Who could have predicted this? Well, someone did.

Who could have predicted this? Well, someone did.

The city of Chicago hit something of a record in May of 2016, but it’s not one they’re proud of. If we’re really concerned about what’s going on there, we need to have all the facts at our disposal, and we need to consider that perhaps doing more of the same will only get us more of the same.

A “prophet” made a prediction back in the 1990s, and now we’re here seeing that, yes, he was right. But will people listen to his advice (which, to be honest, wasn’t original with him), or are we too set in our ways to change?

Mentioned links:

Fatal shooting of boy, 15, closes deadliest May in Chicago in 21 years

20 years later, it turns out Dan Quayle was right about Murphy Brown and unmarried moms (Note this is from 2012. I did not mention the year in the podcast, making it seem more recent than it was. However, the issue is the same today.)

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Show transcript

Chicago hit something of a record in May of 2016, but it’s not one they’re proud of. In that month, the most number of homicides occurred since 1995; 21 years ago. And the first five months of this year were the deadliest since 1999.

As you know, if you’ve listened to this show for any length of time, I often point out that places with the strictest gun controls laws – places like Chicago, and Washington, DC – aren’t doing too well as poster children for their policies. If the law worked so well, why are those very places hotbeds for gun violence? After all, gun deaths are a big part of these statistics. For the third year, shootings have increased in Chicagoland.

But you don’t hear that on the evening news. You don’t hear that during the Memorial Day weekend, 6 people were killed and 63 wounded. You don’t hear that during Mother’s Day weekend, 50 people were shot and 8 died. What you do hear about is a guy who kills 1 person in Minnesota, and then drive to the UCLA campus and kills a professor. Tragic? Yes. Newsworthy? Yes. But the same applies even more to the 400 people who were shot in Chicago in May. Not all of those 400 died, but is that the issue? Is that why the news ignores them? The saying goes that one death is a tragedy, but a million are a statistic. Seems the news media would, unfortunately, agree.

If we were really concerned about gun deaths, then we’d want to get all the information in front of us. Yes, it’s a mantra I’ve been chanting recently. But it bears repeating. Gun stats, which both support gun control and support gun rights, need to be examined. The places where guns are forbidden and where they are allowed need to be examined for their effectiveness. Clearly, Chicago is failing. But liberals will insist that the solution is more of the same policy, without a little examination of how good, or how awful, the results are.

Isabel Sawhill is a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, the oldest think tank in the country, celebrating 100 years this year. She wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post back in May [2012] about prophetic words spoken in 1992. Those words were about dangers of glorifying the single-parent family. Ms. Sawhill notes how that arrangement can bring on educational, behavioral, and mental health problems for the children, and how they are denied may of the economics benefits of the two-parent household.

Ignoring the advice of that prophet has caused single-parenthood to rise dramatically. The proportion of children born outside marriage has risen from roughly 30 percent in 1992 to 41 percent in 2009. For women under age 30, more than half of babies are born out of wedlock. And the children, indeed, pay for it.

Ms. Sawhill has been studying single mothers since well before 1992, and her research has found that if a person does just 3 things – finish high school, work full time, and marry before they have children – their chances of being poor go from 15% to a vanishingly small 2%. She says that while stronger public support is needed for single-parent families, nothing the government can do will reduce child poverty as much as making marriage fashionable again.

And let’s face it; it does, unfortunately, need to be fashionable. No amount of good advice will do it. That advice has been around for millennia and we still careen further from it, determining that our own happiness, our own selfishness, is more important that giving our kids the best chance they can get. People balk at that by saying, “Who are you to tell me what I should do with my life?” Well, I’m nobody, but history and experience certainly have something to say about it, and they say it loudly. Yup, history and experience; two features of what we call Conservatism. That word may sound bad to you, but if you can get past the word, there’s a lot of good advice that we as a society have been ignoring more and more, and paying the price.

Oh, and who was this all-seeing prophet, this Nostradamus of the 90’s? None other than former Vice President Dan Quayle. If you’re too young to remember him, let me give you a little history lesson. When he made those remarks in the context of the TV show “Murphy Brown”, which indeed glorified Candice Bergen’s character’s decision to have a baby as a single mother, he was pilloried by the Left in general, and Hollywood in particular. They dismissed him because, hey, it’s just Dan Quayle, the conservative who misspelled “potato”.

And now here we are. Perhaps the Left would have listened if George Bush had picked a homeschooled spelling bee champ for his VP. Nah, if it hadn’t been one trivial thing, it would have been another. They will not listen to anyone who isn’t tickling their ears with what they want to hear. And in the meantime, the children are paying the price.

I’ll close with an idea that I posted on Facebook recently.  The sentiment isn’t original, but perhaps how I said it is. If I’m a man, then some say I can’t have an opinion on ?abortion, because it doesn’t directly affect me. It seems like, then, that if you’re already born, you can’t have an opinion either. You’re not the one being killed. Just something to think about.

Filed under: Economics & TaxesGun ControlMarriageMedia