Tuesday, December 09, 2014
US Census Bureau To Eliminate Marriage Questions?
The US Census Bureau is considering a plan to eliminate questions about marriage from the American Community Survey (ACS).
Researchers who use the data and recognize marriage as an important explanatory variable are dismayed and shocked by the proposal.
The ACS surveys about 3 million American households every year, making it the largest survey in America outside of the census conducted every 10 years.
The survey has consistently provided researchers with a useful dataset about the US.
In fact, the data from this survey is used to determine the distribution of funds for some government programs.
Why would the Census Bureau eliminate marriage?
The Bureau says they want to eliminate some of the questions in order to reduce the amount of time required for each respondent to complete the survey.
They plan to eliminate 7 questions from the survey. Of the 7, 5 are about marriage.
In an interview with Politifact, the head of ACS, Jim Treat, denied that the Census Bureau has something against marriage. He said the questions about marriage are not questions the government agencies ask about anymore.
The government, we are being told, has little interest in marriage, the cornerstone of all social structure.
Marriage, the union between a man and a woman that produces and nurtures children, is the oldest institution known to mankind.
When Steve Ruggles, professor of history and population studies at University of Minnesota, heard what the Census Bureau plans to do, he called the proposal "just crazy."
Saamir Soneji , assistant professor at Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, said, "Without those questions, even the actuaries and economists inside the Social Security Administration can only rely on speculation. They won't even be able to accurately predict when Social Security will go bankrupt."
These are the 5 questions on marriage the government plans to drop:
1. Did you get married this past year?
2. Did you get divorced this past year?
3. Were you widowed in the past 12 months?
4. How many times have you been married?
5. The year they last got married.
My point is not the questions, per se, although they are obviously important to some agencies such as Social Security and others. My personal concern and the reason I wrote this today is to focus on the consistent incremental undermining of the institution of marriage, not only by attempting to redefine it, but also by efforts to marginalize it---eliminate it from our social structure and public conversation---make it irrelevant.
With marriage under attack by those who seek to redefine marriage and family, now more than ever we need to be having a public conversation about marriage and the benefits of the traditional model for marriage.
The health of societies are based on the health of the biblical model for the family. In fact, the Bible teaches that we are to "honor marriage" for these reasons.
The American Enterprise Institute published an in depth study on traditional marriage and family in October. The study is titled, "For Richer, For Poorer: How Family Structures Economic Success In America."
They particularly focused on the economic impact in regard to traditional families that are intact vs. those that are not.
American Enterprise Institute documents 5 key findings about the relationships between family patterns and economic well-being in America.
I am talking more about their report on the radio today. Join me live at 9 AM PST from anywhere in the world. Here's how. The program is rebroadcast at 7:30 PM PST.
The Census Bureau is accepting public comment on this proposal until December 30. This is a link to information for submitting a comment to them.