Monday, 21 October 2019

Is social conservatism essential for a strong society?

The more you look at the actual sociological data (rather than the dominant ideological clap-trap) the more it seems that social conservatism is the essential glue needed for that strong, stable society we crave for. Maybe Harinam & Henderson are selective in their data for this article but it makes a compelling case.

Go to church.
But why do some areas exhibit higher rates of upward mobility than others? For Carney, social capital is the key. Places with more civic activity, regardless of income, have more upward mobility. In fact, Chetty, calculating an area’s “social capital” score, found a strong correlation between civic activity and upward mobility, with religiosity (e.g. going to church) leading the way. Both white working-class and black inner-city neighbourhoods lack the civic institutions that allow for upward mobility. Furthermore, research suggests that a 15% increase in the proportion of people who think others are trustworthy raises income per person by 1%.
Take personal responsibility and follow the 'success sequence'- "graduate from high school, work full-time, and not have children outside of marriage"
According to Haskins and Sawhill, individuals in families that adhered to the success sequence had a 98 percent chance of escaping poverty. By contrast, 76 percent of those that did not adhere to any of these norms were poor. In a 2003 analysis of census data, the authors demonstrated that had the poor followed the success sequence, the U.S. poverty rate would have fallen by more than 70 percent.
Support the family and marriage
Whereas 8 percent of children born to married parents end up in poverty as adults, 27 percent of children born to unmarried parents live as impoverished adults. According to a study by social scientists Robert Lerman, Joseph Price, and Brad Wilcox, “Youths who grow up with both biological parents earn more income, work more hours each week, and are more likely to be married themselves as adults, compared to children raised in single-parent families.”
The authors report that not only does controlling for family make-up pretty much eliminate differences between races but that the single best thing to reduce social pathologies like depression, alcoholism, suicide, IV drug use, and domestic violence is to cut the rates of child abuse. And child abuse is dramatically higher where children are born outside marriage.

It's one article and I'm sure there's plenty to question but it matches the work on child and young people of Robert Putnam as well as robust evidence on how social stability benefits the less well off far more than it does us well-connected middle-class folk. What is very clear, however, is that the collapse in traditional families sits right at the heart of the problems we see in inner-city communities. And it's no surprise that, for these communities, the people who look to escape a world of poverty, violence and drugs turn to the stability of the church as pretty much the sole wholesome thing on offer.

I am mixed on the matter of social conservatism given its association with anti-gay messages and a traditional, essentially subservient role for women. But the argument here is compelling - finishing school, getting a job and keeping a job, getting married and staying married is still the best route out of poverty. Our social policies should, therefore, focus on supporting these outcomes - well-funded schools with good discipline and a focus on outcomes, real support for people in work aimed at keeping them in work and a substantive and genuine commitment to reward marriage.



Mark Wadsworth said...

Well I am as socially liberal as the next man, but sticking to The Basic Rules seems to work best in practice.

I am as dull as ditch water when it comes to personal decisions. Finish school, finish your training-apprenticeship-university-whatever, get a job, get married, have kids, stay married, pay off the mortgage, all that nonsense. Worked well for me.

Stewart Cowan said...

You want "social conservatism, but" (let's call it).

The Creator told us how to live, and you mention the various aspects, which is why these people are more successful in life, but then you drift off into PC madness which, of course, is the antithesis of S.C. and a destructive force.

Homosexual activists didn't want equality, they wanted to be in control, and the phoney conservatives even gave them a bastardised form of 'marriage'. You can't change society to please 1.5% of the population. It's not fair.

Women are not subservient in the churches I used to go to. The stronger the faith, the stronger the women. These modern women who swear like dockers, sleep around and don't know what they want - i.e. feminists - are the weak-willed women.

If you want S.C. you don't tell kids it's normal to be LGBT or that they can change their gender. As soon as you let PC enter into things, you're finished, because it grows like leylandii and smothers your social conservatism.