Tag Archives: Family

Silent House, by Hardscrabble Farmer

A beautifully written article about families and relationships in the age of Covid. From Hardscrabble Farmer at theburningplatform.com:

I got the call that my cousin had passed just after dark. I had been butchering a hog all day by myself and I was tired and needed a shower, but all I could think of was reaching out to his sons. My younger cousin had been looking after him for the last two years as he slowly disappeared into his dementia and I knew how hard this was going to hit him. I made the call from the bedroom in the dark and stood up against the windows looking out at the leafless trees and distant, rolling hills enveloped in a lead-colored mist.

I hadn’t spoken to him since the last family funeral- we are ten years part and by the time I was heading out into the world he was just hitting middle school- and so we never really bonded closely, but we were familiars to one another over the span of our own lives, family. The phone rang half a dozen times and then went to voice mail so I began to leave my heartfelt condolences. After a few halting words that sounded stiff, the phone picked up and I heard his voice across the distant miles and months between us, desperate and broken.

I repeated what I had just said into the void a moment earlier and then he began to speak, not really to me at first, just a torrent of anguish and grief that rambled on from the horrible treatment of the hospital and worse yet the insurance syndicate and the various agents of Medicare and Medicaid and their endless abuses, to the deep and profound loss he had just experienced, and the sudden hole that had just been left in the middle of his life.

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Decline of the Family, by Jim Quinn

From Jim Quinn at theburningplatform.com:

The chart below captures much of what has gone wrong in this country since 1970. Households in 1970 looked entirely different than households today. In 1970, almost 71% of all households consisted of married couples. Today, only 50% of all households are occupied by married couples. The divorce rate prior to 1970 ranged between 9 and 11 per 1,000 married women. After 1970 the divorce rate skyrocketed by 100% to between 20 and 23 per 1,000 married women.

In 1970 46% of two parent households had a stay at home mom. Only 33% of mothers worked full-time in 1970. That was true because a family could live a decent middle class life on one salary. In 1970 31% of all the jobs in the country were higher paying goods production jobs. Today, only 10% of jobs are goods producing jobs. The shift from a country based upon saving and production to a services oriented nation based on debt based consumption is reflected in the chart.

The primary reason the percentage of mom’s working full time has risen from 33% to 52% is the fateful decision by Richard Nixon to close the gold window in 1971, allowing central bankers to print money, create relentless inflation (83% loss in purchasing power of USD), promoting the financialization of America by Wall Street, and encouraged politicians to promise voters goodies they can never deliver without the ability to run up the national debt without a seeming consequence.

To continue reading: Decline of the Family