Practical Definitions: Conservative

Someone who lives a high-risk life while being risk-averse.


7 facts about American dads

Fatherhood in America is changing. Ahead of Father’s Day, read key findings about dads in the United States.

Source: 7 facts about American dads

Key takeaways.  Men worked about 2 hours more in work+home in 1965 compared to women, but now they work 6 hours more.  And both parents combined work 13 hours more in paid labor than in 1965. And the dual-income family vs. single-income family was already split evenly just five years later in 1970, with dual-income being 49% and single-income (dad only) being 47%.  Mom-only was 2% and it’s only 5% now.  The breadwinner mama revolution is somewhat overstated.

Median 2016 papa.

Revising the class structure idea

Thanks to the feedback on that post, I see that there will have to be some modifications because my taxonomy is too STEM/tech-centric.

Basically what we really have is a married class with low, middle and high tiers, and the low tier still has a ceiling well above the median household income of 50k/yr.  The high-income tech (and to a lesser extent STEM in general) subset are marked more by the weird ways they tend to spend their money compared to the other married class people than where their income “ought” to put them.  So what people used to call upper middle and middle has split into three levels of married-ness, mostly based on income.  SAHMs are tied more to the low and middle married tiers than the high one.

The true upper class, as would be expected, hasn’t changed much and is still there (and still tiny).  But they don’t necessarily have high income or wealth personally, although they usually have some aspect of the latter.   They have access to it by default though.

Singles are really either part of a premarital class (they are taking the steps to be able to join a tier of the married class and will pass into it) or they’re essentially working class if they’re stably employed but not in a way that will make them able to join the married class.

Single parents are also pretty much working class if they’re stably employed.  In both cases, singles are lower class if they’re not working or not working reliably.

Divorced and Separated women have the highest workforce participation

Then never-married women follow and currently married women are lowest.  The actual numbers are pretty close together, but the married number is driven down by the very low workforce participation of widows.

But despite the extreme efforts to get women into the workforce, they haven’t hit male participation levels…from the 1970s and the rate of increased entry is slowing so much that it seems unlikely to ever happen.  Meanwhile male workforce participation is dropping.

That there is pretty recent data about all of this, with some interesting data points like a woman’s income being pretty darned high with a BA (~50k/year median).

I would also note that divorced and separated women out there hustling up money at higher rates than other categories of women is not entirely compatible with the “cash and prizes” narrative around divorce.


In which the Federalist can’t see all the invisible college moms in the data.

“… in 1960, the poorly and moderately educated were only 10 percent less likely to be married than the college educated, with both numbers quite high: 84 and 94 respectively. That parity largely held until the late 1970s.”

What is missing from the article and, weirdly since it was discussed in the 1960s and 1970s, is that the late 1970s was when (white) women who attended college had gone from producing less than 1 in 5 births to around 1 in 3 births.  That particular point in time coincided with peak entry into the workforce of (also white) women.

So mom started going off to the job and she also increasingly took college classes and sometimes even completed a degree or two.  And it appears that for American society, having more than 20% of an ethnic group’s annual births flow from college-educated mothers was a critical mass point and was enough moms to encourage daughters and create a snowball effect.     That is, the cake was baking during the 1960s, when married people hadn’t yet broken out as a distinct class of their own.

The reality is that for the last few decades, without college (particularly completing a BA or more), even getting married before the kids come will not leapfrog you out of poverty.  Because part of the tradeoff now is that mom works too or dad has a Very Big Job money-wise.  And it’s very hard to end run around this by only doing high school.  And parenting is so intensive even if you “just” do public school that it’s hard for high school only parents to adjust to the administrative aspect, especially while working in relatively more fungible jobs than their college-educated parent-peers.

Denialism about how college education *combined with marriage* is itself the big ticket to the middle class is a huge part of why this remains the case.  The people parroting the “finish high school, get married before kids” line are ignoring that poor married households *did just that and are still poor*.  Poor married households frequently didn’t marry after a couple of kids.  They are poor because they didn’t do college.  That one can get you over the hurdle of having the kids first, if you do make it to marriage.  Sad but there you are.

The heart of a woman is very fragile.

This is literal, not metaphorical.  There are a sadly large number of older women (past 55) with heart problems lethal enough to kill them in their early 60s or early 70s.  I don’t know if this is a new phenomenon, I only know that the diagnoses are frequent enough to be shocking now that I’m getting around and about a bit more.


Updated “Who is the Practical Conservative?”, fiction publishing plans, future blog plans

I went ahead and made more explicit the fact that this blog is linked with Carolina Hutchenson, one of my pen names.  A longer post about pseudonyms and the internet is coming sometime in the next week or two, when I get a chance to knock something that potentially lengthy out.

Carolina currently uses as a photo a picture of a long-dead jazz singer who was called “The Black Marilyn Monroe”.  She started with a very different photo that I thought was a stock photo, but which was not.  I got “tumblrd” (that’s when you grab a picture from a photo blog and figure it must be stock/open rights and find out it’s not).  Tumblr has this issue a lot, but it can happen with other sites where people repost pictures they don’t really have use rights for just because they look cool.

And I was going to wait until next year to announce it here, but Carolina will be able to have some fiction come out next year, or at least be accepted for publication.  I can safely say it will be science fiction, and some might even consider it “hard” science fiction.

There is something Really Super Groovy Cool that T.W.O. (whose pen name is “Oppressor Hutchenson”) and I are working on, but it’s a five year kind of project, so I can’t say more unless that changes, but I remain very excited to be able to do intensive creative work with my man even if we can’t get it out the door before the kids are teenagers.

As for this blog, it’s obviously heading in more of a policy and data wonk direction.  So expect more tables, charts and graphs.  There will possibly also be some memoirish posts. And I will likely repost some of Carolina’s livejournal posts, but I may not.  Still in dither mode on that one.