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Monday, August 29, 2016

Unmarried America

From the Census:
The Buckeye Singles Council started “National Singles Week” in Ohio in the 1980s to celebrate single life and recognize singles and their contributions to society. The week is now widely observed during the third full week of September (Sept. 18-24 in 2016) as “Unmarried and Single Americans Week,” an acknowledgment that many unmarried Americans do not identify with the word “single” because they are parents, have partners or are widowed. In this edition of Facts for Features, unmarried people include those who were never married, widowed or divorced, unless otherwise noted.
Single Life
109 million  The number of unmarried people in America 18 and older in 2015. This group made up 45 percent of all U.S. residents 18 and older.

America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2015, Table A1
 53% The percentage of unmarried U.S. residents 18 and older who were women in 2015; 47 percent were men.
America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2015, Table A1
63% The percentage of unmarried U.S. residents 18 and older in 2015 who had never been married. Another 24 percent were divorced and 13 percent were widowed.
America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2015, Table A1
19 million The number of unmarried U.S. residents 65 and older in 2015. These seniors made up 18 percent of all unmarried people 18 and older.
America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2015, Table A1
The number of unmarried men 18 and older for every 100 unmarried women in the United States in 2015.
America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2015, Table A1
59 million
The number of households maintained by unmarried men and women in 2015. These households comprised 47 percent of households nationwide.
America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2015, Table A1
35 million The number of people who lived alone in 2015. They comprised 28 percent of all households, up from 17 percent in 1970.
America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2015, Table H-1, America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 1960 to Present, Table HH-4
36% The percentage of women age 15 to 50 with a birth in the last 12 months, as of 2014, who were widowed, divorced or never married.
2014 American Community Survey, Table B13002
39% The percentage of opposite-sex, unmarried-partner couples in 2015 that lived with at least one biological child of either partner.
America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2015, Table UC3
788,730 The number of unmarried grandparents who were responsible for most of the basic care of a co-resident grandchild in 2014; 30 percent of coresident grandparents responsible for their grandchildren were unmarried.
2014 American Community Survey, Table B10057
Unmarried Couples
7 million The number of unmarried-partner households in 2014. Of this number, 448,271 were same-sex households.
2014 American Community Survey Table, B11009
39% The percentage of voters in the 2012 presidential election who were unmarried, compared with 24 percent of voters in the 1972 presidential election.
Voting and Registration in the Election of 2012, Table 9 Characteristics of New Voters: 1972
35% The percentage of voters in the 2014 November congressional election who were unmarried.
Voting and Registration in the Election of 2014, Table 9
87% The percentage of unmarried people 25 and older in 2015 who had completed high school or more education
Educational Attainment in the United States: 2015, Table 2
27% The percentage of unmarried people 25 and older in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree or more education.
Educational Attainment in the United States: 2015, Table 2

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Perceptions of Extremism

Pew reports:
Political parties’ ideological stances are in the eye of the beholder: Republicans and Democrats see the opposite party as more ideologically extreme than their own, which they tend to consider more moderate.
In a recent Pew Research Center study of political animosity, respondents were asked to rate themselves and both political parties on an 11-point ideological scale, ranging from very liberal to very conservative.
Members of both parties most commonly place the other party on the extreme end of the scale. Among Democrats, 34% placed the GOP at the most conservative point. Even more Republicans – 45% – put the Democratic Party at the liberal extreme.
Majorities in both parties view the other party as closer to the ideological extreme than the center. Nearly six-in-ten Democrats (58%) place the Republican Party at one of the three most conservative points on the scale (0-2), while 69% of Republicans place the Democratic Party on the most liberal points (8-10).

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Conservative Media Complex

Oliver Darcy writes at Business Insider:
The roots of the conservative news media industrial complex came in the 1990s with the rise of three key forces: Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and Matt Drudge.

All broke ground and revolutionized their respective platforms: Fox News opinion programming on TV, Limbaugh on radio, and Drudge on the web.

In the years that followed, many emulated their successes. What Limbaugh did with talk radio paved the way for hosts like Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, and more. And what Drudge did with the internet helped spawn a slew of conservative websites. Breitbart, TheBlaze, The Daily Caller, Hot Air, and Townhall came online to serve a right-leaning audience with an insatiable appetite for news told through a conservative lens.
Republican pols went along at first.
"What it became, essentially, was they were preaching this is the only place you can get news. This is the only place you can trust. All other media outlets are lying to you. So you need to come to us," said Ted Newton, president of Gravity Strategic Communications and former communications adviser to 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

"And so in an attempt to capture an audience, they almost made them slaves to those news outlets. So there is a whole group of people who will only watch Fox, who will only read Breitbart. And they are living in a bubble," he added.

Toward the end of President George W. Bush's second term, the symbiotic relationship showed signs of souring. Establishment figures inside the GOP supported immigration reform and a bailout at the height of the 2008 recession. Conservative talkers didn't.

As the years progressed, it became increasingly clear the entertainment wing of the party had seized control. Republicans tried to play friendly with them, giving credence to the industry by lavishing praise, submitting editorials, and granting access, but more and more they were whipped by media figures on the right for supposedly not being conservative enough.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Inequality and Invisibility

Kate Allen reports at The Financial Times:
There is nothing remarkable about 23726 Long Valley Road — except that it does not appear to exist.
Estate agents’ advertisements show that the high-end Californian home — six bedrooms, pizza oven, pool — is situated in a gated community on the edge of Los Angeles. Yet prospective buyers searching online to check out the neighbourhood are wasting their time — none of the area’s 648 homes appear on Google Street View.

All that online maps show of the area are street routes and names — what could perhaps be an outline plan for a future housing development. But anyone looking for a kerbside view of the property will find no evidence of it.
The community’s name gives a clue why: it is called Hidden Hills. What the area’s occupants — who reportedly include Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Jennifer Lopez — value above all is privacy. That includes banning Google’s photography vehicles from entering (and declining to talk to the FT; a spokeswoman for the area’s management company said it had a policy of not giving interviews to the press).
Academics have long used the names “hidden communities” or “invisible communities” to denote areas with high concentrations of deprivation and social marginalisation. Yet some of the world’s most privileged people are choosing to hide from the public eye to protect their homes from burglars and other forms of unwelcome attention.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Immigration Opinion

Gallup reports:
Despite Donald Trump's continued emphasis on the harmful effects of various types of immigrants coming to the U.S., there is no evidence of a surge in the percentage of Americans wanting to see immigration levels decreased. Thirty-eight percent of U.S. adults say the level of immigration should be decreased, similar to recent years, while an equal percentage say immigration should be kept at its present level. The relatively small percentage of Americans who want immigration increased, however, has edged down this year to 21%.
Pew reports:
The public is divided over many aspects of U.S. immigration policy. However, when asked about the priorities for policy toward illegal immigration, more Americans say better border security and a path to citizenship should be given equal priority than favor either approach individually.
The new national survey, conducted August 9-16 among 2,010 adults, also finds that a large majority (76%) says that undocumented immigrants are as hard-working and honest as U.S. citizens, while 67% say they are no more likely than citizens to commit serious crimes. The survey also finds continued public opposition to building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border: 61% oppose this proposal, which is little changed from earlier this year.
Overall, 29% of the public prioritizes “creating a way for immigrants already here illegally to become citizens if they meet certain requirements,” while (24%) say the focus should be on “better border security and stronger enforcement of immigration laws.” However, when given the option, a 45% plurality does say that both should be given equal priority

Clinton is using the issue against Trump:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Free Speech, Climate Change, and CEI

Even if you disagree with climate-change skeptics, official harassment should be deeply troubling. Kyle Feldscher reports at The Washington Examiner:
A group targeted by Democratic attorneys general in a climate change investigation hit back at subpoenas they call "unlawful and un-American" in a new video posted Tuesday.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute fought off a subpoena from U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker earlier this year. Walker's subpoena was sent to the group to try and get information about ExxonMobil's donations to the climate change-doubting think tank from 1997 to 2007.
Walker believed he was trying to investigate what ExxonMobil knew about how fossil fuels impact climate change and when, but CEI leaders say it was a battle over freedom of speech.

"No American should fear being singled out and harassed by a government official who takes a different point of view on public policy questions," says Kent Lassman, president of the group in the video.

These Honored Dead

At RealClearDefense, Rebecca Burgess writes:
Congress has designated around 20,000 acres for national cemeteries, sacred spaces that to date have witnessed around 4 million burials. (This does not include overseas areas maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission, which includes 25 permanent American military cemeteries.) Yet of the 134 national cemeteries and 33 other managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), over 90 are closed to new interments or are restricted to cremated remains.

Veterans and their families must cover the costs of a coffin and the funeral. While the VA today covers the cost of a coffin or urn for indigent veterans under the Dignified Burial and other Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2012, it only does so if the veteran is buried in a national—not state—cemetery.

Only 40 of the 50 states (and Puerto Rico) have national cemeteries, and many of these are closed to new interments due to space constraints. The VA will not pay for a veteran’s burial in a local state cemetery, but will pay to transport the body to a faraway national cemetery. Sadly, this often makes it impossible for the family of the deceased to visit the grave, and even to attend the burial.