Robert Bennett: The two-parent family is good economics

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  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    April 30, 2014 6:42 a.m.

    @ John C.C.

    Religious fundamentalism also began its political ascent during the time period you chronicle. I watched it fracture my family. "Believe as we do or you are sinners destined for hell!" If there is a god, it is weeping over the idiocy taking place in its name.

    And you talk of selfishness...It has been my observation that nearly everyone's god just happens to agree with his/her viewpoint. So when believers talk of worshipping their god, paying homage to their god, repenting to their god, they're really just talking about themselves. When people pray, they're really just talking to themselves.

    People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    April 29, 2014 10:10 p.m.

    Let's see, 50% of my paycheck goes to mortgage, 15% to car payment, 25% taxes (at least) I have a little left for food and gas.

    Most of these payments actually go to interest on money the 1% got pretty much free of interest and risk but they get $900 of my $1000 mortgage payment as profit/interest. Repeat that for every family around in the US and I have to ask; THEY were the ones that went broke and needed a bailout?

    Me thinks the system is rigged. Oh I forgot, the little I can save in my 401K also is in the hands of the 1% who skim off it and ponzi scheme it in the NYSE. I feel like we the people are the chumps here...

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    April 29, 2014 12:23 p.m.

    Both sides of the marriage debate acknowledge that two parents are better than one. It's not surprising that both use Senator Bennett's article as support. But it doesn't really work for same-sex marriage. You see, in order to get where we are now American society first had to go through a series of stages where marriage became more of a convenience for adult gratification than what it should be--a contractual arrangement in which many other partners have vested interests, including children, government, and God.

    In the 1960's I witnessed a groundswell of religious skepticism, no-fault divorce, and a blurring of traditional gender roles. Then my peers began to claim that government has no right to know what happens in private, and that consenting adults could do no wrong. Psychologists said that guilt may hurt one's self-esteem. Don't repent--just ignore the guilt. States lost the right to enforce laws against sodomy, pornography, fornication and adultery. Only in such a climate would gay marriage be taken seriously.

    Now individual selfishness reigns supreme and the interests of children languish in the aftermath. Government seems helpless to stem the decay and God weeps.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    April 29, 2014 8:12 a.m.

    And yes, after all the hoopla over this article, wouldn't it be great if we did more to encourage our young people to 'build a nest' to quote Dr. Laura, aka, finish school and commit to the family the couple will create, before they create children?

    The answer is obviously yes. This would help society and children a lot more than raising the minimum wage.

  • intervention slc, UT
    April 28, 2014 5:11 p.m.


    So since there is no "creator" then there is no argument and no reason for you or others to stand in the way.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    April 28, 2014 5:02 p.m.

    Your comment on deficit spending has nothing to do with the opinion of Mr Bennett. He was advocating for a two parent family for kids. Yet another gratuitous comment that seeks to link anything Obama to every perceived or real threat in the world. Not only that, but let us not forget that no Republican president in a hundred years has presided over a balanced budget. They don't even propose one either, so the insult about Democrats and spending is a real canard.

    You also seem to conflate a false claim for maintaining a woman's right of choice with proper family planning. I trust almost any woman to make a considered choice about her birth control and pregnancy. I do not trust the government or a religious institution/faith tradition to make that choice for anyone. No freedom loving person wants that.

    Children ought to be planned. Young people should have access to birth control so that unwanted pregnancies do not occur. Religion alone will not insure chastity, nor will government constraints.

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    April 28, 2014 3:02 p.m.


    So you are saying that you can't keep the kids from having sex, so the solution is to kill the babies?? Out of wedlock pregnancies are the symptom of another problem. History shows that government chasing "dead-beat" out-of-wedlock dads also coincided with the rapid increase of out-of-wedlock births. Yes, chastity before marriage, even with the religious connotations (oh me! oh my!) appears to be a more logical solution to the problems of out-of-wedlock births and the attendant poverty and failure of development. Selfishness does not bring the order and happiness that self-control and higher moral thinking achieves.

    Revenue actually increased during Reagan"voo-doo" economics period,because tax rates were lowered. This is the same phenomena observed historically during the Kennedy administration. When you don't fix the spending end of the income/expense equation, you continue to get bigger debt (check your bank account). Since the Dems were in control of the spending controls (look to your copy of the Constitution), that side, with the Tipster in charge, continued to spiral out of control. Hence...debt.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 28, 2014 2:30 p.m.

    "Getting kids to stay in school and to stop producing children outside of marriage would not only help close the income gap but also solve a whole host of other problems. "

    But many Republicans want to nullify Roe V. Wade, which would cause many millions more children to be born out of wedlock every year.

    In other words, many so-called Pro-Life Republicans are advocating the EXACT OPPOSITE of what Bennett is suggesting by burdening the economy with the expense of raising millions of UNWANTED children, many of whom would become unwanted, anti-social, criminal adults.

    How long has Bennet been Pro-Choice anyway? Anyone know? . . . Seems almost unbelievable that such an entrenched Republican politician would advocate something that makes good sense.

    And yes, government action will help narrow the income gap . . . Obviously. Taxing the highest earners more will also generate much more revenue as well.

    Taxes for highest earners should revert to pre-Reagan levels. As you may recall, in the course of implementing his voodoo economics by greatly reducing high earners, Reagan TRIPLED the national debt.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 28, 2014 2:01 p.m.

    Ranch et al,

    Your argument is not with me. I am not your Creator. I am not your Father in Heaven. I did not give you agency to do whatever you want with YOUR life; but, I am a father. I have eight children. I would never jeopardize those children, or my grandchildren by telling them that they have no Creator; that they have no Father in Heaven; that they crawled out of some swamp, lived in trees, and eventually developed morals, only to throw out all morality when anyone spoke of Him who created them and breathed life into their shell of clay.

    You and your friends can dispute what Senator Bennett wrote. You can claim that the universe revolves around you. Doing that proves that you would ruin the lives of children. All of you have a mother and a father, but you think that you are superior to them. You think that they were mistaken when they offered you life. You refuse to do that for anyone else.

    Senator Bennett was right. Children deserve a mother and a father, just like Our Father in Heaven told us.

  • Ajax Mapleton, UT
    April 28, 2014 2:01 p.m.

    Robert Bennett is a Republican I would be glad to vote for.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    April 28, 2014 1:39 p.m.

    I agree that two-parent marriages and education correlate with stronger chances for success socially and economically. But I don't see causality. The problems we are seeing in terms of delaying marriage, deferring or simply not having children, not getting a higher degree, etc., are symptoms, not causes, of the economic stresses impacting the Millennial generation. To many of them these societal foundations no longer make sense, and until this changes we will continue to see movement away from them.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    April 28, 2014 1:17 p.m.


    Perhaps religion should "go into the closet". See how you like it.

    @The Hammer;

    Wanna bet? Marriage is a civil right. Gays can and do have kids through a variety of means, including those same means used by infertile couples (whom biology also dictates can't have kids).

    Parents are formed when adults take on the care of children (regardless the gender of the parents).

    Biology dictates that homosexuality is just as "natural" as heterosexuality, otherwise you wouldn't see it in thousands of species.

    Civil rights don't depend on whether or not one is "shacked up". They are the rights that ALL citizens enjoy (including that of marriage to the person of their choice).

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    April 28, 2014 1:16 p.m.

    The comments to this article caused me to go back and re-read it to see if Senator Bennett made any statements for or against Gay Marriage. While I am in favor of Marriage Equality, I think an important point that the Senator makes is being lost here. Thee are a lot of children who are not in any type of stable family. When one or both parents simply abdicate their responsibilities, its a prescription for crime and poverty. I have two adopted children who came out of such a situation. Its the most difficult thing I've ever done in my life, but also the most rewarding. I agree that the gender of the parents isn't as important as the commitment of the parents, but let's get past that and focus on getting more kids into a home.

  • The Hammer lehi, utah
    April 28, 2014 1:05 p.m.


    You can't change biology and you can't equate gay marriage with civil rights. when biology dictates that man and woman form a biological union. Two people shacking up together is not marraige or equivalent to such. Parents are formed by someone of opposite gender and even if one state decides to grant you a status to let you adopt that status goes against biology. It ain't natural bro.

    For it to be a civil right it actually has to be part of civil rights. Gay marraige doesn't fit the bill it never has it can't. Gay Marraige comes from wanting to shack up and forcing people to accept it as marriage. Its not marriage, its not a civil right.

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    April 28, 2014 12:49 p.m.

    It is amazing that an editorial written about the plague of children born out of wedlock becomes supposed validation for same-sex marriage. This article is no more about same-sex marriage than it is about heterosexual married couples adopting children who are born out of wedlock. Both situations are "exceptional" and do not follow in the "normal" or "average" rules.

    When government holds itself out as the alternative parent, it is incentivizing the problem that Mr. Bennett is writing about. When government teaches sex education, it tends to minimize the importance of the relationship and commitment aspects of a sexual relationship. In other words, the government has a tendency to ignore the core issues and advocates for the exceptional situation (the "victim"). Society has never been served by making rules centered in the "exception." Society is best served by honoring the "ordinary," prioritizing the "exceptional" and by protecting the weak from those enchanted by power.

  • AZKID Mapleton, UT
    April 28, 2014 12:49 p.m.

    Here is the ideal that politicians and other community leaders should use as their guide when making public policy in support of the economic well being of children and families as well as a stable society:

    Family: Chastity before marriage. Man marries a woman, they have children. They stay married Full fidelity after marriage. Divorce becomes a little-used "fault" option when abuse or other demonstrably severe behaviors occur.

    Religion: No more hostility to religion in the public sphere. The Founding Fathers believed that a moral populace whose private behavior is regulated by a fear of God and by adherence to the basic 10 commandments, was the only type of society that could be self-governing.

    Gay: Once again becomes a word to describe being happy. Other non-biological activities or "family" structures go back in the closet.

    Second Marriages: Celebrated insofar as they provide stability for children, with step parents and/or step grandparents representing both genders as nature intended.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    April 28, 2014 12:32 p.m.

    First of all I tip my hat to all the single mothers out there trying so hard to raise their kids. There is certainly a valid argument however that the reason the mother is single is because of her own imoral choices - getting pregant without being married - but there is also the the other side concerning dead beat dads who abandon their wife and kids. In any case the real question is how to best raise kids and the answer clearly is a home with a mom and dad. Kids need nurturing from both the male father and the female mother and there is no substitute. Not two women and not two men - this is a fractured and toxic envionment where the kids are the loser. It takes more than just love to raise good blanced healthy (mentally and phycially) kids and that is why God created the institution of marriage with a mother and father. Our society continues to disintigrate with kids being raised outside of the the traditional family unit and that trend will only worsen regardless of the PC culture says. Numbers don't lie.

  • pbunny Salt Lake, UT
    April 28, 2014 12:32 p.m.

    Given the following quote: "...children can be saved from poverty if they do the following four things: Finish high school, get a job, don’t have children until they get married, and then, get married." Why is it that Utah wants to permanently ban 3-5% of Utah's children from future marriage? Given the rest of the quote, "Those growing up in two-parent homes are those most likely to have mentors and role models that will confirm that." How is in the state's interest to have thousands of Utah's children living in families with one "legal parent" and one "legal stranger"?

    Utah, please, stop the insanity. Allow all of your children to dream of marriage, allow all of your children the right to live in two-parent homes.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    April 28, 2014 12:25 p.m.

    "The statistical proof is clear: the traditional two-parent family is still the most basic building block of a just society."

    It is clear from the comments that "traditional" is now often heard as a code word meaning "anti-SSM." This is how I heard it too. Was its use even necessary? There are some good points in this piece. We do need to address ways to stabilize families and promote marriage (or some type of long-term commitment), particularly when children are involved. Surely we can have this conversation whether or not the SSM issue is settled.

    In any case, "traditional," however it was meant, isn't the proper word for this sentence. Following the reasoning of the article, the author should have used the word "stable." STABLE families are foundational. And if we absolutely must categorize things - even though it adds nothing to the discussion - then it can be said that both "traditional" and "nontraditional" families can be stable. See? Nothing added. Now, can we get back to the discussion that DOES need to be had?

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 28, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    An argument against raising taxes on the wealthy is that they already pay a lot compared to everyone else.

    This wouldn't be the case however, for the corporate elite if executives and CEO's didn't get 500+ times what everyone else is making at a company.

    Yes capitalism is great, but it needs government regulation so that it works for all people, not just the few at the top.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    April 28, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    @Mike Richards:

    My grandchildren live in Georgia. They believe in an invisible being who watches everything they do and then rewards them according to how well they follow the rules. There is a lot of information about this being - descriptions of his origin, his history and treatment of his people through the ages, pictures and songs and stories about him.

    Of course, all the belief in the world does not make "Santa Claus" real, even if he was based on some part on the real life Saint Nickolas.

    It would be unkind, when they are young, to try and tell the grandchildren that their invisible being does not actually exist and most of the stories are put in place by the-powers-that-be (mom and dad) to coerce them into behaving.

    At the same time, I don't think they should demand that other kids should be required to follow my daughter's rules because "Santa will punish them if they don't."

    Intended or not, Bob Bennett makes a good argument for comprehensive sex education starting in middle school, access to birth control, and marriage for same-sex-couples.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    April 28, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    Mike Richards says:

    "Yesterday I played "Peek-A-Boo" with a grandson who is almost a year old. He thinks that if he can't see someone, that that person does not exist. That is the same logic that many use to tell us that God does not exist. They would have to say the same thing about love, or about pain. Neither of those things can be seen. Their effects can be seen, just as the effects of God's presence can be seen by those who are not playing the childish game of "Peek-A-Boo"."

    The flaw in your logic is that eventually your grandson grows up and can see you're really there. God NEVER shows up.

    @The Hammer;

    Equality will prevail.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    April 28, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    Let me add: The Senator states "Getting kids to stay in school and to stop producing children outside of marriage would not only help close the income gap but also solve a whole host of other problems." I agree. But his party won't allow that to happen. The underfund education, cut programs to lift people up, oppose sex education and contraception, and fight every other attempt to address these issues. So, Senator, will you put your money where your mouth is and start speaking out against the GOP?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    April 28, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    I really don't know anyone who would disagree with Sen. Bennett. The question is how do we deal with the many families that don't fit the stereotypical traditional model? Those people are there for a multitude of reasons, and we should not ignore or marginalize them. I've never known life to be perfect, anywhere. This includes the cocoon of religious societies where variety is intentionally suppressed and swept under the rug. In the end, I'm not really sure what the point is of this op-ed piece.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    April 28, 2014 9:44 a.m.

    From the article: "However, there is a statistic outside of the political debate that strongly suggests that the problem does not lend itself to any of the proposed solutions."

    Unfortunately, the statistics cited by Mr. Bennett are not "outside the political debate". They are at the center of it. There are many government policies that have led directly or indirectly to the breakdown of the traditional family structure. We have developed a culture of selfishness where the well-being of children takes a back seat to the needs/wants of the adults.

    We live in a society that tries very hard to legislate and throw money at "solutions" which are largely aimed at minimizing the natural consequences of irresponsible behavior. In the vein of "tolerance" we now accept and promote actions that lead to poverty and broken homes.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 28, 2014 9:36 a.m.

    Bob Bennett is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As far as I know, he accepts the doctrine of the Head of that Church, Jesus Christ. As far as I know, he fully understands and accepts "The Family: A Proclamation to the World". I have never heard him speak against that Church, its doctrine or the revelations given to the world through that Church. The Creator's doctrine defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The Creator's doctrine defines "Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."

    Yesterday I played "Peek-A-Boo" with a grandson who is almost a year old. He thinks that if he can't see someone, that that person does not exist. That is the same logic that many use to tell us that God does not exist. They would have to say the same thing about love, or about pain. Neither of those things can be seen. Their effects can be seen, just as the effects of God's presence can be seen by those who are not playing the childish game of "Peek-A-Boo".

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    April 28, 2014 9:27 a.m.

    @The Hammer
    I don't understand how you can rationalize condemning gay people for "shacking up" and not waiting until marriage when they don't have the legal right to marry. I'm sure you can see the dilemma this presents.
    I know a lot of gay people in Utah. They value faith, fidelity, and family. Many of them are staying celibate. Many are trying to marry opposite sex spouses. Many others find authenticity and fulfillment in a committed relationship with the same sex. They want to be married. They flocked to the courthouse to marry when they had the right. They want families. Salt Lake City has a higher percentage of same-sex couples raising children than any other metro area in the country. They are good people who share your values.
    It might be easier for you to characterize them as something else, but it is not the reality.

  • Candied Ginger Brooklyn, OH
    April 28, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    gramma b
    "This is not an argument for same-sex "marriage." It is an argument for children's biological parents to get married."

    I am sure that was the point he wanted to make.

    But my family - our children - would benefit if my partner and I were allowed to legally marry. And us getting married would not harm any hetero couples in any way.

    It gives stability and legal protection for couples and will encourage gay and lesbian couples to be more stable. That in no way harms are hetero neighbors, but it does benefit marriage as an institution.

    And, as more gay and lesbian couples see long-term, stable married relationships as an option, they will be able to form families where the children experience that kind of stable, loving home.

    This article really does support SSM as well as OSM.

  • Candied Ginger Brooklyn, OH
    April 28, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    The Hammer
    "When the Gay community stands up for abstinance until marraige..."

    My partner and I have been together for over 5 years. We have adopted two children. We live in an apartment but are actively looking for a house. We have two cars, purchased jointly. We have joint bank accounts. Our friends, neighbors, family, medical providers, dry cleaner, and the barista at Starbucks all know we are a committed couple. We are not "shacked up" and we are doing everything a "traditional marriage" does.

    And the state of Ohio - like the state of Utah - wont let us get married.

    We want the legal protections for our relationship that you get for yours - only you have said we can't have, and then criticize us for doing our best to have the relationship anyway.

    Your argument comes down to: "You're not allowed to get married. How dare you have intimate relationships without being married? Because you did that, you don't really want to get married."

    See? Silly, isn't it.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    April 28, 2014 9:06 a.m.

    Senator Bennet's profound editorial sates "the traditional two-parent family is still the most basic building block of a just society". Obviously, he is referring to the traditional mother and father two parent family. Until we recognize that this model is the best model for rearing children and creating the best opportunity for a good econonic foundation we are kidding ourselves. Any other social model has proven to be inferior. This is one of many important reasons why we should favor traiditonal marriage between a man and a woman because it fosters the best building block for a stable society.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    April 28, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    This is indeed a good argument for same sex marriage. And serves as a lesson to heterosexuals.

    It takes considerable time and energy (and sometimes money) for a same sex couple to have children. As a general rule, almost any two people of the opposite gender can hook up and make a baby. A same sex couple will have to spend considerable efforts to bring life into the world as a same sex couple. Same sex couples generally have to think long and hard about this effort, unlike their heterosexual siblings.

    I wonder if heterosexual couples had to do the planning, and engage in the expense and legalities of having children, would there be so many broken homes for kids? Maybe if heterosexuals spent half the time a same sex couple did, they might have better long term outcomes for their marriage and their children.

  • The Hammer lehi, utah
    April 28, 2014 8:56 a.m.

    When the Gay community stands up for abstinance until marraige then people might start taking them serious when they seek the benefits of marraige. Unfortunately they dont lean that way and most people see them as an entitled group of people that want to force other people to give them benefits based upon a shacked up status and when they dont bare the sacrifice that a traditional marriage bares.

    April 28, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    On of the primary reasons 2-parent families are more economically viable then single-parent families is because they have two incomes. I thought conservative Republicans didn't believe in that?

  • gramma b Orem, UT
    April 28, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    This is not an argument for same-sex "marriage." It is an argument for children's biological parents to get married.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    April 28, 2014 6:49 a.m.

    So, the rich increasing their wealth by about 500%, the middle class' stagnant income is all the fault of single parent households and divorces?

    "Income inequality", Bob, is much more than the difference between the income of men and women, it's about how much of the wealth is now flowing up to the very top instead of being shared amongst the actual working people in this nation.

    One of the biggest determining factors of the economic level of a person will be how young they are when they have their first child. It is certainly better to have a two parent family, Bob, but when both parents are required to work multiple jobs to make ends meet, the child, effectively, is raised without a parent at all.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    April 28, 2014 6:47 a.m.

    Thus, Mr. Bennett supports the case for same-sex marriage. Gay and Lesbian couples who are raising children without the legal protections and benefits of marriage are disadvantaged - and that harms the children. Disallowing SSM will not magically put those kids into OSM families, it just means they will continue to be raised in families the state is relegating to second class status.

    Thank you, Mr. Bennett, for your support.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    April 28, 2014 6:46 a.m.

    A strong argument for marriage equality!

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    April 28, 2014 2:08 a.m.

    Married two parent families do make economic sense - regardless of the gender of the parents. Which makes one wonder why Utah and the DesNews are fighting so hard to prohibit some children that option and opportunity.

    Additionally, studies have shown that comprehensive sex education reduces teen pregnancy and out of wedlock births at a significantly higher rate than abstinence only sex education - and yet this proven method is highly opposed by conservative groups.

    We know what the problems are, we know the solutions to those problems, but some would rather sit around and complain than actually take the steps necessary to solve the problems because the solutions do not fit their narrow paradigms.