Thursday, September 22, 2011

Status and marriage

Australian demographer Bernard Salt below is almost certainly right in saying that women still like to "marry up" and is also right to say that educational attainment is not the sole criterion of "up". Many men have caught on to the education hoax and know they can do better financially in business. One rather pities women who are piling up debt to get a probably useless degree while their less gullible brothers are already out in the workforce both earning money and gaining the experience that often trumps education. Such women will be more in need of a rich husband than ever

I have been married four times so have had some time to think about these matters and my conclusion is that the best wife for a highly educated man is a smart working class girl without a university background. The ideas and aspirations of highly educated women ("saving the planet" etc.) can be a pain and a distraction whereas the working class girl concentrates all her intelligence and energies on her relationships, thus securing better results in that field.

And education does not automatically lead to shared interests. A man with a degree in mathematics is not thereby going to have much in common with a woman who has an equivalent degree in anthropology. Such a pair could in fact be totally incomprehending of one-another -- JR

LATE last month I participated in the Sustaining Women in Business conference in Melbourne. I was a panellist in a session titled a New Era of Work, which explored work habits.

My co-panellist for the session was Canadian author Avivah Wittenburg-Cox author of How Women Mean Business. I talked about how technology has changed the way we work; Ms Wittenburg-Cox made the point that young women were now more likely than young men to hold a university degree.

But rather than explore why tertiary education might be failing our young men, Ms Wittenburg-Cox expressed concern for her daughter: "Who is she going to marry?"

Clearly from this question Ms Wittenburg-Cox expects her daughter to select a partner from a modest and possibly shrinking pool of tertiary-educated men.

She raised the thorny issue of "partnering up" versus "partnering down". What could I do but defend the partnering prospects of the male gender by registering my protest. "But isn't love blind?" I implored. "If someone is a good bloke who cares deeply for your daughter, then what does it matter how smart he is?"

It is fair to say that the room of perhaps 300 women immediately erupted. My impression was that the room divided more or less equally: some agreed with me -- love is blind -- whereas others seemed to adopt a, shall we say, more pragmatic approach.

At this point it is worth recounting some demographic facts. Despite four decades of feminism, women still, on average, choose to marry an older man. In 2009, the age difference was 23 months.

If love and marriage are truly random selections, then women would be equally predisposed to choosing a partner who was older or younger. On this basis it can be concluded that women still marry up. Older men are more likely to be better established in their careers and therefore would be more mature and better providers.

But there are other issues. There are simply more men than women in Australia throughout childhood, puberty and into the twentysomething hooking-up decade. This oversupply of men enables women, in fact encourages women, to select the best available from of whatever's on offer.

By dint of the laws of demand and supply of potential partners, women have at least the opportunity, if not a downright proclivity, to partner up. At least that's the theory.

But here's the problem. As women increasingly gain access to tertiary education their inbuilt potential partner filter excludes more and more men.

Ms Wittenburg-Cox's concern for her daughter's prospects is justified because there are not enough smart men to partner smart (or at least university educated) women.

The solution is for women to reinterpret partnering up to include men who may be self-employed and self-confident, who are caring and connected and who are aligned with their partners in values and thinking. These men may meet other stringent potential partner criteria but not actually hold a university degree.

But there again I have yet another theory. If there is a shrinking pool of university-educated alpha men, snaring one of these rare and exotic creatures might be regarded as the ultimate symbol of corporate success for an alpha woman.

If such a man-in-demand commits to her, in the process forsaking all others, does this not reflect positively on the alpha female? Indeed, with the continued success of women in the workforce, might we see the rise of the trophy husband?

Here is a man who is university educated, sporty (code for athletic body), tall, cooks, supports his partner's career, looks after the children, is sociable, witty and charming, doesn't smoke or drink to excess, speaks a second language, plays a musical instrument, volunteers at a local homeless shelter and loves nothing better than going for long romantic walks on deserted beaches.

Oh dear, I can see half the room at the Sustainable Women in Business conference, including Ms Wittenburg-Cox, swooning at the very thought of the educated but the oh-so-elusive trophy husband. Sigh.


A very "correct" President

In a grandiose display of the very ignorance he therein denounced, President Obama gave an address to the United Nations General Assembly this morning. I don’t even know where to begin when deconstructing his remarks, which total nine single spaced typed pages and skip to and fro among an impressive collection of liberal talking points. My favorite moment came when he announced, “We have banned those who abuse human rights from traveling to our country,” with Mahmoud Ahmedinejad in the room. Indeed, close examination of his platitudes reveals the president’s inconsistent message and his tenuous grip on reality.

His fondness for global government took center stage. Quoting the UN charter, he credited it for averting a third World War, and for the advancement of peace and security—despite the Security Council’s historic deadlock during Cold War times which prevented any significant votes from taking place.

By Obama’s own admission, we took action in Libya on the basis of UN Security Council approval, and he reaffirmed the supposed legitimacy of our involvement in his speech. He said:

"And when they were threatened by the kind of mass atrocity that often went unchallenged in the last century, the United Nations lived up to its charter. The Security Council authorized all necessary measures to prevent a massacre. The Arab League called for this effort, and Arab nations joined a NATO-led coalition that halted Qadhafi’s forces in their tracks."

He views the United Nations, and other trans-governmental organizations, as real sources of governing authority with the power to condone the use of the lives and money of sovereign states’ citizens. Our own United States Congress had no say in our entrance into the Libyan conflict, but the UN gave us the green light, and so we went.

He later calls for the UN Security Council to start solving the Syrian conflict: “But for the sake of Syria – and the peace and security of the world – we must speak with one voice. There is no excuse for inaction. Now is the time for the United Nations Security Council to sanction the Syrian regime, and to stand with the Syrian people.” He sets a clear precedent in his speech for the international community’s involvement in the internal conflicts of sovereign states. He believes the UN exists to solve these problems.

Unless, of course, that’s the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. There, “the deadlock will only be broken when each side learns to stand in each other’s shoes.”

Sure, Mr. President. Why don’t we ask a terrorist organization to take a walk in the shoes of the people they have sworn to kill. Hey, since you’re so fond of quoting charters, how about we quote that of Hamas, the governing power in Palestine: “Hamas is one of the links in the Chain of Jihad in the confrontation with the Zionist invasion.” This is why they cannot achieve that “lasting peace” you mentioned four or five times today—because Hamas doesn’t want it. Unless peace involves the eradication of the Jewish people. Then they’re willing to give it a try.

He made constant reference to the necessity for compromise, and the legitimacy of both sides’ aspirations (one would hope the elimination of the Jews does not fall into this category). But Obama wastes his words on pipedreams of shared perspectives, because they already have one: Jerusalem. Palestine will not be content with a state that does not include the city, and Israel will obviously never relinquish it. Until someone steps forward and affirms Israel’s sovereign right to that city,

But Obama wouldn’t do it. He didn’t draw a hard line anywhere in his speech. He didn’t say anything that the UN would find repugnant or controversial. He betrayed the US’s interests and allies with a cotton candy speech designed to fill quote books of clichés (“Peace is hard?” Right.), and win the international popularity contest. Which, by the way, failed, as footage depicted Palestinians burning the American flag hours after the president’s address.

Obama talks like he wants to succeed Ban Ki Moon and play like he’s king of the world when he’s done as POTUS. I don’t doubt that’s his goal. He sees the world through Rockwellian glasses, in which “freedom from want” is a legitimate human right, and we don’t ever have to put our foot down and tell Palestine that it cannot negotiate for itself someone else’s land.

Sure, Mr. President. Peace is hard. But moral relativism comes way too easily to you.


The final death-blow for a vast British boondoggle

The idea of computerizing all data on people gives Leftists erections. It represent CONTROL over people for them. The fact that most large computer projects fail does not deter them

Ministers are to axe Labour’s disastrous £12billion NHS computer scheme. The Coalition will today announce it is putting a halt to years of scandalous waste of taxpayers’ money on a system that never worked. It will cut its losses and ‘urgently’ dismantle the National Programme for IT – a monument to Whitehall folly during Labour’s 13 years in power.

The biggest civilian IT project of its kind in the world, it has already squandered at least £12.7billion. Some estimates put the cost far higher. Analysts say the sum would have paid the salaries of more than 60,000 nurses for a decade.

The announcement follows strong criticism from MPs who accused Labour of wasting a further £500million of taxpayers’ money on a failed bid to set up a network of regional Fire Brigade control centres. And it comes as Chancellor George Osborne was warned he faces a £12billion black hole in his deficit reduction plan – the same amount as that lost to the NHS scheme.

Following an official review, the ‘one size fits all’ IT project will be replaced by much cheaper regional initiatives, with hospitals and GPs choosing the IT system they need. And a new national watchdog will be established to ensure such huge sums can never again be thrown away on uncosted projects.

Labour’s National Programme for IT included a range of schemes to modernise the Health Service, including a national email system and the ability to transfer X-rays and prescriptions electronically.

It also included the ‘electronic care record’, a process allowing hospitals and surgeries to share patients’ medical information, but which was criticised by the British Medical Association for putting privacy at risk.

The decision to accelerate the dismantling of the scheme has been made by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley and Francis Maude, the Minister for the Cabinet Office. It follows new advice produced by the Major Projects Authority, set up by the Coalition to review Labour’s big financial commitments to see if they provide value for money.

The authority said the IT scheme, set up in 2002, is not fit to provide services to the NHS – which as part of austerity measures has to make savings of £20billion by 2014/15. It concluded: ‘There can be no confidence that the programme has delivered or can be delivered as originally conceived.’


British bureaucracy gone mad

'A monumental waste of money': Judge's verdict on council who took firm to court for giving away a CARDBOARD BOX (and it cost taxpayer £15k)

When company boss Linda Bracey gave away spare cardboard boxes to a passer-by, it didn’t seem like a situation to warrant the attentions of a court. But her local council took a different view, prosecuting her in a case branded by a judge as a ‘monumental waste of public time and money’.

The authority ran up legal bills of £15,000 after accusing Mrs Bracey of ‘illegally disposing of business waste’ when she handed over the boxes following a request from a member of the public.

It brought the action after one of the boxes, bearing the company’s name, was found among other rubbish on a fly-tipping site.

Mrs Bracey, 54, said that if successful, the prosecution would have seen supermarkets and other businesses effectively banned from giving away spare boxes to customers who might want to carry their shopping or use them for packing when moving house.

But, following a trial during which Judge Alex Milne QC called for an outbreak of ‘common sense’, a jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court acquitted her company, Electro Signs, in Walthamstow, East London, of breaching environmental protection laws. Giving directions to the jury, Judge Milne said: ‘Were the cardboard boxes in question waste? ‘Packaging such as boxes received by a company like Electro Signs is not waste when it is delivered to the company. Nor do boxes become waste as soon as the contents are removed.

‘If a company chooses to keep and re-use boxes, they remain the property of the company and an asset. If the company keeps boxes for its own use but then chooses to give or sell boxes to another party that is not discarding them.’

Following the hearing Mrs Bracey, a mother of three, labelled as ‘mad’ Waltham Forest Council’s decision to spend £15,000 on a court case over a cardboard box. ‘It is a ridiculous situation, because not only are the council, as the judge said, wasting taxpayers’ money, but also preventing the re-using of a cardboard box, since the company that gives a person a box could be facing prosecution. The world’s gone mad. ‘The ironic thing is that the council brought the action against us under the Environmental Protection Act.

‘The council had ample opportunity over many, many court hearings to stop this. It didn’t have to go this far.’

Faisal Saifee, Mrs Bracey’s barrister, added that the prosecution did not allege the fly-tipping, in October last year, was carried out by the company, which makes neon signs, or any of its employees.

Waltham Forest councillor Clyde Loakes described the outcome of the case as ‘incredibly disappointing’. Mr Loakes added: ‘Our residents are fed up with people treating our streets as a rubbish dump, which is why this council has carried out a well-publicised drive to wipe out environmental crime.’



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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