.

The Contraceptive Divorce Protectant

I mention it a lot in comments, and it occurs to me it’s worthy of a post, since I know a lot of not-contraceptive-using Christians IRL and online.  But essentially part of the fallout from the WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE DIVORCE IS SO GREAT epidemic in the 1970s and even 1980s is that people who are 35-50 now were told by older people who’d been burnt that the problem wasn’t marrying young, it was not party animal-ing young together.  And with contraception, this was now on the table.

The belief among quite a few older folks is that marrying young and then jumping into “adulting”  and parenting all at once was the source of their or their divorced friends/neighbors/relatives’ woe.  For all the talk of how women/men are encouraged to live it up singly during their 20s, there is definitely a pro-marriage strain among evangelical and conservative-living secular people that living it up ~together~ and then settling down as older, financially solid boring types is the way to keep a marriage together past when the kids are 18, or even just school-aged.

It is something I didn’t really notice among secular types, although it was certainly there.  It started jumping out at me when we got married and started hanging around married Christians who did it before age 25 and seeing this play out over the years.  And then, of course, it’s not uncommon online either.

For both religious and health reasons we’re not really on Team Contraception, but I do think it’s important to know why people make use of it, because there are people still trying to live out the promises and claims that it would help marriages stay love matches and all that.

The expensive, pre-COVID state of all parenthood in 2019.

This is where things were pre-COVID.

  • Over half of all children under 18 are in households earning $80,000 or more per year.
  • About 45% are in households earning $100,000 or more per year.
  • One third are in households earning $10,000/month or more.

This is all households with children, not just married parents.

In 2020, over 1 million black people married to nonblack people in America.

About half have kids under 18, and 60% are black guys married to nonblack women, while 40% are black women married to nonblack men.  Black women are getting married to nonblack men more often, mostly white ones.

There’s about 64 million married couples, of which around 24 million have kids under 18.

There’s a bit more than 4 million black-black married couples, of which 40% have kids under 18.  This means interracial marriage makes up 25% of black married households for school-aged kids but only 1/6 for black married households with no kids under 18.

This is a pretty major shift in a few years.  It mostly means black women are going to end up roughly where black men are or exceed them regarding interracial marriage.  I’ll leave the pros and cons of that as an exercise for the reader.

 

Domestic au pair and homemaking program

It could be more or less formalized, but training young women in the domestic, homemaking arts and giving them practical experience in childcare would be amazingly useful.

There are a number of avenues by which this could conceivably be enabled, not least as part of a general program of supporting women in their women’s work.

A model to start with would taking the system of the current international au pair program, and figuring out how to adapt it to the needs of young women who’d like to be keepers of hearth and home for their families and future husbands and families who could use the help of energetic girls in their late teens and early 20s.

 

Some historical downsides of having household help, American edition

Infectious-licious!

  • Unvetted servants carrying infectious diseases.  The above is the most famous example, but there are plenty of other examples to draw upon.  Because a reference wasn’t necessary to secure a position due to the chronic labor shortages of a growing, wealthy society with free right of travel for all whites (and many blacks), a lot of servants would turn up to work in a household and get everyone sick.  Usually it wasn’t lethal (even Typhoid Mary had fewer than 10% of her 50+ victims die, the rest recovered), but it still was a very real risk and concern.  Anonymity was an early feature of American society, even when housewives still needed domestic help, and this was one of the nasty little side effects of that
  • Harder to present the image of a classless society.  Being the land of opportunity, America has always struggled with the fact that some people are going to be servants or employees to others for their working lives.  Instead of considering this a reason to keep working conditions for domestic servants decent, it was considered a reason to just not have servants.  Or lie about them.  A notable example can be found during the Eisenhower presidency of the 1950s.  His then Vice-President Richard Nixon’s wife spent years pretending she did not have a live-in maid (Swedish), a yard man (ethnic background unknown), and loads and loads of babysitters to watch the two children they had, even to the extent of demanding the help never be photographed or spoken to by reporters doing “A Day in the Life of the Veep’s Wife” fluff pieces.  Something to keep in mind when hearing about how housewives don’t need domestic help because appliances.  As early as the 1950s, American women had many of what we currently consider modern appliances except for the glorious microwave and front-loading washing machine.  But they also had maids and childcare help (which was exempted from wage laws, of course).  Well-off Americans have claimed for a long time that they just magically do it all themselves, especially but not strictly conservatives.

They just wanted a ten hour workday.

  • Violent responses to poor working conditions.  The above is a picture of the Papin sisters, who were French and killed their mistress and her adult daughter after years of 14 hour days.  While not American, working conditions for American domestics were frequently not better.  This is occluded somewhat by racial stuff, but Northern white women were quite as happy to leave a white female servant bleeding from a slap or the strop as Southern white women were with black female slaves.  This is, of course, memoryholed like whoa in American discourse on domestic help.  Domestic service is not necessarily servile, and given decent working conditions, many women are quite all right with serving others even if the pay is not the toppiest of top-end.  American women ran from service because the conditions and pay were both pretty crummy (the Woman Homesteader of Wyoming I wrote a bit about a white back was willing to trade the conditions of working as a laundress in an urban area in the early 1900s for the backbreaking work of homesteading in Wyoming.)  They didn’t run because they disliked serving others necessarily.  Some did, but others would have been happy to keep doing that as a job if they were treated like humans by their employers.  Things these days are not going in that direction, with the rise of “servant apps” where you just-in-time schedule your domestic help (“assistants”).  Meanwhile, the paternalism that drives our own hiring is sneered at for not being all-encompassing enough.  Vacation days, feh!  You don’t pay health insurance!  Health insurance?  Pah, you don’t put in a 401k!  Middle-class American women used to be able to afford domestic help not just because the wages were exempted, but also because it wasn’t considered a job, it was considered a relationship with pay at its best (and worst, of course).  Nobody wants to have human relationships anymore or accept the consequences of paternalism at its best (being responsible personally for those you employ) and in America part of that is being able to just up and move away from paternalism at its worst (Papin sisters, worst of chattel slavery).