Robert Reich on Families & Children

Former Secretary of Labor; Democratic Challenger MA Governor

Better jobs programs would result in more stable marriages

The new census shows a huge increase in unmarried couples living together and a plunge in the rate of marriage. [But it’s because of a change in the economy, not] a decline in morality.

30 years ago, most men had stable jobs that earned them paychecks big enough to support families. Men’s paychecks have become more precarious. Median wages have actually dropped, and his job might vanish tomorrow. Meanwhile women have streamed into the work force. It would be entirely rational for a woman in today’s economy to say, in effect: “Fella, you can stay with me as long as you contribute to household expenses. But when your contribution stops or takes a dive, you’re out of here.”

So rather than start a government campaign to promote marriage, perhaps a better way to improve the odds that fragile families will stay together is to help men-and women-become and stay gainfully employed. Policy-makers don’t normally think about job training and education as parts of a marriage agenda, but they should.

Source: PBS radio Marketplace broadcast, “What Happened to Marriage” , Jun 21, 2001

Balance of family & job is harder in new economy

Robert Reich, who served for the Clinton administration during the heart of the 1990s, says the decade of economic growth and new technology wasn’t all good. “It is harder to achieve a balanced life in the year 2001 than it was in the year 1991,” Reich says. “Ten years of a very solid economy and good economic growth have also created an economy that is more stressful.”

Along with bigger paychecks and better cell phones, we work harder and longer, says Reich. And the lack of balance is taking its toll on our personal lives. “Each of us assumes that it’s our own fault,” he says. “We fret that we are inadequate workers or inadequate parents or members of communities. But we have to understand that we’re not alone and there are reasons for these feelings that have to do with the way the economy has evolved.”

[Reich personally felt left with] no time, in particular, for his family. Reich jumped out of the rat race, stepping down from his position in 1997 to spend more time with his family.

Source: Jamie Allen, CNN.com , Mar 5, 2001

Other governors on Families & Children: Robert Reich on other issues:
MA Gubernatorial:
Deval Patrick
MA Senatorial:
John Kerry
Scott Brown

Newly seated 2010:
NJ Chris Christie
VA Bob McDonnell

Term-limited as of Jan. 2011:
AL Bob Riley
CA Arnold Schwarzenegger
GA Sonny Perdue
HI Linda Lingle
ME John Baldacci
MI Jennifer Granholm
NM Bill Richardson
OK Brad Henry
OR Ted Kulongoski
PA Ed Rendell
RI Donald Carcieri
SC Mark Sanford
SD Mike Rounds
TN Phil Bredesen
WY Dave Freudenthal
Newly Elected Nov. 2010:
AL: Robert Bentley (R)
CA: Jerry Brown (D)
CO: John Hickenlooper (D)
CT: Dan Malloy (D)
FL: Rick Scott (R)
GA: Nathan Deal (R)
HI: Neil Abercrombie (D)
IA: Terry Branstad (R)
KS: Sam Brownback (R)
ME: Paul LePage (R)
MI: Rick Snyder (R)
MN: Mark Dayton (D)
ND: Jack Dalrymple (R)
NM: Susana Martinez (R)
NV: Brian Sandoval (R)
NY: Andrew Cuomo (D)
OH: John Kasich (R)
OK: Mary Fallin (R)
PA: Tom Corbett (R)
RI: Lincoln Chafee (I)
SC: Nikki Haley (R)
SD: Dennis Daugaard (R)
TN: Bill Haslam (R)
VT: Peter Shumlin (D)
WI: Scott Walker (R)
WY: Matt Mead (R)
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Page last updated: Nov 23, 2011