The Corner

Divorce Rates Lowest Since 1970

That’s good, though cohabitation is up. But here’s what I want to know — and maybe I’ll ask Beinart about this next week — What does this say about a lot of the liberal talking points regarding the Clinton and  Bush economies. I’ve heard Peter say countless times that Clinton’s economic policies had direct, tangible and positive effects on social trends in the United States. Divorce, abortion out-of-wedlock births etc all went down because of a rising economic tide. I never bought a lot of Peter’s argument — which is not unique to him I should add — because it begged an important question. He simply took it as a given that Clinton’s economic plan was the cause of all the economic gains and therefore liberal economics are good for American values. Now, divorce has hit a 37 year low. Shouldn’t that not be the case under Bush? I mean Bush has supposedly reversed all that was good about Clintonian economics and the golden years of the 1990s. So, if there was a causal link between Clinton’s economic policy and improving social indicators, shouldn’t there also be one for Bush’s economic policies?  And if so, how come the divorce rate (and other cultural indicators) continues to improve?

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