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From all this scientific jazz I’ve learn that people are not necessarily having fewer children; they are simply less inclined to be married due economic reasons.
As cohabitation and out-of-wedlock births increase among the broader population, social scientists predict that marriage with children will continue its decades-long retreat into relatively high-income exclusivity.
In this generally interesting article, phrases like “the elite? and “marry down? (regarding class) brought to mind a more separated, gilded era of upper- and lower-class citizens, which was disturbing at best. Similar to income, education level, and domicile type, it is clear that trends in family structure can be correlated to class. However, I don’t think it is necessary to juxtapose images of luxurious married couples and struggling cohabiting singles.
It is hardly coincidence that the two examples in this article illustrate extreme scenarios. The married couple lives with their grade-school-aged son in a gated community and their combined income is easily $300,000. The young, cohabitating couple in the article lives with a parent; they can’t afford their own place due to a combined income of less than $20,000. Citing earlier failed marriages and observed unhappiness in their parents’ marriages, the couple “cannot imagine getting married? One partner even stated, “Marriage ruins life”? The contrast of the two cases effectively illustrates the article’s point, but their disparity is grating to me. Given the right examples, wouldn’t it be possible to “prove? anything?
In any case, I still find the point of the article interesting, even if the language distracted me. The idea that marriage might be an unaffordable luxury is intriguing; does the perceived expense assume that the marriage may not last? Or is it the wedding itself? Does the combination of incomes and cost of living fail to offset these variable costs? If this article is accurate, then the costs associated with children can be discounted, so I am unsure of the elements that make up a “luxury? marriage.
For what it’s worth, I’m pretty happy with the non-luxury model of marriage.
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