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Weekly Digest: Parenting in America Today
Welcome to my weekly digest for February 10, 2023.
For new subscribers, this contains a roundup of my recent writings and podcasts, as well as links to the best articles from around the web this week. You can control what emails you get from me by visiting your account page.
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My main monthly newsletter comes out on Monday.
Parenting in America Today
The Pew Research Center is out with a new survey on parenting in America today. Here are some highlights.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and amid reports of a growing youth mental health crisis, four-in-ten U.S. parents with children younger than 18 say they are extremely or very worried that their children might struggle with anxiety or depression at some point. In fact, mental health concerns top the list of parental worries, followed by 35% who are similarly concerned about their children being bullied.
When asked about their aspirations for their children when they reach adulthood, parents prioritize financial independence and career satisfaction. Roughly nine-in-ten parents say it’s extremely or very important to them that their children be financially independent when they are adults, and the same share say it’s equally important that their children have jobs or careers they enjoy. About four-in-ten (41%) say it’s extremely or very important to them that their children earn a college degree, while smaller shares place a lot of importance on their children eventually becoming parents (20%) and getting married (21%).
In a nod to the adage about family life that parenting is the hardest job in the world, most parents (62%) say being a parent has been at least somewhat harder than they expected, with about a quarter (26%) saying it’s been a lot harder. This is especially true of mothers, 30% of whom say being a parent has been a lot harder than they expected (compared with 20% of fathers).
Click over to read the whole thing.
The Bloom Is Off the City of Roses
Portland was the city every other midsized city in America wanted to be 15 years ago. Fear of losing their young people to Portland loomed large in the mind of many American civic leaders. Today, the bloom is off the city of roses, and its population is actually in decline. While I’m sure Portland will muddle through, their problems today show that even the most advantaged places can be hit by bad governance.
A couple of recent articles highlight the issues with Portland. One is from the Seattle Times, which sees Portland as a cautionary tale for its northern neighbor.
Looking down I-5 at struggling Portland lately, it’s been hard not to wonder if we’re seeing a harbinger of sorts for our own city. Our littler sister city has been careening far ahead of us in grown-up, post-pandemic urban problems. And also in how bluntly it has begun talking about how the bloom has come off the Rose City.
“Portland has switched from attracting new arrivals to repelling its current citizens,” one news outlet wrote this past week. “In Portland, many liberals are dodging stray bullets, losing catalytic converters to thieves and sidestepping tents. Then they open their tax bills.” “Everybody hates Portland,” headlined a harsh roundup last year, which quoted a local congressman saying: “Portland is broken.”
These were not from right-wing blogs or national Fox News. The latter was from Oregon Public Broadcasting, with the congressman the city’s own liberal stalwart Rep. Earl Blumenauer.
Every bad trend Seattle has been struggling with is arguably worse down in Portland. Last year Portland had twice as many homicides as Seattle, and about 4,000 more car thefts (11,000 versus 7,000), in a city with 100,000 fewer residents. It also has an estimated 800 homeless encampments.
And Willamette Week, Portland’s alt-weekly, wrote about the people who are leaving Portland.
The old saying is a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged. In Portland, many liberals are dodging stray bullets, losing catalytic converters to thieves, and sidestepping tents. Then they open their tax bills. Maybe they aren’t voting Republican. But some are voting with their feet, getting the hell out of a city that once stole their hearts, driven away as taxes rise and quality of life declines.
Multnomah County has lost residents for the past three years, according to Portland State University’s Population Research Center. Before 2020, it hadn’t lost people since 1987, and that was just a one-year blip in an upward run that began in 1984.
“I’ve never seen money move out of here,” Peterson says. “Nobody ever wanted to leave Oregon. It’s a beautiful place. Most evacuees are high-wage earners who are fed up with the crime, taxes and homelessness, in that order. There’s an ugly spiral.” The exodus includes names with cachet in Portland’s most exclusive clubs.
Click over to read the whole thing.
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Best of the Web
Daily Mail: Should brain dead women be kept 'alive' and used as SURROGATES? - Tomorrow’s insanity previewed today.
Rob Henderson: All the single ladies
WSJ: Child Care Hasn’t Recovered From Covid, Keeping Many Parents at Home - What this shows, once again, is that most jobs don’t generate enough economic value to cover the cost of child care, even with the child care is implicitly subsidized through very low, sub-living wages for child care workers.
Joseph Holmes: Why Does Hollywood Think We Live in A Dystopia?
Vox: Your stuff is actually worse now - Not true of everything, but definitely true of many things.
The Social Pathologist writes about modernism and the collapse of Protestantism.
The "health" of modernity is in many ways then a reflection of the health of Protestantism and this is why the collapse of " traditional" Protestantism has been the greatest western calamity of the 20th Century. The bottom line is that that Christian guardians of Modernity are no longer there. It is the corruption of these particularly Mainline strands of Protestantism--to which the senior bourgeois belonged-- which is the mechanism by which the modern world became de-Christianised: Christianity meaning Christianity in a "traditional" sense. As Mainline Protestantism de-Christianised so did the upper managerial classes, who took their moral instruction from it.
New Content and Media Mentions
My three worlds model got a mention in First Things. I was also referenced in this European Conservative interview with Jake Meador. And I got yet another kind mention from Joel Carini. Richard Ostling follows-up on a point I made about evangelicals’ second class status in conservatism.
New this week:
He Gets Us May Be Flawed, But Is Aimed at the Right Target (paid only) - in which I discuss the need for pre-apologetics for evangelism, and what’s unique about that in the negative world.
My podcast this week is about the implications of the cultural bifurcation of the middle and upper middle classes. Paid subscribers can read the transcript.
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