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Family Values and the Economy

Via Glenn, I read an article¬†about boomerang kids, and how the economy is affecting young people. Neither Bitter nor I are boomerang kids, but Bitter moved up here partly due to the job situation, and we’re certainly putting off marriage because of the poor economy. Because we’re putting off marriage, child rearing isn’t even really on the radar right now, and I’m not exactly a spring chicken. If the economy doesn’t improve in the next few years, having kids will hinge upon whether or not I want to put a child through college in my 60s. If social conservatives are serious about promoting “family values” they can start by joining us in restraining the Leviathan that our federal government is turning into, which is infecting and sucking the life out of not only our economy, but our private lives. No matter how you look at it, it takes money to start a family, and everywhere I look I see the government looking for ways to make sure I have less of it. That’s not promoting family values, that’s destroying it. It’s doing more to harm the institution of marriage and family far more than any gay wedding ever could. Social conservatives need to start reexamining their demons if they are serious about promoting marriage and family life.

18 Responses to “Family Values and the Economy”

  1. Thirdpower says:

    I’m sure you’ve looked into it but financially you’ld probably be better off getting married as you increase your tax deductions by filing jointly. I’ve met several people that were separated but stayed married just due to those benefits.

  2. Sebastian says:

    Does that matter if you itemize? I haven’t taken the standard deduction for a while now.

  3. Joe Huffman says:

    Haven’t you heard? You just go ahead and have the kids. It’s the government’s job to feed, shelter, clothe, and educate them. And medical care–it’s a right you know.

    • Bitter says:

      Joe, you’ve hit upon the next biggest factor making me question kids. Seriously, I don’t know that I want to bring kids into the picture if they are going to live in a mostly government-controlled world. I realize that this country has survived many other changes in the past, and many other generations have survived well enough. But if we’re headed toward the government taking over even larger chunks of the economy, I’m not sure I’d be bringing kids into a better life than I enjoyed. And that just doesn’t seem right.

  4. Thirdpower says:

    I used to itemize and found the standard deduction to be higher after I got married. That’s w/ our incomes though.

    Have you tried running your numbers filing separately and jointly?

  5. Sebastian says:

    I have not. The main financial issue with getting married is the fact that anything other than a quickie wedding at a JoP tends to be rather costly, even for a small wedding.

  6. Martini says:

    Sebastian and Bitter,
    If you want to get married, get married, if it’s the right decision you will be glad you did instead of waiting. There are ways to do it inexpensively. JoP is just one and not a bad one. Second, if you want kids have them. There will Never be a good time and you will always want to be more prepared but you will run out of time. Trust me on that one.

  7. persiflage says:

    Sebastian, I’m 60 and have a freshmen in college. The key is to be frugal and save a college nest egg for the kid – enough to “help” them through the first Bachelor’s degree or four years (whichever comes first!), but not enough to pay their whole way. After that, they’re on their own – they need to know this information from their Freshman year in High School.
    Don’t fret about the age – Sixty is the new 50! Maybe in the next ten years it will be the new 40 – you may never grow any older!
    On a more serious note, a wise man told me never to make life plans based on the tax consequences – Congress can (and probably will) change the tax code at times you cannot anticipate. Live your life. You’re adaptive – you’ll get by.

  8. Andy says:

    It isn’t just you, there’s also her. Pregnancy and childbirth get harder as we get older, despite modern medicine.

    My brother in law is 60, one kid at 22 and another at 17. While I’m sure he would like a lessor financial worry, he wouldn’t trade them for anything. I started at 33, and sometimes I wish I had started a few years earlier, I remind myself that I might not have gotten the kids I have now and suddenly I can find that needed bit of energy.

    It can be done. Others have done it with less, with success.

  9. Thirdpower says:

    You’ld be surprised how even a frugal wedding can be nice. Especially now people won’t expect extravagance and a small, intimate wedding of only family and close friends can be had for less the $1k easy.

    You could also do a JoP wedding for legalities and do a formal one at a later date.

  10. Anon says:

    I got married when I was still in college, didn’t have $100 to my name. Kids came, any money is gone before I have any.

    Financially sound before kids is really a silly idea they take all you have and then some.

    … and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

  11. Sebastian says:

    I have seven years on her. She still has some child bearing years left :)

  12. Rob K says:

    You might not have a government permission slip, but you’re married already. Get the government permission slip so you can get the the benefits, and put off the “public declaration of commitment” ceremony until later.

    • Bitter says:

      I’ll go ahead and put a stop to the “get married now” comments. There are valid arguments to do it, but I’m not a big fan for a number of reasons. First, we’d still have to have some kind of ceremony or my mom and probably his aunt would kill us. Believe me, it would not be pleasant. Second, I know several people who have intended to go that route, but then they never actually had the ceremony part. Again, we go back to people who would kill us. Third, I’m kind of in love with one particular location that costs a pretty big chunk of change & really want to give that a shot. Any short term gains would be minor compared to a) us being dead and b) waiting just a little longer.

  13. JohnW says:

    Ha. College? I’m in my 60s and have a son in junior high, the little money-sucker. Cry me a river.

  14. Sebastian says:

    JohnW:

    I truly feel for you :) My father is in his early 60s as well, and I can’t imagine him having a kid in college at this point.

  15. Joe Huffman says:

    Bitter,

    My response was much too long for a comment.

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