August 5th, 2011 // 9:57 am @ Oliver DeMille
Sometimes a few statistics and quotes tell us a lot more than any commentary. Consider the following:
- “…married couples, for the first time, now make up less than half (45%) of all households.”
(“For Richer, Smarter: The Decline of Marriage,” The Economist, June 25th, 2011)
- “Percentage by which a couple is likelier to divorce if one partner has a commute greater than 45 minutes: 40” (Harper’s, August 2011)
- 16,000 children starve every day. (Spirituality & Health, July/August 2011)
- “Traditional marriage has evolved from a near universal rite to a luxury for the educated and affluent. There was barely a marriage gap in 1960: only four percentage points separated the wedded ways of college and high school graduates (76% versus 72%). The gap has since widened to 16 percentage points…” (“For Richer, Smarter: The Decline of Marriage,” The Economist, June 25th, 2011)
- “Estimated percentage of the U.S. college class of 2011 who are moving back home after graduation: 85” (Harper’s, August 2011)
- The average 2011 college graduate has $22,000 in student loan debt, even though jobs are especially scarce for this group. (The Huffington Post, July 2011)
- “On any given day, 1.6 million of us are blogging, 27 million are tweeting, and 1.5 billion are posting on Facebook. We’re emailing during meetings, texting during lectures, and talking on our cell phones as we tackle rush hour traffic.” (Spirituality & Health, July/August 2011)
- “Last year China became the world’s biggest manufacturer, displacing America from a position it held for more than a century.” (“Rising Power, Anxious State,” The Economist, June 25th, 2011)
- Americans were asked in a poll who is the most trusted political journalist. The number one answer was, “Don’t Know,” and number two was, “None.” (Harper’s, August 2011)
- “The fraction of the population now working (58.2%) is near a 25-year-low—lower than it was when the recession officially ended in June 2009.” (Robert Reich, The Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2011)
- More than half of Americans do not know the recession is over. (Harper’s, August 2011) Part of this is rooted in the way economists define growth and recession. It takes 2.5% growth in the economy just to keep up with the natural growth of the working population, and we haven’t seen 2.5% economic growth for some time. So even though we haven’t technically been in “recession” for over a year, we are still falling further and further behind.
- “By 2010, [federal entitlement] payments to individuals were 66% of the federal budget, up from 28% in 1965. We now spend $2.1 trillion a year on these redistribution programs, and the 75 million baby boomers are only starting to retire.” (Wall Street Journal editorial, July 29, 2001; cited on Meet the Press, July 31, 2011.)
- The real unemployment rate in July 2011 is over 20%, including those unemployed and underemployed. (The Huffington Post, July 2011)
He is the co-author of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller LeaderShift, and author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, and The Coming Aristocracy: Education & the Future of Freedom.
Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.