Stable families are the key to overcoming income inequality

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  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 11, 2014 11:06 a.m.

    BTW, Piketty's book "Capital In the 21st Century" will be featured on the PBS Newshour this Monday - tomorrow. Hot! Watch!

  • Candied Ginger Brooklyn, OH
    May 11, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    @Mike Richards - Sorry for the delay, sick babies and internet issues.

    You asked "Who defines ultimate truth?"

    Tao Te Ching 1: "The unnamable is the eternally real. Naming is the origin of all particular things."

    When we try to understand reality we focus on some things and believe we have the whole of it - like the blind men and the elephant.

    I find your certitude that you have all the answers to be limiting and disturbing. The first question isn't "what does god say?", the first is "why do you think you know what god says?" followed by "why does god's opinion so closely match your opinion?"

    Tao Te Ching 72 says, "When they lose their sense of awe, people turn to religion. When they no longer trust themselves, they begin to depend upon authority."

    People want packaged answers, rigid rules, and clear lines. Then they don't have to think or feel or pay attention to reality.

    Tao Te Ching 81, "The Tao nourishes by not forcing. By not dominating, the Master leads."

    "God said" is a huge red flag that is always about controlling others.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 10, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    Bro. Richards --

    Might I suggest putting down your Judgments of others,
    and try ACTING like a disciple of Christ and remember your Missionary skills.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 9, 2014 2:06 p.m.

    Sometimes words seem to be harsh. Sometimes words seem to be disrespectful of feelings, but rejecting ultimate truth and substituting partial truth is not the answer. Because I reject partial truth does not mean that I am insensitive to the feelings of others, but I am reminded that even God Himself is not a respecter of persons. Laws are eternal. Our obligation is to insure that any law that we support also supports eternal law.

    The family is the basic unit of society. Eternal law defines WHAT constitutes a family. I cannot redefine what God has ordained. I don't think that anyone has that right.

    My challenge in life is to see that I align myself with eternal principles instead of expecting eternal principles change to suit my sexual desires.

    Families can be forever on condition that we discard our philosophies and that we accept eternal truth.

    The family was ordained of God. He set the rules. He gave us agency to accept HIS doctrine or to reject it, but His promises only apply to those who accept His doctrine.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    May 9, 2014 1:28 p.m.

    So does this go so far as supporting legalizing gay couples?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 9, 2014 12:55 p.m.

    Re: Ginger,

    Who defines ultimate truth? Does man have that right or are we subject to our Creator?

    I don't deny that some people find comfort when partial truths are available, but I fully reject any claim to truth that does not include God, out Father in Heaven, our Creator, as the source of truth, including the right to tell us that marriage is only to be between a man and a woman, that sex outside of marriage is bit acceptable and that same-sex sex is also not allowed. Irregardless of the teachings of you favorite

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    May 9, 2014 11:51 a.m.

    @banderson -- Interesting list of how progressives view issues vs. how people of "common sense" view them. But the most interesting to me was that those with "common sense" believe that God wants you to own guns! Oh my.

  • Candied Ginger Brooklyn, OH
    May 8, 2014 9:55 p.m.


    "Families parented by same-sex couples are already socially constructive."

    Thanks, Tiago.

    Or come to Cleveland. My family is pretty socially constructive, and we are part of a small group of GLBT families that included blended families, natural families, and families formed by adoption. We also go to a UU church that has several SSM families.

    Mostly, the kids do well. When they don't, it is usually for the same reasons kids have problems in any family.

    And, a lot of LGBT couples adopt kids with "special needs" - that is code for "they have problems" and usually means they have been in the system for a while and may have a hard time. Some added stress, some added commitment.

    That is a lot of the reason we want to get married. We've had a commitment ceremony, but we want our family to have the legal protections and benefits that a family gets when there is a legal marriage.

  • Candied Ginger Brooklyn, OH
    May 8, 2014 9:48 p.m.

    Hi, Mike Richards

    "What "resonates"? Do the words of God, our Creator, "resonate", or would we rather listen to people who reject God for our "resonating words"?"

    For me, the Tao Te Ching resonates more than any other sacred work.

    The Tao Te Ching is at least 2,600 hundred years old and has been a critical part of Eastern culture for two millennia, deeply influencing government, art, and religion and general society. The 81 brief chapters contain teachings on living with wisdom and virtue, as well as describing interpersonal relations, the proper role of government, good leaders, and how to live with peaceful integrity.

    A famous Taoist painting depicts a Buddhist, a Confucianist, and a Taoist tasting vinegar from a large pot. The Buddhist finds the taste bitter, the Confucianist finds it sour. This reflects their general view of life. The Taoist is smiling, because the vinegar tastes exactly like it should, and is enjoyed for what it is at that moment.

    Taoists are not passive, we see the world as it is, and live in joy while we take the action we need to live with integrity.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    May 8, 2014 9:33 p.m.

    Tiago: There are some wonderful people living in Las Vegas too, right on the Strip. Do I want to raise my family on the Strip? No thanks! Seattle is a great place! I've been there many times! Not once did I think of married Gay People! You didn't help your cause!

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    May 8, 2014 8:56 p.m.

    @Meckofahess: "Laws should be enacted that promote this type of family structure."

    Now there is an idea. Laws will be passed that will "promote" a prescribed, government approved family structure. Those who do not meet the standards clearly do not want there children - if they did, they would meet the standards.

    Families that don't meet the standards will have their children removed and reassigned to families that do follow government designed protocols.

    Will inspections be quarterly? Annually? Will there be a mechanism for neighbors to report families not following protocol?

    This is a great idea. What could go wrong with a plan like this?

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    May 8, 2014 5:47 p.m.

    @Daniel L.
    Families parented by same-sex couples are already socially constructive. Come visit Seattle some time. You see gay families a lot here. Their kids are doing well in school, they go to church, they are just normal families doing a good job taking care of each other.
    Two people married and raising kids is healthy and good thing. Comparing it to smoking tobacc doesn't really work.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    May 8, 2014 4:30 p.m.

    Marxist: "whatever" doesn't seem to be working to well in our society! Perhaps you ought to look to principles that will bring stability to society.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 8, 2014 3:21 p.m.

    Thank you for being concerned about income inequality and unstable families. You are right that they go together.

    I disagree that making families more stable will fix the growing inequality with income and wealth. Piketty sees the dynamics of contemporary capitalism as being overpowering in their wealth concentration effects.

    You're right to emphasize families - they make life tolerable. But, your illustration showing the attractive couple and the two beaming kids shows your bias towards stereotypes - Dad brings home the bacon, Mom is a full time one, heterosexuals all. But different types of families work including SSM ones, and ones where women work outside the home - not all women want full time housework and child rearing. One parent needs to be assigned the care of kids - be it Dad, Mom, or one of 2 Moms or one of 2 Dads, or whatever.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 8, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    What "resonates"? Do the words of God, our Creator, "resonate", or would we rather listen to people who reject God for our "resonating words"?

    God told us that marriage is to be between a man and a woman. He told us that sex is only to be had within marriage. He told us to reject same-sex sex. He gave us the rules of happiness that He expects us to follow in our families, including Family Home Evening, where we can enjoy each other's company and work out scheduling and minor problems before there is a crisis.

    His rules for happiness support everything that the Deseret News wrote. His system is best. At times, death and disability change that perfect system, then, the extended family gets involved, aiding and assisting those who need attention and assistance.

    If God's doctrine does not "resonate", why would you expect a counterfeit system to be more correct?

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    May 8, 2014 3:00 p.m.

    Esquire. Income equality is impossible. No two people have the same work ethic, drives or intelligence! Some people will simply not work hard nor will they stay off drugs or not have children out of wedlock. The point of this research is that children born and raised in intact families do much better financially and every other way in life. No amount of welfare can change that as we have seen since the 1960's and trillions of taxpayer wealth transfers.

  • Daniel L. Murray, UT
    May 8, 2014 2:59 p.m.

    It is too bad that we live in a society that believes socially detrimental behaviors will somehow become socially constructive by the mere legalization of the behavior. To think that we can be free of the consequences of our behaviors by making it legal or illegal is a strange notion. For example - smoking tobacco is legal, and yet lung diseases have the audacity to plague smokers.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    May 8, 2014 2:00 p.m.

    Leave it to a Progressive to find a way to winnow around basic building blocks of a civil society, then want to use taxpayer money to fix societal problems!

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    May 8, 2014 1:43 p.m.

    Stable two parent (father & mother) families do produce positive results economically and in most all other metrics as the article correctly points out. Children who are unwanted by some families should be adopted by stable two parent (father & mother) couples which provides them the best opportunity to become happy and successful adults. Any other family structure is not the equal of this proven family structure. Laws should be enacted that promote this type of family structure.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    May 8, 2014 1:20 p.m.

    JoeC & SEY,

    The "size" of the government is a largely meaningless concept. Measured as a percentage of our GDP, however, total government spending spiked briefly as a result of the 2008 meltdown, but has dropped sharply since then and is projected to be flat for many years.

    Moreover, other governments have far higher spending as a fraction of their GDP than the US and yet they maintain a robust private sector economy _and_ provide better public education, healthcare and environmental protections than we do - all of which are relevant to maintaining strong families.

    Which of our two dominant political philosophies recognizes the importance of investing in a strong system of public education, healthcare, infrastructure? Which one rewards corporations who export their jobs to foreign lands and opposes efforts to ensure that our water supply is safe to drink?

    Which group prefers that fast food workers have to go on welfare to feed their families and seek healthcare through emergency room visits, instead of requiring employers to pay wages that keep full time workers out of poverty and make access to health insurance universally available?

    You don't think those different perspectives have a strong influence on the well-being of families?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 8, 2014 12:58 p.m.

    @ Thid, I read the editorial. But, there you go again. I won't repeat my request of you. The editorial makes some good points, but it is not the ultimate solution to income inequality as other commenters have noted. If that were the case, there would be no income disparity amongst stable families, LDS and not. No one is knocking stable families. It's just the premise is faulty, though it sounds good if unchallenged and not analyzed.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    May 8, 2014 12:49 p.m.


    If power corrupts, it sounds like you would be in favor of a much more aggressive stance on anti-trust? Monopoly or Oligopoly power is definitely a serious issue.

    Maybe if a company's revenues exceed $100 Million that means an automatic split?

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    May 8, 2014 12:49 p.m.

    @Mikhail 7:24 a.m. May 8, 2014

    To those of us who follow the Latter-Day Saint religious tradition, your comment has a very good chance of being persuasive and resonent. The problem comes from the fact that there is a very good chance that it would not resonate and not be convincing to those who follow other religious traditions or no tradition. I think everyone would agree that "Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of ... repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities" but would question the religious overtones from your comment.

    One thing to consider -- being a person of a particular faith is NOT necessary for maintaining and fostering a good marriage. The composition of the married couple (SS or OS) is not necessary for maintaining and fostering a good marriage. What is needed, and should be fostered, is the commitment of the partners to making their relationship work.

    Families are indeed a major component for overcoming economic inequality. It is therefore vital that ALL families get the support they need. That includes the right to be married regardless the composition or religion of the family.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    May 8, 2014 12:42 p.m.

    Of course stable families matter to income. But this editorial puts cart before horse. No family can be "stable" without income, and the opportunities for income have been steadily eroded in this country by conservative economic policies that lead to the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    May 8, 2014 12:24 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" I don't think you actually read the "Proclamation on the Economy". It is actually speaking out against socialism and other polticial collectivist ideals. It was actually an education for the LDS pioneers about investments and how to become wealthy. The proclamation also contained specific words dealing with interest and usery, which for a time were outlawed. Brigham Young was working to overcome the government regulations that were creating the economic divide. If you read the entire document, you find that it was quite the sermon on the evils of big government and how it benefits a few.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    May 8, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    Esquire. Read the article and think about the research behind it. It will enlighten you mind!

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    May 8, 2014 11:27 a.m.

    @Blue Why do Democrats continue to vote for people who believe that every solution involves a centralized government, more regulations, greater taxation, and more programs that fix all human problems (but only make them bigger and longer lasting)?

    Conservatives (and I don't believe that all Republicans qualify for that classification) believe that homes and communities better solve problems that involve groups of people, that a strong moral culture provides more of everything, that people should be responsible and accountable for their own choices (otherwise there is no learning curve), and that centralized government creates more problems - resulting in more economic disparity, classicism, and in less freedom.

    Liberals, Progressives (who are mostly Democrats, but includes some Republicans) are the ones that support policies that break down the opportunities and damage the family - being more interested in their own elitist attitude and power games.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    May 8, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    Issue Progressive Common Sense
    Abortion A women has a right It is wrong
    SSM They have a right Something is amiss
    Welfare pity self-sufficiency
    Economic system Socialism/Communism Free markets
    2nd Amendment Granted by government Granted by God
    1st Amendment Only Politically Correct opinions Free expression
    War Appeasement War is wrong!(There is a difference!)
    Education Common Core(All children the same)Kids are individuals
    Government Only government has the answers Individuals have the answers
    God Look to others to solve problems Look to God
    Religion Nothing has Pre-eminence Religion placed on a pedestal
    Individual As defined by the state As defined by God
    Neighbor Taken care of by government Say hello to every morning
    Sovereignty What? rightful status, independence,or
    Supreme Court Supreme Law of the land We the people
    Constitution Needs change for changing times Made for a moral people

    I could go on! You get the point!

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    May 8, 2014 9:43 a.m.

    LDS Liberal,

    I've read what your "prophets" have said about socialism. I'm not LDS, but I do stand with your prophets on many issues and would think that LDS people stand with their prophets on all issues.

    Prophet Benson said that Communism is "satan's counterfeit system" and that "Communism is a System Antithetical to the Gospel of Christ"

    Once again, I stand with Mormon prophets, and I'm not even Mormon!

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 8, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    The reason for the rise in inequality is the declining share of income going to workers and the rising share going to the hyper-wealthy. End of story.

    Stable families are great and are an important factor in eliminating poverty, but it will do nothing to lessen inequality as long as a greater and greater share of GDP keeps getting funneled away from workers and into the pockets of the super-rich.

  • John Brown 1000 Laketown, UT
    May 8, 2014 9:22 a.m.

    Thank you, DN. Someone needs to stand up and point out these glaring facts.

    BTW, folks, this wasn't a study about the 1%.

    This was a study looking at correlations across large populations, all of which have to deal with the same political environment.

    Two-parent families correlate to better results on all sorts of things from income mobility to anti-social behavior etc.

    Mobility also means mobility. This means poor becoming richer and rich. You want to help the poor become rich in our current environment? Looks like one major way to do that is to support two-parent families.

  • vangroovin West Jordan, UT
    May 8, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    I place great faith in the following quote from Elder Theodore M. Burton:

    “God’s way is the way to solve our political, moral, ethical, even our financial problems. The way of the Lord can eliminate wars, riots, discrimination, suffering, and starvation. What the world then needs is direction from a true prophet who, knowing the mind and the will of God, can speak in his name with power and authority and say, ‘Thus saith the Lord!’”

    There is a prophet on the earth today, Thomas S. Monson. If we listen to him and follow the counsel we receive, we’ll know the mind and the will of the Lord and our problems will eventually be resolved.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    May 8, 2014 8:37 a.m.

    Blue: First you said, "Moreover, we know beyond any doubt that this rigging of the economy to favor the "1%" is wholly intentional; a cynical, deliberate manipulation of tax laws and economic policies implemented by a GOVERNMENT that has been bought by the hyper-wealthy exclusively for the benefit of the hyper-wealthy."

    You then ask why Utah voters vote for Republicans. My question to you, is why do you vote for Democrats? If you acknowledge that a corrupt government is the cause of this rigged government, why do you support a party that advocates an even larger, more powerful government?

    Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. The only solution to our problems is to reduce the size and scope of government. Until some of the power is taken away from them (both sides of the aisle), they will continue to push the limits of corruption. If you want to fight the "hyper-wealthy", then take away what their money currently will buy them in government.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 8, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    @ Thid, please, no more slogans and belittling. We know where you stand, but I sure wish we could get some substantive arguments. Social programs have made an enormous contributions to millions and been beneficial overall. Certainly they have not solved every problem, but doing nothing would be far worse. Parroting the talking points of the billionaires who control the GOP serves no purpose and is not constructive in the least.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    May 8, 2014 8:18 a.m.

    LDS Liberal. The LDS church teaches self reliance, not socialism! Go figure!

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    May 8, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    Blue, you came so close to the best response yet, but it deteriorated into hackneyed partisanship like so often happens here. It's not just the Republicans who are to blame. It's the political class aligned with recipients of political largesse who are creating this criminal disparity. Democrats and Republicans both have their hands dirty in the scheme.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 8, 2014 8:12 a.m.

    My 2nd thought on the matterr ---

    This article is the Tail wagging the Dog.

    If the #1 cause of Divorce and creating the un-Stable family is a poor economy,
    then the 1% shoudl be doing more to with their vast fortunes in promoting sustainable wages for Husbands and Fathers, Healthcare for their Families, and Retirement or when they are old.

    Instead -- they offload, outsource, and off shore their jobs to further increase their insane wealth,
    and the 99% - who HAVE the families - have no where else to turn but the Government.

    The LDS 1st Presidency's "Proclamation on the Economy" addresses this spot on -- but since it hints at Socialism, the far-right completely rejects it.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    May 8, 2014 8:07 a.m.

    If the theory is solid, put it into law. Legislate stable families by eliminating divorce. Stable doesn't mean happy. It is a state of not being easily changed.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    May 8, 2014 7:59 a.m.

    The original study states:

    "We caution that all of the findings in this study are correlational and cannot be interpreted as causal effects"

    Although there were correlations between rates of single mothers and upward mobility there were many other factors that correlated to upward mobility, such as race, size of the existing middle class, early educational policies, and even geographic location.

    I think that this editorial cherry picks a few factors, and draws unwarranted conclusions.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    May 8, 2014 7:49 a.m.

    We can either actually solve the problem or we can just keep on wasting trillions in taxpayer money with welfare programs that only exacerbate the problems.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    May 8, 2014 7:44 a.m.

    It has never been a secret that financial stress is a hugely toxic factor to stable families. Whether it's medical bills or dealing with unemployment, nothing hammers a family like money problems.

    We're swimming in research data that show, clearly, repeatedly and powerfully, that the economic environment for poor and middle class American families has been increasingly tilted to their disadvantage and to the advantage of they hyper-wealthy.

    Moreover, we know beyond any doubt that this rigging of the economy to favor the "1%" is wholly intentional; a cynical, deliberate manipulation of tax laws and economic policies implemented by a government that has been bought by the hyper-wealthy exclusively for the benefit of the hyper-wealthy.

    So my question to those Utahns who fret, justifiably, about the deteriorating state of the American family is this - why do you continue to vote for the same Republican politicians who so consistently demonstrate that they support tax laws and public policies that are aggressively hostile to the interests of average, wage-earning American families?

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    May 8, 2014 7:30 a.m.

    I think I understand where the DN is coming from on this:

    The atomic family, where dad works outside the home, mom works mostly inside the home, and where there is abundant resources for the kids to focus on school until after they graduate from high school, is the best way to counter the concentration of wealth and income in our economy.

    This makes good sense, and it works pretty well if dad has a stable, well-paying career.

    But it starts to unravel as dad gets bounced out of his career by economic forces far beyond his control, which forces him to take multiple lower paying jobs, and mom has to work outside the home, too, and then who is watching the kids?

    I see it across the street from me. Dad loses self-respect as his former career is nicely handled by machines or people in India, he works odd hours doing odd jobs. Mom admits the pressure is tremendous, there is yelling and fighting, church helps, but the kids are getting the message that unless you marry into wealth, having a family is a daunting prospect.

    Marry into wealth and stay married.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    May 8, 2014 7:24 a.m.

    Surely it could also be said that stable family economies promote stable family structures.

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    May 8, 2014 7:24 a.m.

    I suppose that if Marxist can quote Paul Krugman as an authority, I would submit that the following quote is more authentic and has proven itself over the ages to be a far superior summary of the issue that those who advocate that the exception should become the rule are willing to accept.

    "THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities."

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 8, 2014 7:21 a.m.

    ‘In our opinion: Stable families are the key to overcoming income inequality’


    The Deseret News believes that the 1% income represent stable Families,
    [Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, OJ Simpson, Hugh Hefner?]

    whilst the 99% of us represent "unstable" families?
    [the rest of us]

    I seriously beg to differ.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 8, 2014 6:39 a.m.

    " ... progressives seeking to improve income equality should ally with conservatives promoting marriage."

    Conservatives should ally with progressives in promoting marriage equality as this will increase the number of stable families by including stable LGBT families in the number.

  • Hugh1 Denver, CO
    May 8, 2014 5:15 a.m.

    The author articulates rather eloquently the argument for marriage equality. Ironic.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    May 8, 2014 4:47 a.m.

    If people really believe that "stable families are the key to overcoming income inequality" then they should support both opposite-sex marriage and same-sex marriage. There are a lot of children in families headed by same-sex couples. Those children could really benefit if their parents were allowed to marry.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    May 8, 2014 2:44 a.m.

    I am glad to see the DN promoting marriage, for the benefit and success of children.

    I hope this means that the DN has finally come around on understanding that the Gay couples who adopt the children others do not want should marry and raise those kids in stability.

    I hope it does not mean that we should pretend that broken people in troubled situations are somehow magically going to avoid having kids until married.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 8, 2014 12:15 a.m.

    To quote Paul Krugman, New York Times, "...what’s really new about “Capital [in the 21st Century]” is the way it demolishes that most cherished of conservative myths, the insistence that we’re living in a meritocracy in which great wealth is earned and deserved."

    You assert that stable families are the key to overcoming income inequality. By that you must mean that the reason for the increasingly top heavy distributions of income and wealth is unstable families. According to economist R.D. Wolff:

    "Piketty’s mastery of the dynamics of economic inequality leads him to conclude that, barring a major wildcard or sustained, aggressive state interventions, the economic system of the developed world is primed to deliver ever greater returns to capital over the next few decades (at least), and relatively lower returns to labor."

    So it would appear that the best we can say for your argument is that stable families certainly will help, but they in no way can be a fix.