William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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RUBIO'S HIT – AT 11:32 A.M. ET:  Senator Marco Rubio of Florida gave a remarkable speech recently at the Reagan Library.  African-American journalist Star Parker reflects on it, in a column that has direct relevance to the horror story we reported just below.  From Townhall.com:

Senator Rubio took a bold step beyond looking at our problems just as an accountant.

He suggested that we cannot separate our budget from our culture. The culture of government has displaced the culture of personal responsibility.

I have been making the point for years regarding what the welfare state culture has done in our black communities. How it has created a permanent underclass, defined by family breakdown, sexual promiscuity, disease, and crime.

American culture has changed profoundly over these years that Americans have come to increasingly believe that government social engineering can solve life’s problems and challenges.

A snapshot of today’s American family shows how much things have changed, even compared to 1981 when President Reagan took office.

Since 1980, the percentage of babies in America born to unwed mothers has doubled, from 20 percent to 40 percent.

Fifty two percent of Americans over the age of 18 are married today, compared to 72 percent in 1960.

Among blacks, 44% of the population over 18 has never been married, compared to 17% in 1960.

Sixty four percent of American children today live in a home with two married parents, compared with 75 percent in 1980 and 87 percent in 1960.

And, according to the Pew Research Center, 44 percent of those between ages of 18 to 29 “agree marriage is becoming obsolete.”

We used to be a nation, as Senator Rubio pointed out, where parents raised and cared for children, then those children cared for their aging parents. Where neighbors cared for neighbors.

We might note that the welfare state idea is not an American invention but an import from Europe. We also might note that about 20 percent of Europeans attend church regularly, half that of Americans.

Europe is characterized today by low birth rates – so low that they are not replacing themselves – and high unemployment rates. The unemployment rate in France has hovered between 8 and 11 percent over the last 25 years.

We must wonder if even we can take on our fiscal problems, if traditional American family life can be restored, and if we believe it even matters.

It is to Senator Rubio’s considerable credit that he has stood up to argue that we must look at the picture of our nation in its entirety. That we cannot separate our budget matters and our attitude toward government from our overall culture and our personal behavior.

COMMENT:  Well said, and another reason why Marco Rubio should be advanced rapidly in the Republican Party.  He may be young, but he has wisdom beyond his years.  Barack Obama was also young when he ran for president, but he has the wisdom of a 20-year-old.

September 5, 2011