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U.S. News Archive
November 01 - November 06, 2000



This page contains news for the period November 01, 2000 through November 06, 2000.  

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Monday November 6, 2000

Study predicts single mother boom

A story published today by Reuters Health reports that births to unmarried mothers could jump in the coming years after leveling off during the late 1990s, according to a recent analysis by the National Center for Health Statistics.

The primary reason for this anticipated increase is that the number of unmarried women aged 18 to 29 is predicted to grow by 14% between 1999 and 2010. Thus, if this group continues having babies at the current rate, nonmarital births could increase 11% in 1999-2000 alone, from 1.3 million to 1.44 million, the report indicates.

Aside from other implications, the increasing nonmarital birth numbers indicate that "the potential need for social, health and other services" will increase, explained the report's authors, Stephanie J. Ventura, of the health statistics center, and Dr. Christine A. Bachrach, of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. These numbers also project the need for financial support by the single parents themselves, the authors add.

Such a jump in nonmarital births would reverse recent trends. Births to unmarried parents rose dramatically for 50 years, then leveled off or slowed its rate of increase during the 1990s. The birth rate for unmarried women rose from 7.1 live births per 1,000 women in 1940 to a high of 46.9 births per 1,000 women in 1994. By 1999, the rate dropped to 43.9.

The report, issued October 18th, notes "a shift in marriage patterns could make a big difference." That is, if many more women married while in their 20s, the rates would not follow predictions, Ventura and Bachrach say. Currently, according to the US Census Bureau, 73% of women aged 20 to 24 and 44.6% of those aged 25 to 29 are not married.

The authors point out that the sustained decline during the 1990s in teenage pregnancy and birth rates could dampen any increase in nonmarital births, which would also influence predictions. Teenaged mothers are much more likely to be unmarried than mothers in their 20s and 30s. Finally, the increased job prospects offered by a good economy--should it continue--are likely to improve the aspirations of youths "and deter them from early and out-of-wedlock childbearing."


Youth Debate asks presidential candidates about single people

Deroy Murdock

In the Youth Debate, sponsored by Salon.com, AASP member Deroy Murdock asked Al Gore and George W. Bush why they have neglected to speak to single people.  The question and answers were reported in a story published today by Salon.com.

A special section on The Youth Debate has been added to the National Advertising Section of our site which focuses on single and unmarried voters being ignored by the presidential candidates.  Go to that section to read the full story.

Associated Press questions Gore and Bush about single people

Three days a week, the Associated Press picks an issue and asks the leading presidential candidates a question about it. Yesterday's question and the responses were about single people. 


Much attention has been paid in this campaign to the needs of families, children and the elderly. What is one example of something in your plans that would improve opportunities for single adults past their college years?

Republican George W. Bush:

``There are a number of examples in my plans to improve opportunities for single adults, from my proposed health insurance credit to my proposal to allow individuals the opportunity to gain a better return by investing a portion of their Social Security payroll taxes in personal retirement accounts. If I were to highlight just one example it would be the income tax relief that my plan provides to everyone. It improves the opportunities for all single adults who pay income taxes because they can take more of their paycheck home. The accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche examined five hypothetical single taxpayers. Every one of them got a tax cut under my plan. Four out of five got no tax relief under Al Gore's plan. For example, under this analysis, a single person earning $40,000 a year pays $5,772 in federal taxes under current law and gets no income-tax relief under Gore's plan. That same person would get a $496 income tax cut under my plan.''

Democrat Al Gore:

``In just a few days, Americans will have a choice between two very different visions for America. My vision is of responsible tax cuts targeted to help the middle-class, paying down the national debt to strengthen Social Security, Medicare and our economy and making key investments in education, health care, law enforcement and the environment. Single adults will benefit from my plan to ensure that Social Security is there when they retire, while creating a new 401 (k)-style investment plan to help people save for retirement, buy a first home or get new job training. They will benefit from good new jobs that result from fiscal discipline and key investments in new technologies. And they will have an easier time buying a home or paying off student loans, as we eliminate the national debt to keep down interest rates.''

Comment by AASP:

This is the second time during the campaign that Gore and Bush have been publicly confronted about what they would do for single people and why single people should vote for them.  The first time was during the final debate when Lisa Keyes asked them about how their tax plans would help a single person without dependents.  Now comes the Associated Press question which was more open ended and not limited to the area of taxes.

Despite the openness of the question, Bush stuck to the issue of taxes -- income tax and social security tax.  However, he failed to mention that the elimination of federal estate taxes would help upper income single people who now must forfeit up to 60 percent of their estates to the government when they die whereas a married person who dies can leave an unlimited amount of wealth to a spouse without any tax being imposed at all.  Of course, Bush did not mention that his party promotes sexual abstinence until marriage, thereby insisting that all single people abstain from sex until marriage (possibly for life if they remain single for life).  He also did not mention that he opposes adoptions by unmarried couples and that he opposes benefits and protections for domestic partners.

Like Bush, Gore's answer also showed that he has not studied the issues affecting single people and therefore was not prepared to give specific examples of how he would help single people.  Fortunately, he did not blunder here as he did when he answered the tax question during the final debate.  At that time Gore's answer actually addressed benefits for married people and not single people.  Here, he missed an opportunity to show that he had done his homework on single people.  Why did he not mention his support for an increase in the minimum wage which will help mostly single people, since most minimum wage earners are unmarried?  Why did he not mention his support for RU-486 availability, since this drug will benefit mostly single men and women who are not prepared to have children? 

Gore's answer wandered into vague generalities, such as paying down the national debt, and keeping down interest rates -- issues that affect all people.  He also limited his answer to middle-class people, forgetting that many single and unmarried voters are in the lower economic class and in the upper economic class.  If the question has been about gays and lesbians, would Gore have given the same answer?  Not likely.  Rather, he would have stressed the need to expand the federal civil rights laws to protect them. (What about protecting single people from discrimination by adding marital status to the federal statutes?)  He would also have discussed protecting same-sex couples, as unmarried couples, through domestic partnership laws and programs. (What about the majority of domestic partners who are heterosexual unmarried couples, including many seniors?) 

Maybe in four years, when the next presidential election comes around, one of the major contenders will be prepared to give specific reasons why unmarried voters, as single people, should vote for them.  As it stands now, only one minor party candidate, John Hagelin of the Natural Law Party, has outlined a platform directed to single people and calling for an end to marital status discrimination in employment, housing, business transactions, and government programs and policies. 

No matter which of the major party or minor party candidates you may ultimately support, please remember:  EVERY SINGLE VOTE COUNTS.   Participate in the election.  Vote tomorrow.



Saturday, November 4, 2000

AASP to be the focus of news segment today on CNN and CNN Headline News


CNN cable news interviewed AASP's executive director, Thomas F. Coleman, at our offices in Los Angeles on Thursday.  The interview is part of a news segment focusing on how the presidential candidates are ignoring single and unmarried voters.

The interview is scheduled to be broadcast on CNN and on CNN Headline News sometime between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. today.

Thursday, November 2, 2000

Census releases report on Black America

The United States Census Bureau released a report today entitled "The Black Population in the United States."  The report contains information on a variety of subjects, including marital status and living arrangements.

According to the report, some 64% of African American adults in the United States are not married. 

The report also summarized the types of family structures of African Americans who live with a spouse or blood relatives. 

There were 8.4 million Black families in the nation in 1999.  Less than half of these families contained a married couple.   Some 45% were maintained by unmarried women and another 8% were headed by unmarried men.

To read the press release and access the link to the report, AASP members can click here.

Some of the data charts can also be accessed directly by clicking here.


Wednesday, November 1, 2000

AASP's ad campaign is focus of radio show in Alabama

Mark Roberts in Birmingham

Thomas F. Coleman, executive director of AASP, was a guest on the Mark Roberts Show this morning.  Roberts hosts a talk show on WERC in Birmingham, Alabama.

Coleman discussed the ways in which single people are discriminated against in the workplace, marketplace, and government programs, especially many tax laws.  He also expressed disappointment that the major candidates for president, Al Gore and George Bush, have not been willing to speak directly to single voters as unmarried Americans, nor have either of them said one word about what they would to to help eliminate marital status discrimination.

Coleman invited unmarried listeners to join AASP, reminding them that nothing will change until single people organize and create a collective voice to air our concerns, much the same as seniors organized to form AARP many years ago.  AARP is now the largest membership organization in the nation, with some 34 million members.

Difficult times for divorced couples in the same workplace

A story published today by CNN News discusses the difficult problems that married couples who work together face when they divorce and stay employed in the same workplace.

"Most people aren't able to handle it," says Bill Ferguson, a former divorce attorney who's now a Houston relationships consultant and author ("How To Heal a Painful Relationship," Return to the Heart books, 1999).
"When people are working together, there's not a lot of time for healing because the wound is constantly being re-opened."

Divorce attorney Donald C. Schiller agrees. "Generally speaking, if people can't stay married, they're better off not staying in the workplace together," says Schiller, a partner in Schiller, Du Canto and Fleck. That Chicago firm is one of the United States' largest practices devoted to matrimonial law.

"Co-workers can take sides. That really can mess up an office." — Bill Ferguson, "How To Heal a Painful Relationship"

"You've got all that baggage that's not business-related," Schiller says. "It creates inflammatory opportunities you don't want in the workplace. In today's environment, it could very well be fraught with dangers such as sexual harassment charges."

If neither spouse in an acrimonious breakup wants to leave the company, Schiller suggests that one of them at least try to transfer to another division or department.

The story points out that marital separation may be toxic to more than the couple. Its emotions can spread through a workplace. "Co-workers can take sides," Ferguson says. "That really can mess up an office."

Coping with couples working in the same office is a delicate issue for the employer too. Ferguson says it's illegal to refuse employment to someone because of marital status, but it's less clear whether it's legal to turn down an applicant whose spouse already works for the company.

Of course, many couples don't become couples until after they meet at work. Some employers institute an employee non-fraternization policy in an attempt to nip the bloom of office romances in the bud, says Melissa Calhoon, a San Francisco attorney specializing in labor and employment law.

Companies sometimes bar partners from being in a "report to" relationship with each other at work. And management still can transfer workers to another department -- or even fire them -- if their breakups are deemed to be affecting their productivity.

Nan DeMars, a Minneapolis-based office ethics consultant, lecturer, author and Internet columnist, recommends that co-workers whose personal relationships are dissolving declare a truce at work.

• Don't complain to colleagues about problems with an ex, she advises. "Keep your personal relationships out of the office." Even when they're going well.

• Be cordial to an ex. "That's part of being professional."

• If an ex is making life miserable at work, have a candid talk with your boss about the problem. "So you both don't get fired. Just make sure you behave professionally."

Ferguson adds his advice to couples that as rough as a breakup is, each partner has to accept responsibility for his or her part in it and for how to treat an ex in the future.

As bad as things may be," he says, "you have the ability to make them much worse"

Single women more likely to nurture themselves than their married counterparts

A story released today by PRNewswire says that the vast majority of American women recognize the importance of caring for themselves as they take care of family and friends, but most fail to do so, according to a new national Self-Nurture Survey commissioned by Minneapolis-based bath, body and home fragrance products company The Thymes Limited.

In fact, 80% of women surveyed admitted that doing something for themselves (like savoring an aromatic bath, enjoying a hobby or taking a walk) would make them feel relaxed and refreshed. Yet, alarmingly, a third of the women surveyed spent 30 minutes or fewer a day doing nurturing activities just for themselves. In contrast, a full 76% of American women spend up to 10 hours daily caring for partners, husbands and/or children -- and one in five (19%) women spend more than 10 hours a day caring for others!

The Thymes Limited telephone survey of 1,000 women also revealed that:

-- Married, with Little Time for Self-Care: Married women are more than twice as likely to say they have less than 10 minutes a day to spend on themselves, as compared to single women (69% vs. 31%)

-- Kids Take Up Lots of Time: Not surprisingly, women with kids have alarmingly less time for self-care. Only 8 percent of mothers with one child say they find the time to spend 60 total minutes throughout the day to care for themselves; and with a second small child that figure dropped to 4% of women surveyed! In fact, one out of four women with a single child admitted to The Thymes that they have less than 10 minutes a day to care for their own needs! In contrast, 86% of women with no children under age 6 say they have more than 60 minutes a day to nurture themselves.

-- Selfish or Well-Deserved Time Off? One of every five women surveyed (20%) admitted that if they took even one hour off to do something for themselves, it would make them feel selfish, guilty, or anxious and unsettled. Married women were four times as likely to feel selfish about taking time out for themselves as unmarried women (81% compared to 19%). And women with even a single child were six times as likely
to feel "guilty" about taking time for their own needs as women without children (71% vs. 12%)!


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