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Today’s social safety net discourages marriage

To the editor:

Wednesday’s Review-Journal story on the demise of marriage in our country was a tribute to the progressive movement, which seeks to have the state play a central role in our lives.

When I was first married in the mid ’60s, young people made a different calculation than young people do today. Then, birth control was not the easy pill of today. Abortion was difficult, dangerous and not socially acceptable. Marriage and family were often a better option.

The social safety nets of today did not exist in the pre-LBJ years. Medicare and welfare had not yet arrived; food help meant picking up surplus government cheese, lard and beans at the county warehouse; and unemployment insurance, if it existed, was certainly not the two years that’s currently offered. In other words, young people had to plan to depend upon themselves and their families, not the state.

Such considerations made marriage serious business and made acquiring a dependable life partner an important goal for many young people.

Today’s youth are understandably using a different calculus given the abundance of public assistance available. Unfortunately, that brings us to the current reality that the federal government is broke. Since the ’60s, we seem to have amassed an unsustainable public debt, and the progressives in charge today are at a loss as to how to generate the needed revenue.

Sadly, the social safety nets that once were unknown are now necessities for the younger generations, and the choice of either paying for them or abandoning them is going to be tough.

Ed Dornlas

Las Vegas

 

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