Marriage and Restoring the Work Ethic: Solutions to Poverty & Unemployment Dale L. Shumway

       Ah, yes marriage! That crucial ingredient—cornerstone of man and the gods. Will it survive in this goofy time, when everything is right, and a right; and, almost nothing is wrong. The good news is that all we Grandpa’s worship traditional marriage and have wives that feel reasonably serene sitting across the breakfast table from us each morning.
  The bad family news is that some Grandpas have a child or grandchild, over 25, who need to participate in that great event known as a wedding. Possibly we should bring all those lacking a romantic partner to BYU’s Marriott Center, lock them inside, and not let them leave until they are matched or mated.

          Some of the economics of our country, particularly for the single folk, will even make men like Hercules weep. As we begin 2014 the Labor Department reports that a stunning 92 million of our citizens aren’t holding a job—aren’t working.

          Let’s talk about marriage and money. Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist from NYU has written a book featuring research about decreasing marriage rates in our country, named Going Solo. “About 22 per cent of American adults were single in 1950; today in 2012 more than 50 per cent of adults are single.” Wow! That number certainly isn’t true in our community, but it could be accurate nationwide.

Other confound statistics indicate that in families headed by two parents in 2012 the poverty rate was 7.5%,but in families headed by a single mother the rate jumps to 33.9% Female headed families are growing in our country as a Heritage Foundation study found that 28.6% of children  born to white mothers were out of wedlock; for Hispanics, 52.5%, and for African-Americans 73.3%.

Marriage makes a big difference as the poverty rates among white married couples was 3.2%, while among Anglo non-married families the rate was 22%. Among Black married families the poverty rate was 7%, while among Black non-marrieds it was 36%.

How important is a great education in enhancing our grandkids marriage prospects and financial security?  Research by Charles Murray shows that college educated young people marry at an 84 % rate while those who are less educated marry at about 48 per cent. University of Virginia research show that children from intact marriages are far more likely to attend and graduate from college, earn higher wages than those from broken homes.

In 1996 President Bill Clinton and Republican Newt Gingrich worked together  to legislate the need for those receiving Welfare Assistance to seek and begin working again. And Welfare rolls declined by one half within five years. Sadly, the Obama administration has removed most of these go to work requirements.

Today a person may receive Unemployment benefits for 47 months, almost a year. And, the president and congress want to extend these benefits. Amazingly, the Deseret News, in a January 2, 2014 editorial also urged an extension of these benefits. Possibly, they were deceived. How do I dare make such a challenge? Let’s look at what North Carolina has recently done. They dramatically cut the amount of cash jobless folks receive, and they also reduced the number of weeks that their citizens could receive these benefits. What happened? The unemployment rate fell within months. By last November North Carolina’s unemployment was at a five year low.

In summary, we family loving folks should emphasize the joys and financial benefits of family, of  being married, teaching our grandkids to work, and that in our state and nationally, all federal and state handouts should be as temporary as possible.Our citizens also need to re-kindle the old-fashioned Puritan work-ethic that made our country great.

A Grandpa Looks at the “War on Poverty Dale L. Shumway


Yakov Smirnof, the Russian Comedian, who migrated from Russia and truly loves our country, after mentioning a positive experience, often says, “What a country!” Yes, what a country indeed, to choose 50 years ago, under President Lyndon Johnson, to attempt to defeat poverty—to make life better for all the monetary less fortunate. Has any other country in our world ever made such a noble attempt?

In this gallant “war” approximately 20 billion dollars have been expended from our  treasury to assist the less fortunate. New programs have been implemented like Head Start which includes both schooling and a free meal for the very young; new government benefits have been enacted like the Supplemental Nutrition Program or WIC aiding women, infants, & children. And, we hear a great deal about the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) commonly called the food stamp program

Yes, our government has been committed fully to the effort. Not long ago they offered free cell phones to all the poor and we are aware that many government grants, which do not have to be repaid are available. For example, for the poor, there are grants to start or expand a business; personal assistance grants offering free dental care, or free daycare for the working parent; housing or real estate finances offering inexpensive housing, rent subsidies, help with energy bills, and big discounts for the first time home buyer; Also, grants for tuition and college attendance are available. Additionally, the government offers on the job training and unemployment benefits that continue for several years.

Because of the compassion of American citizens and the US government it would appear that a motivated citizen would need to be a real laggard or drone to remain in poverty.

This is Grandpa’s Voice

This is Grandpasvoice, a place where we six grandpas, with a combined life experience of almost 500 years, will talk about today’s world, as seen through our eyes.   Our number includes an oft-published author, an expert on native American culture and history, a biologist/poet, an engineer,a builder and a judge.

Our mission is to put forth our impressions on how those of you with life expectancies greater than ours might find a small grain of thought that may help you make the world just a little bit better.     We remember the first words spoken by Astronaut Neil Armstrong as his feet first touched the surface of the moon: “That’s one small step for man….”  We believe it has always been one step, followed by another, then another, that has brought us to where we are today.  But we also recognize there have been, and will continue to be, steps in directions that do not represent progress in humankind.  We hope to do our part to minimize those kinds of missteps.

We welcome your comments, your thoughts, and your opposing views.  We’re all old, maybe a little grumpy.  We will do our best to not even get a little testy if we perceive incivility in comments, because we want this to be a place people can visit without feeling threatened by ridicule of their ideas.   The old comic strip, Li’l Abner included a character named Mammy Yokum, who said “Good is better than evil, because it’s nicer. ”   We want everybody to be able to talk about good and evil, but to be nice about how we do so.”


Affectionately,   The Six Grandpas

Ed Pinegar      Dale Shumway           Clive Jorgensen

Jim Wright     Russ Gale                    Claude Hubbard