Let’s See What’s in the News Today: 11/28/2010

Relationships and Sexuality

  • In the Time Magazine this week, the headline cover was Who Needs Marriage? The results are quite interesting: the more educated and wealthy you are, the more likely you get married.
    • Here are some more interesting stats that I personally found quite interesting:
      • Today, only about half of Americans are married compared to about 70% in the 1960s.
      • Men actually prefer to get married than woman.
      • Unfortunately, 28% people responded that they believe in soulmates, and 79% people of the 28% believe they have found their mythic partner.
      • If you only have a high school degree, you’re more likely to get married younger.
    • My prediction is that overtime, marriage will become obsolete (40% of Americans agree with me) and when the government gets rid of tax benefits for married people (I’m sure it will happen someday), the only purpose of marriages will be religious.
    • Bella DePaulo has a reply here suggesting that the article is still marriage-centric.
  • Bust Magazine argues that Gay Bashing is similar to Slut Shaming: in both cases, the ridiculed victim committed suicide.  I see where they are coming from, but I take this as a categorical mistake.  Hopefully, I’ll write a blog about that later.


  • Warren Buffett has written a Thank You note to Uncle Sam for bailing out the banks in 2008, with a response here.  Buffett also argues that the rich aren’t being taxed enough, saying that Trickle Down theory just doesn’t work.  H/T to Kevin Bonnett.  Bill Gates agrees.
  • At the age of 34, David Stockman became Ronald Reagan’s budget director. And he helped engineer the largest tax cut in American history.  So just why is he so against extending the Bush tax cuts?  Read all about it here.  There was a fantastic interview with Fareed Zakaria on GPS.  Stockman finds both Democrats and Republicans inauthentic in their economic policies and it’s time to “stop playing Santa Claus.”  Indeed, he’s saying that the Republicans are now just a hashed-out recycled version of Keynesian economics, which means. . .
  • Friedrich Hayek may be making a comeback.


  • Lisa Miller of Newsweek this week argues that America’s pickiness with food is part of the problem of class poverty.  She states that food choices has had a strong correlation with social class.  Obesity rates are rising because poor people can only afford cheap, unhealthy meals that quickly fills you up (e.g. fast food).  There is also a correlation between obesity rates and those receiving food stamps.  Quoting from the article:

Adam Drewnowski, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington, has spent his career showing that Americans’ food choices correlate to social class. He argues that the most nutritious diet—lots of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, and grains—is beyond the reach of the poorest Americans, and it is economic elitism for nutritionists to uphold it as an ideal without broadly addressing issues of affordability. Lower-income families don’t subsist on junk food and fast food because they lack nutritional education, as some have argued. And though many poor neighborhoods are, indeed, food deserts—meaning that the people who live there don’t have access to a well-stocked supermarket—many are not. Lower-income families choose sugary, fat, and processed foods because they’re cheaper—and because they taste good. In a paper published last spring, Drewnowski showed how the prices of specific foods changed between 2004 and 2008 based on data from Seattle-area supermarkets. While food prices overall rose about 25 percent, the most nutritious foods (red peppers, raw oysters, spinach, mustard greens, romaine lettuce) rose 29 percent, while the least nutritious foods (white sugar, hard candy, jelly beans, and cola) rose just 16 percent.

    • So it looks like a new luxury could be healthy foods.  But when it comes to food, Americans are “food libertarians.”
    • The article also notes that eating like the French may have some more benefits.  I tackled that in a previous blog here.  But the French are healthier than us and their food culture has solidarity behind it.  But more than that, this is a community effort.  As Michael Pollen says, the food movement is very young.

    About shaunmiller

    I have just completed a visiting position as an assistant professor at Dalhousie University. My ideas are not associated with my employer; they are expressions of my own thoughts and ideas. Some of them are just musings while others could be serious discussions that could turn into a bigger project. Besides philosophy, I enjoy martial arts (Kuk Sool Won), playing my violin, enjoying coffee around town, and experimenting with new food.
    This entry was posted in Culture, Economics, Marriage, News, Paper Topic, Relationships, Respect, Sexuality and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

    2 Responses to Let’s See What’s in the News Today: 11/28/2010

    1. thekillerj says:

      You say:
      Unfortunately, 28% people responded that they believe in soulmates, and 79% people of the 28% believe they have found their mythic partner.

      I’m not sure I understand your perspective on this. Are you saying it’s unfortunate that ONLY 28 percent believe in soulmates?

      Either way, marriage kicks ass if you’ve got a good wife. Most people just suck at relationships.

      • shaunmiller says:

        Yes, I need to clarify. I find it unfortunate that the myth of soulmates is still around. And I find it unfortunate that there are still plenty of people that believe they have found their soulmate. In my opinion, the concept of the soul mate has made loving relationships worse off. It’s made the ideal partner unrealized to the point where one cannot live a fulfilled life unless one has found “the one.” It’s been romanticized to the point where any notion of relationships that aren’t predicated around “the one” are deemed as inferior relationships.

        I’m sure marriage is good if you’ve got a good partner. But you know me. What’s the point of marriage? 🙂

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