Thursday, October 29, 2020
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Reader’s comment: The aspiration gap

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In response to Harry Benson’s marriage lines: Three simple ways Mrs May can make a wedding pay, Groan wrote:

Excellent practical and sensible measures. I know it’s easy to point fingers at poorer people for not being honest but the amounts of money are substantial in terms of small budgets and crucially they are regular, in households with jobs with variable hours and short term contracts. I’m probably a poor Protestant but it seems far better to make doing the right and honest thing easy, rather than expecting people to ‘sacrifice’ to prove their virtue. As we can see that attitude simply results in fallible human beings ‘failing’.

I harp on about this, but people’s aspirations to form families have remained pretty constant in survey after survey. The gap between these aspirations and what happens has thus got larger and larger. One can simply entertain oneself by denouncing the loose morals of younger generations, really a form of ‘virtue signalling’, or try to address the real practical issues involved as suggested in this piece.

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