Marriage matters to millennials — even though they can’t afford it

A Pew Research Center survey released Friday reports that a whopping 69 percent of millennials want to tie the knot but put off marriage — women until they are 27 and men until they are 29 — because of a decrease in income levels and the absence of stable finances, something millennials consider a prerequisite to marriage.

“Most unmarried Millennials (69%) say they would like to marry, but many, especially those with lower levels of income and education, lack what they deem to be a necessary prerequisite — a solid economic foundation,” reports Pew.

Millennials are gun-shy when it comes to saying ‘I do,’ in part because of an acute awareness of the human inclination to, in the words of William Shakespeare, bend “with the remover to remove,” but primarily because of financial unrest among a generation that ultimately wants to pull the trigger on a lifetime of holy matrimony and parental partnership.

Progressive public policy, however, is increasingly encouraging the dissolution of marriage, beating not to the drum of Pachebel’s “Canon in D” but to the dissonance that often comes with government-entitlement programs and job-killing economic and regulatory policies.

“It is government policies, after all, that trap poor children in rotten schools; poor families in broken neighborhoods; that penalize single parents for getting raises, or getting married,” Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said last year.

Millennial solvency might as well be a thing of fairytales as the youth labor-force-participation rate remains persistently low under the Obama administration, reports Generation Opportunity. Even worse, the youth labor-force-participation rate has hit a all-time low since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the age bracket in the early 1980s, reports CNSNews.

Furthermore, more than two-thirds of millennials graduate with average student-loan debt nearly double that of those that graduated college two decades ago, Pew reports.

Add these financial woes to the havoc Obamacare is wreaking on millennial pocketbooks — and a tax system already stacked against married couples — and you get hope deferred.

In addition to widely affirming their desire for marriage, millennials acknowledge that the trend of single parenthood is bad for society and yet the rate at which women give birth outside marriage has steadily increased over the years, something Pew attributes to the slow walk down the aisle.

“Perhaps because of their slow journey to marriage, Millennials lead all generations in the share of out-of-wedlock births. In 2012, 47% of births to women in the Millennial generation were non-marital, compared with 21% among older women.”

The wider margins of agreement among millennials regarding issues of marriage and family belie the otherwise left-leaning results of the Pew study, which indicate millennials tend to vote for liberal candidates and are not as anchored as previous generations to religious and political institutions.

In many ways, millennials have conventional leanings when it comes to family life. If only big government would get out of the way and stop creating — again, in the words of William Shakespeare — “impediments” to matrimony, more young Americans would settle down earlier. Instead, empty wallets are getting in the way of full hearts.

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WARNING: Millennial side effects of Obamacare — Part II


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