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U.S. News Archive
U.S. News Archive
November 01 - November 06, 2000
|This page contains news for the period November 01, 2000 through November 06,
<< November 2000 >>
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, November 1, 2000
AASP's ad campaign is focus of radio show in
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
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
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
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
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
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%)!