The Pursuit of Happiness: Everybody Wants to be Happy

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Everybody wants to be happy. I do not refer to passing pleasures but to deep satisfaction with the way your life has been lived. Happiness means to reach old age generally pleased with who you have been and what you have accomplished that has been important—through your own efforts over an extended period of time.

Having been a good parent produces happiness, as does having a good marriage. Having done your job well can make you happy, as can being a faithful adherent to your religion. Being a good friend and a good neighbor enhances happiness. That is about all there is to it.

True happiness nearly always involves some combination of God, family, vocation, and community. Kind of makes me wonder why they don’t teach that in school. And should make all of us wonder why Faith, Family, Vocation, and Community have been enfeebled by our government since the 1960s.

“Happiness consists of lasting and justified satisfaction with life as a whole.”

Charles Murray, social scientist and author of Coming Apart, the brilliant book that is my source for this article.

The American Way of Life Hangs in the Balance
The American Way of Life Hangs in the Balance

WHAT MAKES US HAPPY

If we ruminate over the technological advances of the last sixty years, including the increasing health care capabilities and longer life spans; the spread to people of all stations of what once were considered luxuries and unheard of personal comforts; the new welfare state to prevent utter poverty; and the social revolutions of the 1960s that promised to make us all happier, you might think that Americans are far more happy today than in the 1950s. You would be dead wrong.

Americans have grown continuously more depressed over the last half-century. 1 in 5 American adults is on anti-depressant medication. A recent analysis of the World Database of Happiness, covering the years 1946 to 2006, found rising happiness levels in 19 of 26 advanced countries around the world—but the United States was not one of them. The conclusion: "The U.S.A. has, in aggregate, apparently become more miserable over the last quarter of a century."

The reasons lie in a matrix of falsity promoted by our educational institutions and various forms of media as to what will make you happy. It is not how many sexual partners you have and how wild you swing. It is not even how much money you make and material possessions you accumulate. Except for people in abject poverty, the results of happiness surveys are not affected by income level.

The happiest Americans are housewives. Married people are far more happy than those who are not; children raised in traditional families are far happier than those who are not; and people who attend church regularly are way more happy than those who do not.

Balkanized North America
Balkanized North America

DOES DIVERSITY MAKE US HAPPY?

Francis Fukuyama says: "Social trust determines prosperity in any culture." This is a serious problem in America because today we have a far lower level of Social Trust than at any time in our past: Trust that the people around us will do the right thing.

According to the General Social Survey (GSS), when Americans are asked if their fellow citizens are trustworthy only 58% of the upper classes say yes today—down from 77% in 1970; and among lower class Americans it has dropped from 40% to a mere 18%.

When asked, "Do people generally try to be fair?" 80% of wealthy Americans answered "Yes" in both 1970 and 2010 but only 40% of working class folks believe that now—down from 65% forty years ago.

When asked if other people generally try to be helpful the affirmative answers have dropped from 72% to 60% among high class people and from 48% to 34% among poorer folks.

Americans were far more neighborly in the good old days. Only in the United States among world nations was the sense of community once so powerful that unrelated people who happened to live near each other routinely volunteered to assist their neighbors. People would watch over each other's children, drive neighbors to the doctor, loan out tools or groceries, and keep an eye on houses for those on vacation. Americans were also once the most engaged in civic affairs of all the world’s people.

As much as we are preached at about the wonderful benefits of diversity, it does not match reality. Studies show that Social Trust is eroded by ethnic diversity in all neighborhoods—the opposite of what liberal elites (who rarely live in diverse neighborhoods) predicted.

People who live in communities with the greatest diversity have the lowest trust in local government; and they trust their neighbors less—even those of the same ethnicity. They are less likely to give to charity; to work on projects for their community; to perceive that they have a good quality of life; and they even have fewer close friends. The more diverse a neighborhood the higher rate of crime it suffers. Most of its problems must then be solved by the police or social welfare bureaucracies.

The Twain Shall Become One Flesh
The Twain Shall Become One Flesh

THE KEYS TO HAPPINESS

Hardly any other factor promotes happiness as does a good marriage. This makes me wonder why kids aren’t told this. They are not getting married these days so this information must not be getting through. The happiest people in America are married—43 percent of whom say they are Very Happy. The unhappiest group is those never married—only 9 percent very happy. In the middle are widows and divorcees.

The happiest people in America as far as how they spend their time are housewives. 57% of homemakers say they are Very Satisfied with their vocation, while 44% of working people are very satisfied with theirs.

People who attend church on a regular basis exhibit better mental and physical health, and live longer. They have more stable marriages and fewer disabilities in their old age. They are happier, feel better about themselves, are less depressed, and use less drugs and alcohol. Their children have better outcomes, too.

The more often you attend church the happier you are. 49% of Americans who attend church more than once a week are Very Happy; 41% of those who go to church weekly are Very Happy; 34% of those who attend church once a month are Very Happy. The least likely to be very happy are those who never go to church—23 percent. And the happiest of all Christians are "Fundamentalists."

Happy Children Make Happy Adults
Happy Children Make Happy Adults

HAPPY CHILDREN

No matter how the outcome is measured, children who grow up in an intact home with their father and mother married to each other turn out the best. They are less likely to be aggressive or hyperactive as children, as well as less likely to get sick, be injured, or suffer a premature death. As adolescents, they are less likely to be delinquent, have problems in school, have poor emotional health, to be sexually active, and to quit school. And it makes no difference what income bracket or ethnicity—this is true for all children.

Children whose parents are divorced do next best, while children whose mothers never married their fathers are the worst. Now anybody with a lick of sense could have told you this before the 1960s without having to first experiment on a hundred million living children. But feminist 'experts' sold their lies well to the American public through their accomplices in the media and in the educational system.

Crime Does Not Pay
Crime Does Not Pay

CRIME DOES NOT MAKE US HAPPY

Among white working class men, the percentage in jail or prison quadrupled from 1974 to 2004. Imprisonment does turn out to have one positive effect—fewer criminals are out on the streets. But the same cannot be said for people on parole or probation—the size of such a population in any neighborhood is the best predictor of danger for law-abiding citizens.

There are more than four times as many whites on parole today as opposed to thirty years ago. The number of whites on probation has grown since 1980 from 600,000 to 2.4 million—38 percent of whom did not finish high school.

And they are not all drug offenders. While white violent crime has dropped 40 percent since 1991, it is still quadruple the numbers of 1960. Statistics show that the drop in the crime rate correlates with the fact that in the 1980s we started locking up more criminals and keeping them locked up longer. They are no longer around to victimize their neighbors.

Benjamin Franklin Says
Benjamin Franklin Says

VIRTUE MAKES US HAPPY

From its founding, the American Experiment was about proving that human beings could be left free as individuals, and as families, to live their lives as they see fit, coming together voluntarily to solve their joint problems. The success of America has historically been due to industriousness, honesty, stable marriages, and the Christian Faith, spread across all boundaries of class, wealth, age, race and ethnicity.

In 1835, German author Francis Grund wrote: “No government could be established on the same principle as that of the United States, with a different code of morals. The American Constitution is remarkable for its simplicity; but it can only suffice a people habitually correct in their actions." The American Experiment only works, said Grund, because of "the domestic habits of the Americans, their religious devotion, and their high respect for morality."

Everyone involved in the creation of the United States knew its success depended on virtue in its citizenry, because of the nearly unbridled freedom that the American Constitution allowed the citizens of the new nation. Americans faced few legal restrictions on their freedom of action. The guides to their behavior had to come from within. Self-government means citizens will govern their own behavior. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”

Marriage was the bedrock institution of American society. Americans considered marriage to be far more than a civil contract. It was a covenant. Marriage was seen as the principle source of American virtue; the promoter of hard work, proper education of children, the morals of the next generation, public peace and order, and as the most powerful restrainer of public vice.

The Key to Happiness (Or, How we can all get jiggy)
The Key to Happiness (Or, How we can all get jiggy)

WORK MAKES US HAPPY

The industriousness of Americans amazed the world in the old days. Americans believed in hard work to get ahead in life, and to leave behind something for your children. Active occupation was seen as the foundation for the happiness of Americans and their national greatness.

It was unheard of in the 19th century for an American to ask for charity. There was no such thing as being supported at public expense. Americans were seen as exceptionally honest and law-abiding. Criminals were looked upon as enemies of the human race, not misunderstood victims of society.

Working hard, seeking to get ahead, and striving to excel at one’s craft are quintessential features of traditional American culture. Being industrious has long been associated with a fulfilling human life—which is different from a life in which one is merely kept amused.

Rich or poor, it was not socially respectable to be adult, male, and idle until fairly recently. In 1963, 98 percent of American men aged 30-50 were in the labor force. Healthy men who did not work were scorned as bums.

The number of Americans who are actually physically unable to work has gone down dramatically since 1960 because of advances in health care and medical technology, e.g., prosthetics, as well as the fact that the jobs to be done are far less physically demanding today than 50 years ago. BUT the number of Americans who claim disability benefits—to live off of the labors of other people—has exploded from less than 1 percent of the labor force to over 5 percent today. This shows that being industrious is no longer seen as a necessary virtue by millions of Americans. The Protestant Work Ethic has markedly declined.

A study of unemployed men shows that they spent very little time looking for work, in job training, in educational pursuits, reading, on civic activities, going to church, exercising, or engaging in active sports or hobbies. They spent most of their time sleeping and watching television.

"Thanksgiving" by Norman Rockwell
"Thanksgiving" by Norman Rockwell

THE GOLDEN AGE OF HAPPINESS

"Golden Age thinking" is a term of scorn to some historians, who believe it to be excessively nostalgic. 'Progressive' thinkers claim that things are always getting better, as if all progress is progress toward something good. Nero, Attila, Genghis, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, and Mao were all men of progress. Cancer progresses, as do most degenerative diseases. Half of all change is bad.

The fact is, the 1890s were better than the 1910s; the 1920s were better than the 1930s; and the 1950s were better than the 1970s. The 1950s may well be the high water mark of American Civilization.

In 1963, having sex before getting married was wrong. If an unmarried girl got pregnant, she and the boy who got her into that condition were supposed to get married—and almost always did. By and large they stayed married too. Nearly every adult was married and divorce was so unusual that less than 4 percent of American households were headed by a divorced person. Most mothers stayed at home to nurture their children. While illegitimate births were not uncommon among Negroes, they were rare among white people. Less than 3 percent of white births were out-of-wedlock before the Sexual Revolution.

In the Golden Age, hollering, yelling, screaming, and talking were not considered singing. Television portrayed loving families. It was taken for granted that television programs were supposed to validate the standards that were commonly accepted as the American Way of Life. No television character or film character ever took the name of the Lord in vain or ridiculed religion and religious people—or used any obscenity. Actors were never seen naked and even nearly naked. They did not dance in a way that bore resemblance to a sexual act. No plot presented sex outside of marriage as attractive or justified. Homosexuality was a perversion not spoken of—Abortion unheard of.

Books and magazines were not sold that depicted sexual acts; no magazines featured sex tips or nude pictorials—certainly not in the line at the grocery store where eyes of all ages could see them. The Christian Faith was expressed in public but sexuality expressed in private—the exact opposite of the spirit of our age.

In 1963, 99 percent of Americans expressed religious belief and over half had attended a worship service within the last week. Crime had been very low for many years. Few people had ever been in prison. People routinely left the doors to their homes unlocked, even at night while they slept inside peacefully. Folks left the keys in their cars overnight. It did not occur to anyone that walking around at night was dangerous, or that children should not be allowed to roam the neighborhood unsupervised.

Poverty had been dropping rapidly for years. What we would call poverty today was the lot of 41 percent of Americans in 1949 but that number had dropped to 20 percent by 1963 without any help from government programs.

Everything was about to change. Much of the change came from a social activist Supreme Court, which began legislating from the bench in the 1960s. Also, an accident of history brought a master liberal legislator to the White House in 1963. The birth control pill went on the market in the 1960s—for married couples only at first, which is whom it was invented for. For the first time in history women could separate sex from bearing children and this would cause a revolution in sexual mores.

In 1962, the Saturday Evening Post commissioned the Gallup Organization to conduct a survey of the attitudes of American women. 96 percent said married women with children were happier than single working girls. 93 percent of married housewives said they did not regret the choice they had made (instead of pursuing a career). 84 percent said there was no reason that could ever justify adultery. And then the clincher: “Do you think it is all right for a woman to have sexual relations with a man she knows she is going to marry?” 86 percent said "No." Note that the question was not if it was OK to have sex with someone a woman knows, or someone she is dating, or someone the woman is "in love with" but a man she knows she is going to marry, as in publicly engaged with a date set for the wedding.

In 1960, the only legal grounds for divorce were cruelty or adultery—and it had to be proven in a court of law. But 56 percent of American men and women said divorce should be made more difficult to obtain while only 9 percent said it should be made easier.

Even in the 1970s, large majorities of Americans thought it was wrong to engage in sex before marriage, and knew that young children suffer if their mother works.

Let us look at a few other statistics that show how Americans have slowly disengaged from civic life since the 1960s: 'Voted in the presidential election' down 22%; 'Attended a public meeting in your town' down 35%; 'Served as officer in a club or association' down 42%; 'Worked for a political party' down 42%; 'Served on a local committee' down 39%; 'Parents with children are members of the PTA' down 61%; 'Membership in 1 of 32 national associations ( Elks Club, Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, etc.)' down 50%; 'Entertained friends in your home recently' down 45%; 'Our whole family usually eats dinner together' down 69%; 'Membership in bowling leagues' down 73%—but bowling has increased . . . bowling alone.

Come to the Cross
Come to the Cross

RELIGION MAKES US HAPPY

After decades of public school brainwashing against God, the level of Christian Faith among Americans has finally begun to wane since the 1990s. Contrary to some public pundits’ opinions, it has waned more among the working class than in the upper classes.

This is a huge detriment to American society. Half of all volunteering in America occurs in activities involving the Christian Faith. Half of all charitable giving is to Faith Based charities. Half of all associational memberships are Church related.

As Robert Putnam observed in Bowling Alone, “Religious worshippers and people who say religion is very important to them are much more likely than other persons to visit friends, to entertain at home, to attend club meetings, and to belong to all sorts of clubs, groups, associations, and organizations.”

America was at its most Christian in 1963, the year when the most new churches were built, and when church membership and church attendance were at the highest levels in American history.

In 1963, only one American out of a hundred had no Christian Faith—the same year the Supreme Court kicked God, the Bible, and Prayer out of the public schools, and the schools began to indoctrinate children into the substitute religion of Secular Humanism, which makes the State the highest authority in the world instead of God.

By 1972, 4 percent of my fellow citizens had left the Christian Faith. By 1980, it was 10 percent. By 2010, it was 21 percent of whites ages 30-49.

In 2010, 59 percent of working class Americans had not stepped foot in a church more than once in the past year, compared to 35 percent in 1970. In spite of liberal elites who sneer at the ignorant folks who go to church, it is in fact the most intelligent Americans who go to church more often than anyone else. Among high class elites, regular church attendance has fallen from 66 percent in 1970 to 53 percent today but among low class people that percentage has dropped from 57 to 40.

Integrity Counts Kids
Integrity Counts Kids

INTEGRITY COUNTS

American men used to be known the world over as men who said what they meant, meant what they said, and kept their word. A man was only as good as his word. That is why deals on a handshake were once so common. This is a far cry from today’s litigious society.

Integrity means doing the right thing—not because you might suffer consequences if you don’t—but because your principles are such that you do the right thing even when there are no negative consequences for doing the wrong thing—such as when you won’t get caught: What you do when no one sees.

To take advantage of another person was considered dishonorable under the Christian Ethic that used to dictate behavior in America. This does not mean it was wrong to out-negotiate someone, buy something for less than it might have been worth, sell something for more than it might have been worth, or write a contract that gave you favorable terms. It meant that it was dishonorable to steal, cheat, defraud, or lie to someone else—because it is dishonest.

Personal bankruptcy has always been an option in America for those unable to meet their obligations. But the laws were changed under President Jimmy Carter to make it easier to evade one’s financial responsibilities and from 1978 personal bankruptcies exploded by 700 percent by 2005—when the economy was still very strong.

Some mistakenly blame this on medical expenses but a study done in 2011 shows that medical costs are not usually the primary reason for bankruptcy. Instead, most folks go belly up because of imprudent expenditures, especially on houses, cars, boats, and aircraft they could not afford.

When personal bankruptcies increase by seven-fold during fabulous economic times it can only mean that personal integrity has declined—that people do not mind incurring debt they cannot repay. After all, who cares if I stiff a greedy corporation or bank anyway, right?

Til Death Do Us Part
Til Death Do Us Part

WHY HAPPINESS DECLINED AMONG THE WORKING CLASS

In the average working class neighborhood the median family income is $42,000. People work as electricians, plumbers, machinists, heavy-equipment operators, truck drivers, factory workers, and in the construction trades. In the last fifty years, many people have left these neighborhoods and moved to middle class housing areas. They generally work in the medical fields, or as teachers, police officers, salespeople, social workers, technicians, clerks, bookkeepers, insurance agents, real estate brokers—and millions of them operate their own small businesses.

Among the working class, marriage has declined dramatically and the number of babies born to unmarried mothers has increased to unprecedented levels. Among white people ages 30 to 49, only 13 percent were not married in 1970 but within 20 years that figure had more than doubled and by 2010 only 48 percent of prime age working class whites were married—but 84 percent of upper class folks are. It seems that working class white men retreated from the marriage market as a third of them under age 49 remain never married—and another third are divorced.

22 percent of white working class children grow up in a home with a single parent but only 3 percent in the upper class do. It has been common knowledge for centuries that children need to be reared in solid families or society would suffer catastrophically. That is why illegitimate children were called bastards, who had diminished legal standing and were stigmatized for life. This was true in every culture on earth. It was universally recognized that children absolutely needed fathers to guard, protect, and teach them about the world—as a vital link between children and their society.

Today a lone woman with her children has become an accepted unit of normal life for the first time in human history. Illegitimate births had been at around 2 percent for white people for centuries until the 1960s when the very thing that was supposed to eliminate them for good—the Pill—actually led to an explosion of them. Today, 30 percent of white births are out-of-wedlock and for high school dropouts it is 60 percent. But in upper class parts of towns the number is still below 5 percent.

Then we have cohabitation, long promoted as the same thing as marriage but just without that insignificant “piece of paper.” Perhaps half of unwed mothers are living with the baby’s father when it is born. But those children fare no better than those born to other unmarried mothers. A difference in their development can even be measured at only 15 months old—already they are developmentally behind children with married parents. Why is it hard for everyone to see that American communities must be built around traditional families with children?

By the time an upper class mother turns 40, she is still married to the father of her children 90 percent of the time but among working class women that number drops below 30 percent. Among married people, those who describe themselves as happily married fell from 70 percent in 1960 among upper classes to 63 percent today. But among working class people those who say they are happily married fell from 58 percent to 24 percent. So what is driving all this discontent?

An Honest Bum!
An Honest Bum!

BUMS ARE NOT HAPPY

From 1970 to 2008, the percentage of white males with no college but a high school diploma who had left the labor force rose from 3 to 12 percent. Some said there were no jobs but for the 14 years prior to 2009, unemployment was never above 6 percent in America and the average was 5 percent. Help wanted signs were all over the place. In fact, the reason millions of illegal aliens snuck across the border from Mexico was because everyone knew that any person who wanted to work could work in America.

Some said the jobs didn’t pay a “living wage,” but there were shortages of delivery truck drivers, construction workers, and building cleaners—all jobs that averaged over $13 an hour (over $26,000 a year), which was double the poverty rate for a couple with only one person working.

Between 1985 and 2005, working came to be seen as unnecessary among young white working class men, whose hours of leisure increased by 8 hours per week while men with college degrees worked 6 hours more per week. In other words, working class guys spent a lot of time goofing off. In fact, they spent nine hours a week more than their counterparts from 1985 in front of the boob tube.

Married men are more productive—and therefore earn more money—because they are married. Studies have found that men are civilized by women through marriage. The responsibilities of marriage cause men to settle down, focus, and get to work. Controlling for all other factors—race, education, background—married men earn 15 percent more money. They behave differently and make better employees who work harder and are more dependable. Men who are not married are three times as likely to be unemployed across all socioeconomic lines and this has been consistently true from1960 to 2010.

The percentage of women in the workforce has doubled since 1960 and with so many more workers competing for the same jobs this has hurt the wages of men to the extent that now many Americans don't believe you can make it without two wage earners in the family—something no one thought necessary in 1960. But in working class neighborhoods today, 40 percent of households have no one working fulltime.

In the old days, all self-respecting men could boast, “my wife doesn’t have to work.” Even if they worked themselves into an early grave. Not as a sign of holding women down, but because men loved their women.

Women who work have never worked as many hours as men. Women who work with children under age 5 average 33 hours per week; women with no children average 40 hours per week. All men average 45 hours a week.

Malnutrition in America
Malnutrition in America

WORKING CLASS PEOPLE ARE IN TROUBLE

Individually, most working class people are perfectly pleasant. They have simply not gotten their act together, or at least it seems that way to their parents. A lot of the adult men are living off their girlfriends or relatives. Growing numbers of men have no intention of working if they can avoid it.

Most guys who have fathered children out of wedlock are nice fellas. But only a small minority end up being fathers to their children. Children need fathers.

In working class America, 81 percent of children had married parents in 1970—down to 67 percent just ten years later and less than half that today. So many young men now seem to have no interest in holding down a job or raising a family. They have been told by feminists and family court that they are nothing but sperm banks for so long now that they have begun to believe it. After all, their babies can be killed before they are born without their permission. What could be a greater violation of fatherhood?

Lots of grandparents are raising the children of their daughters. Many women collect welfare checks while they work for cash under the table. Many men only work enough weeks to get back on unemployment—they actively seek jobs that are seasonal or temporary. Lots of people now fake injuries to get on disability. More and more families get government money by declaring their children ADHD and putting them on Ritalin.

People used to discipline their children and married people still do. Single mothers and divorced parents do not discipline their children nearly as much because they feel guilty over their own failings and over the circumstances of their children's lives that they have created for them. They tend to want to be the good guy, the buddy with their children—as if they are children themselves. They want to be the best friend, the cool parent that lets kids do whatever they want and always takes their side—even when they are wrong. These children are not taught to see some actions as morally wrong that clearly are.

Newport, Rhode Island Debutantes
Newport, Rhode Island Debutantes
Diversity Sucks T-Shirt
Diversity Sucks T-Shirt

THE ATTRIBUTES OF SUCCESS

The top 5 percent of American workers earn $200,000 a year or more. The people who rise to the upper class have certain attributes in common: they exhibit higher than average levels of cognitive ability, industriousness, motivation, self-discipline, and interpersonal skills. The people at the very top of most fields are the most intelligent among the people in that field.

Intelligence does not vary much after the age of six—regardless of the quality of the school children attend. Intelligence measured at age 18 is very similar for the same children as it was when they were six.

If you attend parents’ night at a typical public school you will observe that 2/3 of the parents are overweight and 1/3 of them are obese. At an elite private school, the parents are rarely obese, are generally attractively lean, rarely eat fast food, and even more rarely do they smoke.

The elite of America—the 2.4 million adults at the top of the socioeconomic scale—only watch six hours of television per week compared to 35 hours for the average American. Upper-class women meticulously take care of themselves and their children. Broken homes are not common among them.

Homogamy refers to the interbreeding of individuals with like characteristics—especially in intelligence. It is a fact that intelligent couples usually beget intelligent children. And intelligent people are very likely to marry other intelligent people. It appears that a highly intelligent person does his offspring a disservice by breeding with a low-IQ person. It turns out that it really does matter whom you breed with.

What has happened in the employment marketplace over the last thirty years is that brainpower has markedly increased in value. Knowledge workers—people good at processing information—are increasingly in demand. The demand for such intelligence as is required to become an architect, attorney, consultant, engineer, executive, journalist, manager, professor, scientist, or writer has outstripped the supply by enough to result in a strong and steady increase in the wages earned by those in these professions.

On the other hand, we now have more than enough qualified applicants for other types of work so the supply is far higher than the demand for those skill sets and thus we see a steady but natural decrease in real wages in those fields. The technical jobs require very smart people and they are the jobs showing great growth in demand. 40 percent of the jobs in Manhattan in 1960 were industrial work. By 2000 that had declined to 5 percent.

The Rich are Just Like You and Me; or, How the Other Half Lives
The Rich are Just Like You and Me; or, How the Other Half Lives

THE ELITE AMERICANS HAVE MOVED OUT

Up until the 1960s, executives, physicians, attorneys, and business owners lived in the same neighborhoods as city employees, insurance agents, pharmacists, teachers, and factory workers. As crime increased—and civility and manners declined with the onslaught of multiculturalism—and as more people shamelessly went on the public dole, those who could move away from the hoi polloi did so and congregated in their own communities.

The decline of associations has meant a decline in people socializing with others from all walks of life. When we had the Lions Club, Moose Lodge, Chambers of Commerce, et al., going strong, people from every part of the socioeconomic strata often broke bread together.

As the quality of public schools declined, people who were able to sent their children to private schools, especially those parents who loved their country and did not want their children exposed to anti-American, anti-Christian, politically correct drivel from curriculums designed by Atheist, Secular Humanist, Cultural Marxists bent on "Social Justice" who rule the teachers' unions and teachers' colleges.

Welfare
Welfare

HUGE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT MAKE US HAPPY

The reason it is a terrible state of affairs to have such a huge central government is not that corruption is necessarily any worse than in the past. It is that if we take 10 percent as a given for the level of corruption then the larger the government the larger the total amount and damage of corruption.

Now we have trillions of dollars of goodies doled out from Washington D.C. and up for grabs for whosoever has the right connections to secure the right appointment or get a bureaucrat to word a regulation a certain way or the right congressman to word a clause in a certain way in a new piece of legislation.

As taxpayer financed benefits grow, so does the number of people who decide they want them. The more people that line up for benefits, the larger the bureaucracy that is required to distribute the funds and shuffle the paperwork. The more people who receive benefits, the fewer taxpayers there are paying for the benefits and supporting the cost of the bureaucracies.

Then, of course, we have the serious problem of politicians giving away benefits in the future, such as enormous pensions that make the politician popular today—thus ensuring himself reelection—but straps down future generations to make benefit payments that cannot be sustained—due and payable long after that politician is dead.

The larger the number of voters that depend on government payments the larger the number of voters who will vote to continue the payments and increase the amounts of them. Sooner or later a Day of Reckoning comes: the day when for any politician to get elected, he must out-promise the other guy. The day when to campaign on a platform of cutting the deficit and the debt (by cutting benefits) is the kiss of death to any political career. Eventually you end up like Greece.

You have to be a fool not to realize that if unemployment benefits are high enough, and last long enough, the vast majority of people will not look for a new job. But that is the exact premise on which the welfare state rests.

All Animals Are Equal but Some are More Equal than Others
All Animals Are Equal but Some are More Equal than Others

PROGRESSIVES DO NOT MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY

Progressive true believers are actually stupid enough to believe that all people—and all possible groupings of people—are equal in their abilities. They believe that if society was only good and just, equal numbers of all groups would succeed in every possible endeavor. They do not believe significant individual differences exist and surely not group differences. This is the basis of thousands of pages of government labor regulations. Of course, anyone with a lick of sense who has ever spent any time around real human beings knows it is all hogwash. If human beings are anything—they are different from each other.

The great underpinning of the welfare state is that people are not really responsible for the things they do, the decisions they make, and the consequences, most of all, for the choices they have made. This means that people who do well do not deserve it and people who do poorly do not deserve it. Progressive ideologues believe the State should dole out the rewards of life and pick the winners and losers—or better yet ensure that there are no winners and losers.

What is Socialism? Let's Ask the Master
What is Socialism? Let's Ask the Master

THE GREAT SOCIETY HAS NOT MADE PEOPLE HAPPY

Science is proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that male and female babies are different for reasons that have nothing to do with the way they are raised. There are real reasons why boys who grow up without fathers tend to reach adolescence not socialized to the behavioral norms required to hold a job and stay out of prison. There are reasons why child abuse occurs far more often in family structures in which a live-in male is not the biological father. We need to stop imbeciles from continuing to claim that the traditional family is merely one choice among many equally good alternatives. The traditional family plays an indispensable role in human flourishing and social policy needs to reflect that fact.

People grouped by gender, ethnicity, age, social class, and from different types of home arrangements, left free to live their lives as they see fit, will produce group differences in outcomes because they differ genetically and in their cognitive, psychological, and physiological profiles.

In 2002, the federal government alone confiscated $1.5 trillion from people who had earned it and redistributed it to people who hadn't earn it—in what are called “transfer payments.” The states confiscated and redistributed a few hundred billion dollars more. To pay for this "Great Society," the government simply prints more and more money, which creates inflation (another tax on wealth by another name, since your assets are steadily diminishing in value). That is why eight dollars today buys what one dollar bought in 1965.

The Frederick Douglass Foundation
The Frederick Douglass Foundation

AMERICA IN DECLINE

From 1939 to 1967, things were steadily improving for working class Americans. The poverty rate in 1940 was 50 percent. It dropped to 15 percent by 1967, naturally, through Free Enterprise, before Welfare began in earnest. But the number of single mothers heading households—the greatest predictor of poverty—among whites zoomed from 5 percent in 1960 to 20 percent in 2010.

Anyone can make an income above the poverty line—$15,000 per year for a couple—just by having one of the pair work for minimum wage. A healthy man who cannot do this is failing to pass a very low bar. Only 6 percent of the employed work for minimum wage.

People need food and shelter—no doubt about that. Beyond that they need self-respect and it is only earned by achieving something where failure was possible. Knowing that you have responsibility for the consequences of your actions is a major part of what makes life worth living. It is far less satisfying to have the welfare state take care of your children than it is to know you have taken care of them yourself when you could have failed. It is much more deeply satisfying to receive a raise you know you have earned than to get raises just because you are in a labor union.

A man holding down a menial job that supports his wife and children is doing something authentically important with his life. If the same man lives under a system that tells him that his wife and children will be taken care of whether he contributes or not he is diminished in status. Taking possible hardship out of the way for folks also robs them of being able to look back and say they made a difference.

Many people now see children as nothing but a burden that will distract them from having fun. In a godless universe individuals become nothing more than a collection of chemicals that deactivates in the end. Therefore, a life well lived comes to be defined in hedonist terms: the most pleasure and the least pain possible—period.

THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE IS GONE

America lost confidence in the rightness of its traditional values. Maybe there was a time when America did not practice all she preached. Somehow, it came to be that America no longer preached what she practiced. The only thing preached now is the devilish notion of non-judgmentalism—nobody is lazy, nobody is a whore, nobody is a criminal. The only people you can call a derogatory name are Christians and heterosexual white males.

We have suffered a vulgarization in our language, manners, and arts that started in the lower classes and spread upward until higher classes of people now behave in ways that remind one of the harlots and the tattooed lowlifes of yesteryear.

The American moral code, that applied to everyone across all lines of race, class, or background, is gone and replaced with nothing. This code had the power to restrain unseemly behavior—unbecoming, unfitting, indecent behavior—as in not in keeping with established standards of taste; indecorous in appearance; improper in speech or conduct.

Unseemliness is prevented not so much by laws and regulations as by mutual understandings; upon an allegiance to behave in accordance with these shared understandings.

The American Way was a system in which people were free to live their lives as they saw fit, and were responsible for the consequences of their actions. Americans were free to control their own destinies. It was understood that we were free to fail as well as to succeed.

My source for this article is Coming Apart by Charles Murray.

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Comments 130 comments

Curiad profile image

Curiad 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

All I can say is Amen James. The bleeding heart left has destroyed this country and made caring, responsible, charitable people seem like criminals.

Mark


American_Choices profile image

American_Choices 4 years ago from USA

James,

I always enjoy your writing and when you write on cultural items here in the United States, I am fascinated. I don't always agree with you but I do agree that you spur us all to think. This is more than a skill - it is a lost art that Socrates and Plato started and you are an ambassador to keep us exercising our mental muscle.

I would love to hear a short report on the age old book Animal Farm. I have thought about digging my book out and reading about it but it would be more helpful to have your personal insights.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

James, this is excellent.

I second Curiad's Amen on this one no doubt!!! We have asked God to stay out of our schools ---there you go! We said, no prayer in schools --- there you go! Don't say Jesus or you're labeled "crazy." We can't even have a simple prayer for those suffering without getting blasted by those desiring to not pray ( and they have that right), so let us be to pray . . . that is also our right at the moment at least! You have touched on so many relevant subjects here today. America needs to WAKE UP!!!

Voted Way Up

God bless you dear one. In His Love, Faith Reaper


Michael-Milec profile image

Michael-Milec 4 years ago

James, dear :

' There is a voice of someone crying out in the wilderness...

And it's the voice of your article presenting picture of painfully suffering nation , it's families and individuals freely choosing godlessness with it due consequences .

Your statistical ilustrasions made deep impression in my thinking portion of brain, to the spinning point : for one your ability of using God's gift , adding your willingness to share with rest of us,secondly your loyalty and love.

,

Worthy of imitation is your love for the Country.

My desire and my prayer is that the parents and grandparents will choose to share this publication, sincerely desiring not to become additional statistics of God's creation willingly putting themselves bellow the level of dignity and " morality" of sub-human creatures .

Voted high, very high, my friend and brother.

May God bless and protect you.


rcrumple profile image

rcrumple 4 years ago from Kentucky

Good, strong hub! Stayed with it the whole way. Things can be dismal for many, and Americans are nowhere as happy as they once were. You've described so many facets here, but, perhaps, lack of family values may be the largest of the group. Without the values taught in youth, the rest doesn't seem to matter at times. Great job!


Niteriter profile image

Niteriter 4 years ago from Canada

Hi James. I admire the work you put into this Hub; your statistical reports alone are testament to sincere effort you put into your research. Congratulations on a fine piece of work.

I should add, just for the record, that I disagree with nearly all of your conclusions. I don't intend to use your Hub as a forum for debate; I just wanted to make a note that statistical data and true causes of particular outcomes don't always coincide. Committed points of view, for instance, often contribute to clouded interpretations of data that may or may not support any one issue.

Nevertheless, this is a nicely constructed piece of writing. Best wishes as you continue your good work.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Curiad— Thank you, Mark, for being my first visitor. Your comments are spot on and I am glad we are in agreeance. God Bless You, my friend.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

American_Choices— Thank you for taking the time to read my article. It is great to "see" you here. I watched the old 1954 version of "Animal Farm" just last week! It is still pretty good. But not as good as the book, of course. Oh! To be able to write like Orwell.

I am well pleased to get a conversation started. And I am glad you enjoyed this Hub. I am appreciative, as well, for your kind comments.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Faith Reaper— It is always a distinct pleasure to hear from you, my dear. I am grateful for the "Voted Way Up" and your blessings.

I surely agree with you that "America needs to wake up!!!" :D

Your comments are right on target. I agree with your analysis of the situation wholeheartedly. Thank you for visiting and for your gracious compliments.

God Bless You!

James


Jen Card profile image

Jen Card 4 years ago

Mr. Watkins, Once again an amazing article of education and information and most of all "truth". You inspire me on! Sound like this book that has inspired you is a must read. Thank you again.


Kate the Fair 4 years ago

Congratulations once again James. Fantastic hub. Your statement, "The American moral code, that applied to everyone across all lines of race, class, or background, is gone and replaced with nothing." This is exactly right. I'm old enough to remember how it used to be and to have watched the process of deterioration of our moral code. And you described the reason for the confusion of the consequences perfectly. Everyone in America should read this hub. And maybe they will. Congratulations on your 1.2 M readers.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

James - This was both fascinating, enlightening and a sad testament to the way it is. I remember a "fitter" America, when physical fitness was promoted in the schools; when the choice of beverages for school lunches was milk, when obese people were in the minority, when meals were eaten at the dinner table, when we prayed at school and took the Pledge of Allegiance. We have been driven away from our values by the pressures of the minority whose voices are often heard above our own.

I remember when "television programs were supposed to validate the standards that were commonly accepted as the American Way of Life" and they did, even if they were exaggerated versions of reality. Today, our children are learning that foul language is normal and expected, that their teachers are prevented from any disciplinary actions or any displays of affection, that their parents rely on the TV to keep them entertained and out of their hair. And on that venue, they have learned that hate is an acceptable emotion, violence is standard fare, cleavage and botox are of primary importance and errectile disfunction is a household phrase. We are being taken over from within. We have met the enemy and they are us, as Pogo says.

The question is, what must we do to turn this country around and restore our core values?


midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

James, a brilliant take on happiness, & all those things indeed make us happy! Ultimately, it's very much our choice to embrace happiness or not. Thanks for the share, voted way up,& sharing.


RichieMogwai profile image

RichieMogwai 4 years ago from Vancouver

Thanks for your Happiness hub, it's so complete in information and the pictures are just as outstanding. Of course, it will take me time to digest all the insights your hub reveal. I like to take it slow though, take my time to imbibe information, so I will be back from time to time, and so will my friends. Anyway, to make it easy for all of us, I have your hub Pinned. Again, thank you very much and wish me luck with happiness.

I think I just might have found it, since I started working from home just over a month ago. I am looking forward to having a pet dog, but that can wait.


Nyamache profile image

Nyamache 4 years ago from Kenya

I agree with you. A good marriage indeed promotes happiness. This hub is well researched. Great work, and I voted it up-useful and awesome.


paul baker uk 4 years ago

I thought your other hub was bad on politics mr watkins, this one beggars

belief typical self centred bible puncher . Being married does not make a bad relationship good i am single enjoy a good drink of beer and my hobbies. There seems to be a bigger number of child molesters among

religious people that sickens me. Fairy tale world.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

James, you are so right about these issues. The emergence of a me-me-me culture has caused erosion of fundamental principles. America and Americans are in trouble in all ways, spiritually, emotionally and financially. The reasons you gave for this are correct. The recent election shows that the mind set of the American public is all about worldly and immorality. People voted for abortion, homosexuality and living in a way that has proven to bring unhappiness and discontent. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! (Joshua 24:15). I know that way will being and has brought great peace and happiness. Bless you James for your dedication to these teachings.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Michael-Milec— Hello my friend. It is a pleasure to receive you once again. I surely appreciate your ongoing support and encouragement of my writing. I look forward to reading your first Hub, which I shall do shortly. :D

I love how you describe the situation, Brother: "A picture of a painfully suffering nation; it's families and individuals freely choosing godlessness with it due consequences."

Amen.

It does sometimes feel like we are in the wilderness; a spiritual wilderness here in America. I am glad the generations that came before me of my family are not here to witness the current state of affairs. They would not believe the depravity to which my nation has sunk.

I do love my country, and my fellow citizens. I will join you in that remarkable prayer. Thank you ever much for the visit, and for the "voted very high." I am grateful for your blessings as well.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

rcrumple— Thank you very much for having the patience to take the time to read my article. I know it is a long one. I apologize for that but I felt I needed to say these things. This will be my last Hub for a while—until I finish my book finally. :)

As you say, "Americans are nowhere as happy as they once were" and this has happened as we have abandoned our "family values." Well said! God Bless You!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Niterider— Hello there, kind sir. I am honored to see that you have read my article. Thank you for your thoughtful, insightful comments, as well as your best wishes and gracious compliments.

I agree with you that "statistical data and true causes of particular outcomes don't always coincide." And, though not as strongly, I also agree somewhat that you have a point about "Committed points of view, for instance, often contribute to clouded interpretations of data." That can surely happen.

I appreciate the visitation and your recognition of my work.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Jen Card— I love Truth. I seek it every day and do my best to relate what I find to others for their edification, or reproof. I am well pleased to be considered a source of inspiration. The book, "Coming Apart," is amazingly eye-opening. Thank you for the kind compliments. And you are quite welcome.

Mr. Watkins :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Kate the Fair— My, what a pleasure to hear from you again! I will have to come over and see what you've been writing about lately. I remember that your Hubs are always great! :)

There is NO QUESTION that the moral code of America has deteriorated. Not even any Progressives I know try to deny that. They just think it is a good thing! It is "progress."

I really appreciate your congratulations and laudations. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

James


minkat 4 years ago

James,

I have read many of your articles today. I am again very impressed with your writings.

Thank You

Kathy


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

James, thank you for the reflection of happiness. Your thoughts are truly on spot for what has transgressed due to past errors. I am a bit concerned about our future, but then again - faith is what is needed to keep us in perspective as we go forward. I love the Thanksgiving photo of Rockwell, it represents what once was America. God bless you!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

PegCole17— Your comments are extraordinarily brilliant! I love the way you think and express yourself. Well put!

You said it so well that I must repeat part of your remarks:

'I remember a "fitter" America, when physical fitness was promoted in the schools; when the choice of beverages for school lunches was milk, when obese people were in the minority, when meals were eaten at the dinner table, when we prayed at school and took the Pledge of Allegiance. We have been driven away from our values by the pressures of the minority whose voices are often heard above our own.'

You know that's right. And yes, television once portrayed life better than it really was to represent an ideal Americans could learn from and strive for. Now television portrays life far worse than it really is and shows sin as normal, good, and highly rewarded while people who live a clean life are ridiculed as boring, old-fashioned, and plain weird.

Can we turn it around? I think that would take a Third Great Awakening. Could that happen? Of course it could. But will it?

Thank you for sharing your keen insights with us. It is always a pleasure to hear from you.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

midget38— You are quite welcome. Thank you ever much for the voted way up and your gracious laudations. I especially appreciate you sharing this article with your friends. That is high praise indeed and I am honored that you would do so.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

RichieMogwai— You are most welcome, my new friend. I am glad you gave the pictures some recognition. I appreciate that you, and your friends, will be back to imbibe this Hub over time. I am flattered and well pleased that you would do so. I don't know anything about a Hub being "pinned." I need to investigate that phenomenon and see how it works. But I surely thank you for it.

Good luck with your future endeavors. I look forward to reading some of your Hubs, which I shall attend to ASAP.

I like your name. It reminds me of the movie "Gremlins." And I see you are from Vancouver—what a beautiful place!

God Bless You!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Nyamache— Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. I certainly appreciate the voted up-useful and awesome. I am glad we are in agreeance. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Paul Baker— I think you might have missed the fact that this article is based on solid social research by an eminent social scientist, Charles Murray.

I don't understand why you call me "self-centered" in your remarks. This article isn't about me; it is about hundreds of millions of my fellow citizens.

I agree with you that "Being married does not make a bad relationship good." And I enjoy a good beer too.

I think that homosexual child molesters infiltrated the Catholic Church—and other organizations such as the Boy Scouts—where they would have constant contact with little boys. That does not make them religious people. It makes them pedophiles.

Thank you for visiting and commenting.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Hyphenbird— Thank you ever much for your outstandingly discerning comments. You are right on target, my dear. As you said so succinctly, "People voted for abortion, homosexuality and living in a way that has proven to bring unhappiness and discontent."

Yes, they did.

As you astutely observed, "America and Americans are in trouble in all ways, spiritually, emotionally and financially."

Amen. Indeed.

I agree with you about the me-me-me culture. It used to be that we thought about the debt we owed to our ancestors for making our country possible, and we thought about our descendents, about leaving the world better for them than we found it. No more. Now it is all about me, and what I want, and mostly what I want right now.

I surely appreciate your blessings and encouragement.


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

Living in the land of entitlement..I am happy when I accomplish something and when I feel good and when relationships are happy..not by what I accumulate. You covered this topic so well. Voting up and sharing on facebook.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

minkat— You are quite welcome, Kathy!

I so appreciate your kind words in regard to my writings. Thank you for reading my articles and for your gracious compliments. :-)

James


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 4 years ago from upstate, NY

I don't see how anything you've said can be disputed unless you don't WANT too know! I might add the the scriptures lay out God's plan for happiness because "blessed" means to be made happy in the greek.

Matt 5:3-11 "The Beatitudes "


B-Dawg 4 years ago

James Watkins,

So how is your interacial relationships book coming along?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

teaches12345--- You are most welcome, my friend. Teachers and nurses are among my favorite people. Because of what they do for their fellow man. :-)

I, too, am "concerned about our future," and I agree with you that "faith is what is needed to keep us in perspective as we go forward."

Isn't that "Thanksgiving" painting by Norman Rockwell just beautiful? You are surely right that "it represents what once was America."

God bless you!

And thank you ever much for visiting and even more so for your wonderful remarks.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

You covered so much I don't know where to start. Of course you have it right on. America is just not America anymore and I know many of us feel that. Another thing that really gets me is people trying to lump other religions in with Christianity. A real Christian knows their bible and does not go around saying we are the same as religions that do not claim Christ. All one. God forbid. Many Christians (well professing ones) do seem to have their own rules instead of knowing God's. Look at the news, watch Israel. Our days are short. It is time to be watching for our only way out and be ready. Search the word for truth.

Love your hubs, they are great for bringing many together. Up and sharing.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

"The happiest Americans are housewives" - Interesting - where is this statistic taken from? Just curious.

"Studies show that Social Trust is eroded by ethnic diversity in all neighborhoods—the opposite of what liberal elites (who rarely live in diverse neighborhoods) predicted."- So, there is still a big problem with racism I guess ... it is taking a long time to overcome this.

"People who live in communities with the greatest diversity have the lowest trust in local government; and they trust their neighbors less—even those of the same ethnicity. They are less likely to give to charity; to work on projects for their community; to perceive that they have a good quality of life; and they even have fewer close friends." - I live in Toronto (a place of high ethnic diversity - also, a city of over three million people). I trust my neighbors, I give to charity monthly, I am involved in volunteer work, I have enough friends (in my opinion) and I am not the only one in this position and with this attitude. Thus, I mostly disagree with this paragraph.

Hmm, I guess we are on a disagreeing path here because You wrote: "Hardly any other factor promotes happiness as does a good marriage." - I have been practicing abstinence and celibacy for over a decade. I am not married, never have been - I have no kids with anyone and I am happy.

I am also not religious and I am happy and I know many people who are not religious and are also quite happy.

I thought I came to a well researched article/argument with statistical information. I see now that is is a personal opinion based article. I will be honest and say that I could not finish it but I did find what I read to be an interesting perspective.

All the best!

P.S. I encourage You to look into a scholarly work written by Raymond Angelo Belliotti, titled: "Happiness is Overrated". Trust the guys who carries the name lol Cheers!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

To be honest about it, you're such a powerful writer and on top of your subjects, that on occasion after eyeing one of your titles a deep breath is required before diving in, James. I can remember growing up as a little boy in the 60s when everybody in the neighborhood knew everyone else and interacted as you've written here. You point out some unpalatable facts here, but facts nonetheless my friend. Like the % of white births out of wedlock now. The things presented here are astounding, shockingly astounding.

Moving on, many people, couples, don't understand that too much money going out is disastrous, money coming in is good. When you write that between the 70s and 2008 young white males decided working wasn't necessary i can only cringe with a 23 year old relative who has never worked and only plays video games. It does appear all that was touted in the past as making modern society happier and more fulfilling was at best wrong and at worse, well, we'll save that thought for another time. Outstanding, damning, contemplative producing, spot-on article, James.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi James,

You have uncovered some unpalatable truths in much of what you say. I am so glad that I grew up in the 1950s with a stay at home mother and a hard working father whose word and handshake was as good as any legal written contract. Every child I knew back then had both parents. By the time I got to high school, there were no day care centers in the schools because it was still rare for a teenager to get pregnant out of wedlock. There were dress codes for students in schools...even the public schools.

Morality has certainly declined over the years. Gone are the days of television shows like Father Knows Best or Leave it to Beaver, Lassie, Rin Tin Tin and so many others that taught good values.

I grew up in the days when doors and windows were left unlocked. I would no more consider doing that in this day and age. Sad!

Before the welfare state...families, neighbors and churches helped those who were truly in need. People freely gave rides to others...especially those in soldier's uniforms. Now one would be afraid to do that for fear of picking up a psychopath.

Times have certainly changed...and not for the better. I know so many people who simply do not think that marriage matters. Most all of our friends are long time married or perhaps becoming widowed...but we are a dying breed statistically. This does not portend good things for the future.

While some people reading this might disagree with all of your conclusions or statistics...suffice it to say that I do truly think that times were much better in the past and you have mentioned so many of the things that we simply took for granted back then like sitting down at a table and sharing a family meal together. Many simple things like that example make a difference in children's lives and overall happiness for everyone involved.

People did with less but were happier. There is a lesson there! Up votes and sharing.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 4 years ago from USA

James - If I had not studied your works for all of this long time, I would suppose that you had to struggle to output so many fine words. However, it all just "came out," didn't it? (Another fine job, Good Friend...)

Gus :-)))


dwachira profile image

dwachira 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

Hi James,

I guess any aspect of life has its own happiness and unhappiness depending on how we look at it. Being unemployed lead to unhappiness but ask those who are employed about it and chances are that some are unhappy. I will have to agree with that finding about happiness and going to church. I feel more happier every time i attend a church service, i always feel it is the best way to start a week. Great and detailed article, voted up and useful.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

"I grew up in the days when doors and windows were left unlocked. I would no more consider doing that in this day and age. Sad!"- Mrs. Peggy, You might want to move up to Canada - in this welfare country as You may call it, I leave my door open all the time - not just unlocked but open, wide. I also pick-up hitchhikers all the time - it is up to You how You live your life and into what Fears You wish to indulge in.

Unlike Mr. Watkins explained here, I believe that one's happiness comes from within. One does not need to be married, or live in a homogeneous neighborhood, or be rich (or not a "bum", as Mr. Watkins prefers to define homeless people) - those are all extras. One can be happy living in a monastery, a temple or an igloo up in the Arctic and as You very well mentioned with very little.

And I will disagree with You and say that good things are indeed to come. I have faith!

All the best!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Mr. Happy,

Like your name! I see that you live in Toronto. My husband once visited there and was so impressed with the cleanliness and look of your city. I was equally impressed with Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Canada is a great country from what we have seen of it.

Here in the U.S. there is so much gun violence, unlike Canada. That alone makes for a big difference between our countries...and yours is the better for it statistically. It is wonderful that you feel safe with your doors and windows unlocked and also feel perfectly safe picking up hitchhikers. I wish that I felt safe in doing the same. Just tonight on the local news a woman was visiting her husband's grave in a nice cemetery and left her purse in her locked car only to have the windows broken and her things stolen. Just a sad fact of life down here in the 4th largest city. We have to stay on the alert and take precautions. And I'll repeat...that is sad.

Enjoy your way of life! I did grow up that way as a child and have those memories. Those are nice! :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

carol7777— Please accept my apology for the delay in responding to your splendid comments. I have been working on a project and remiss in my duties here.

I want to thank you very much for sharing this article with your friends on Facebook. That means the world to me because it shows that you seriously appreciate my work here.

I am grateful to you for the "voted up," and I enjoyed your excellent and thoughtful remarks.

James :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

wba108@yahoo.com— I am so glad you came by to peruse my article. You know I agree with your comments and I appreciate you making them here. Imagine if the whole world starting tomorrow actually put God's plan into action for a couple decades. Finally, a utopia that works! :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

B-Dawg— Thank you for visiting and commenting. I have the first draft done. It is on the shelf for now because I previously finished a second draft for another book, entitled "Jesus in the World: The First 600 Years," and I am anxious to publish that one first. Then the book you asked about can be finished in just a couple months.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Your hub is so right. Girls and guys now live with each other maybe two or three different partners they live with before they get married. When they do get married if it last a year they are lucky. I think people aren't as happy as they use to be, at one time it was little things made us happy not so for younger ones anymore. To many of them worship celebrities like the Kardashians and they want to be like them. I think older people are unhappy because they're just worried about everything that's going on in our country. Even with our problems I still believe this is the best country in the world and filled with the kindest people.

Voted up.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Jackie Lynnley— "America is just not America anymore." You have got that right, my dear. To that the pernicious miscreants trot out their tired old straw man: "You are just afraid of change!" Which is nonsense. America is a set of ideas. Throw those ideas away and, as you say, "America is just not America anymore."

You are right that part of the strategy is "lump other religions in with Christianity," as if they were competing for the same crown—which they are not. As part of this they have created the meme "All religions are paths to the same place." And we know this is sheer nonsense that even the adherents of various religions do not claim at all.

Obviously, a large part of this is to tempt people through sex. Sexual desire is one of the most powerful urges on earth—to ensure the propagation of the species. The real break with the Christian Faith in the West always seems to come back to sexual mores sooner or later. That is the crux of the matter.

I very much appreciate you sharing this Hub in your circle of influence. Thank you for reading my work and for the voted up.

James :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Mr. Happy— Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. I appreciate your excellent comments and inquiries.

The statistics that show housewives are the most happy Americans as to how they spend their time comes from the General Social Survey in the section that surveys happiness levels by vocation and finds no one is happier at how they spend a majority of their time as are homemakers.

You believe that racism is the boogeyman because Social Trust is proportionately lower the more diverse is a neighborhood. Not necessarily so. Italians are happier in Little Italy before half the neighborhood becomes Polish or Mexican or Welsh. Those are not races but ethnicities. But it is also true that Social Trust is highest among Blacks and Latinos and even Eskimos when they live in a homogeneous neighborhood. Apparently people trust those who share their culture, which makes me wonder why multiculturalists insist on the Balkanization of American culture. I wonder what could be the true goal of that (by "citizens of the world")? Rather than call people names, why don't we just accept people for who they are—Is that not the main tenant of social liberals anyway?

As you say, "I trust my neighbors, I give to charity monthly, I am involved in volunteer work, I have enough friends (in my opinion) and I am not the only one in this position and with this attitude. Thus, I mostly disagree with this paragraph."

Well, that is fine to disagree. But you must consider that the study did not say NOBODY in that situation was happy and did the things you do. It merely said that the measurable level of all those things gets less and less the more diverse a neighborhood gets. The author points it out because based on empirical research, one of the great promises of progressives—that there is some GREAT benefit to us all of diversity—is simply not true. It is a pie-in-the-sky idealist's dream—not based on reality but fantasy. It's OK to dream it was that way but don't say it is.

Once again, I appreciate that you as an individual "am not married, never have been - I have no kids with anyone and I am happy."

I understand but the research doesn't say you MUST be married to be happy. It simply says that if you ask 200 million people how happy they are with their lives the married ones are on average happier than everybody else. The reason that is important is that Hollywood and the culture in general preach the opposite 24/7.

The happiest people are the most religious and the happiest people go to Church more than anyone else. All you have to do is ask a couple hundred million people how often they go to Church and how happy they are and these are the results.

You write: "I thought I came to a well researched article/argument with statistical information. I see now that it is a personal opinion based article."

I believe Charles Murray is a highly respected social scientist and best-selling author. Are you saying he is lying about the surveys he quotes in the extensive footnotes? Remember he took no surveys himself. He studies reams of data. He is a data cruncher par excellence.

So your answer to all this to tell people that Happiness is overrated?

I will check out the book you mentioned. Thanks again.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Alastar Packer— What a joy it is to see that you have stopped by and perused my article here. Thank you, my friend, for taking the time to read my piece and post such an articulate response. I am grateful to you for the awesome accolades, which I must confess have made my day. I sincerely appreciate the laudatory remarks such as you have made here on my behalf.

I am not sure about a deep breath, but some commenters have implied they need to hold their noses at my work. :D

I see that you can relate to my personal experiences as well as the statistical analysis I provided from the great book—highly recommended—by Charles Murray "Coming Apart."

The developments in my country have astounded me and contrary to published reports, I am no square. Heck, I have been married 4 times, I have fornicated, had children out-of-wedlock, broke most of the Ten Commandments by now, and yes, I forgot to exhale.

If a society can shock me they have done something. I was on the road with a touring Rock Band for 20 years—if you get my drift. Naiveté is not something to which I am well acquainted. Sure I've had dinner in the White House but also in the crack house. So don't act like I haven't been downtown. Not that you did. :D

Thank you Brother for your ongoing support and encouragement.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Peggy W— Hello there, my lady friend. I do understand that much I have written is hard to swallow. Denial is the moral code of our day in America it seems.

You know, Peg, people say the dumbest things. Some tell me I don't understand what it is to be poor. There were years when I was in my band that I was virtually homeless and everything I owned fit into one suitcase. My bandmates sold blood for lunch money more than once. My grandparents on both sides lived in homes with their children that had only dirt for floors. My dad and aunts and uncles all worked picking fruit from the time they were mere toddlers. They had nothing and never took any handouts and never took any government cheese either. And they all became successful adult citizens in America. Don't tell me I don't understand being poor. (Not that you did!)

I can totally relate to the America you describe. I think young folks these days are so brainwashed that they can't imagine such a world being true. Not that is was perfect. But there is no doubt whatsoever that it was better than today by any measure of social pathologies. You and I can easily, simply compare having to live behind the walls of gated communities today with the neighborhoods of America in the 1950s. They were not racially integrated but they were safe and nobody had bars on their windows.

Thank you for thinking highly enough of this article to share it with your friends. That means a lot to me. I appreciate your keen insights and the 'up votes.' God Bless You!

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

GusTheRedneck— It is a distinct pleasure to see that have read my Hub, my Good Friend. Thank you for letting me know you did and for your awesome accolades. You have made my morning, kind sir, with your warm words.

Now Gus, I don't want to disappoint you, but truth be told I put a lot of work into this article. :-)

James


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 4 years ago

Hi James, What a Wonderful, Enriching Read. I was a Kid in the 1950s, a Simpler Time...We were Happy, and I think Naïve...TV was new, and we still played outdoor (weekends & afternoons) until it got dark. No Couch Potatoes...And we actually talked to our Friends, No Texting...

Times have CHANGED, your Thought Provoking Hub shows that...And judging from the Wonderful Comments Happy, and Not so Happy...It's another Successful Hub.

My Votes of UP & Interesting, as well as Useful go to YOU.


A Little TRUTH profile image

A Little TRUTH 4 years ago

Yes, much has been done to prevent our happiness. This is by design to keep us down, while the media keeps us distracted from the real issues and/or the politicians keep us placated; which keeps most of us under control. It’s all part of the steady progression toward Agenda 21 and the New World Order.

But there are two pieces of good news here:

1) Articles like this one help get people thinking so that they can realize what is going on. This is, in part, how those agendas are being thwarted.

2) We are still free to control our own destinies; it’s just a little more difficult now to go in the direction we want. We need to follow Napoleon Hill’s advice: “Define your dream, and get a burning desire for its achievement.” Check with any highly successful person - successful at anything - and you’ll find that he’s done exactly that, whether he realized it or not.


cynthtggt profile image

cynthtggt 4 years ago from New York, NY

James, your hub is a well-written and true historical account of the decline of morality. But I have a question. While the erosion of society you write of throughout your hub is all true, do you think it is a deterioration resulting from loss of morals alone or loss of our individuality? What came first, the chicken or the egg? Did morals dissipate because individuals were never morally grounded alone in themselves in the first place? It is true that some church-going persons and even those of other groups, like AA, become happier and healed when in a group of like-minded. However, even in our purportedly happier past, there are many, even some greats among us, who felt great sadness, loneliness, or “staleness” in the messages groups offered, even those messages from the churches. [Some leaders in churches I attended never conveyed a deep understanding of God’s grace, for example, leaving meat out of the message, which alienated many.]

No doubt the old days were good but only in their outward projection, but behind closed doors nothing was much different “inwardly” than at other times. Problems were just not shared so readily with others, and neither did we have the mass communications we have today; but there was immense inward suffering, the same as today. And man was just as immoral in the past as he is today, even if more violent and less tolerant because of “collective” forces. It all only was better hidden from view. There is true pain as expressed by the liberals and feminists, but just as critical as they are of the morality message, is not the “merely” moral Christian bereft also? Christ sat with the sinners. Why did He? [Are we both extremes, one on the right, one on the left, fighting a mere morality message?]

It seems to be a pattern, isn’t it, that when a society becomes more collective its individuals are less able to contemplate their own motives and that results in their “character” becoming a non-essential quality in any goal. So, can our country truly heal by reverting back to moral precepts, or does it truly progress in understanding the deeper reasons behind moral precepts? Maybe understanding “grace” is the answer for this age. (And could St. Augustine’s Confessions be written if it were not for his understanding the mutual shallowness of both a merely collective moral obedience and the shallowness also of a merely collective immoral allegiance (with both extremes producing the same antipathy) without individualism)? As I see it, both extremes are equally shallow and painful.

God tells us nothing we do makes us “good.” Is the moral decline then caused by a people departing from conformance to a moral code in search for a greater or deeper one? Like a message of grace through faith, and love? And has God held to his threat of a branch grafted in only to be cut off if we turn away? Maybe God has willed this age for a reason? I think so. Will there be another great commission of the likes of Luther, or is this the end and final chapter, and our surrender? I hope for another chapter. After all, there is still time for His grace.


Deb Welch 4 years ago

James - A lengthy Hub but great - I felt a book coming on. I came back to finish reading. Today on Christian radio WDCX, a call-in program - A wife said she is thankful this Thanksgiving that her husband works so very hard so she may stay at home. Wow - that was a new one for 2012. I would say generally that school and marriage are on the road to Hell. Taking Prayer out of the classroom in 1962 - spoke reams.

My parents were extremely old-fashioned and forced their ideas upon me for most of my life and those ideas didn't fit inside my brain or my choice.

Most definitely our founding fathers of the United States were strict Christians and now we have a Muslim/Christian - White/Afro-American in a Second Term as our United States President, Barack Hussein Obama. Times have changed - big time.

Voted Up, Useful, Awesome and Interesting.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

dwachira— Hello there. I have been ill for over a week now and so have run behind on responding to comments on my Hubs. I apologize for the delay in acknowledging your remarks.

I surely agree with you that attitude—how we see ourselves and our lives—is a major factor in our level of happiness. I have heard it said that more important than what happens to us in our adventure called life is our reaction to what happens to us.

You wrote, "I feel more happier every time I attend a church service"

It seems that hundreds of millions of people share this feeling with you.

Thank you very much for reading my article, and for your gracious compliments. I appreciate the voted up and useful.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Mr. Happy— Thank you for coming back by to post your most excellent additional comments. I apologize for not acknowledging your remarks sooner but I have been ill for well nigh two weeks. I agree with you and I appreciate the visitation.

James :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Peggy W— I appreciate you returning to my Hub to make your gracious response to my other guest. You are, as always, a class act and a treasured member of the HubPages Community.

God Bless You!

James :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

moonlake— Thank you very much for taking the time to read my Hub. It is always great to hear from you. Your comments are exceptionally excellent and show acute insight into what ails us as a nation. I agree with your assessment of the situation wholeheartedly.

Allied with public virtue is marriage. Matrimony stands alone as the divine institution that can ensure the sanctity of the home, the stability of families and the transmission of virtue to the rising generation. The corrupting influences of pornography, promiscuity, licentiousness and all forms of sexual relations outside of marriage are of pernicious effect to the vows and bonds of matrimony, and are destructive of public virtue -- and thus, also of liberty. Despite prevailing philosophies, these harmful influences lie at the core of our nation's problems.

Confucius said: "The strength of a nation is derived from the integrity of its homes."

I appreciate this visit and your superb input. Thanks again.

James :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

b. Malin— Hello! I surely appreciate your lovely presence here on my Hub. I enjoyed your wonderful remarks and can safely assert that we are in agreeance. Thank you for the "Votes of UP & Interesting, as well as Useful." That means a lot to me. It always warms the cockles of my heart to see you have visited. Your comments are right on target and outstanding.

James :-)


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Mr. James, I wish Light will guide your path!

Da-na'-ho-we-yo! Hoka-hey!

Now, I would like to ask You: has the Great Spirit created diversity or have liberals created diversity? And why is Diversity good? Will You pray/meditate on that, please? ("that there is some GREAT benefit to us all of diversity")

"It simply says that if you ask 200 million people how happy they are with their lives the married ones are on average happier than everybody else." - Again this is misleading because this study did not ask people from Saudi Arabia these questions, or people from China, or any other place on Earth ... no, it asked only Americans and there are some serious biases to take into account in this case (which have not been taken into account).

You spoke about happiness and You gave false impressions. Who are the top five most happiest countries (according to statistics)? Let's see: Denmark, Finland, Norway, Netherlands and Canada. All "Liberal" countries where gay people can get married all day long, where we are not anal about drugs and so on ... Therefore, if we are to use logic and reason, we can say: "If these are the happiest countries then, their sorry- liberal-asses should be doing something right, no?" But You failed to think that far and left an essay talking about married Christian fundamentalists as being the happiest? Were You speaking of those lunatics with fifteen wives who have sexual relationships with their own relations? You can elaborate on that if You wish ...

So, the biased article left a taste of deception in my mouth and I couldn't swallow it - it's the truth.

All the best!


ElSeductor profile image

ElSeductor 4 years ago

Wow! This is one very long hub. I only read up to the part where you said that happiness involves God, etc, etc. I disagree. Happiness does not have to involve God. In fact, believing in God can lead to disillusionment. It is much better to see things as they are, and not as some unrealistic fantasy. Acceptance of the truth can lead to happiness.

R


cynthtggt profile image

cynthtggt 4 years ago from New York, NY

Mr. Happy: Diversity only extends insofar as "collective" minds would have it. Norway, for instance, confronted with its influx of Muslims is prone to the same intolerance as that experienced in the now "collective" minded, but formerly individualistic (founded on Christian precepts), U.S., as the bombing with the intent to kill Muslims by a lunatic in that country makes apparent. In a NYT's article, many Norweigans expressed an antipathy to the cultural differences they are confronted with now. I suppose since they heretofore were not confronted before. On the other hand, different individuals were always better tolerated in the U.S. than other countries until "collective" ideas flourished that unified people "collectively," so one's sexual proclivities are not any measure. On the other hand, socialism on its surface has historically been less innovative and creative that more competitive societies like the U.S., and the "like-minded" that led to slaughter of those that believed in God was the first and foremost people risked their lives to come to America, and as the last bastion of capitalism its loss as a religiously-based individualistic country that produced swaths of commerical wealth that fueled small socialistic democracies that enabled them to be more isolated deserves more credit for tolerance than you give it of both religion, as well as atheism. But here's a quote from history as an example of where socialism leads when "diversity" comes in like a wave:

"That in Germany it was the Jew who became the enemy until his place was taken by the “plutocracies” was no less result of the anti-capitalist resentment on which the whole movement was based than the selection of the kulak in Russia. In Germany and Austria the Jew had come to be regarded as the representative of capitalism because a traditional dislike of large classes of the population for commercial pursuits had left these more readily accessible to a group that was practically excluded from the more highly esteemed occupations. It is the old story of the alien race’s being admitted only to the less respected trades and then being hated still more for practicing them. The fact that German anti-Semitism and anti-capitalism spring from the same root is of great importance for the understanding of what has happened there, but this is rarely grasped by foreign observers.” (The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek)

That our governmental policies in the U.S. now serve a “new” religion called "collectivism" in the guise of "diversity" tolerance, one so simplistic in its “collective” construct and designed only to serve a “collective” end, and that it has become increasingly apparent that it ignores completely the values extolled by the introverted man and his religion, serves only to remind us that we must all with conviction stand in defense of the individual, whether we have religion or not, if we are to preserve any remnant of a free nation that is tolerant of "diversity."

Mr. Happy, when is diversity going to extend beyond the elements that make for a sense of inferiority? While there are lunatics on both sides of the aisle, and there always will be, to say that a modicum of social discretion is harmful is to admit a morality that is equally subserviant to "religion" than in all the depth of Christian thought.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

A Little TRUTH— Thank you very much for reading my article and for your extraordinary remarks. I agree with your keen insights all the way. Distraction is truly a weapon in the hands of the Devil and his minions.

I will be coming over soon to check out some of your writings. I enjoyed reading your Profile Page. If I may, I would like to quote it here:

“In a world of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” - George Orwell

"When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker, a raving lunatic." - Dresden James

Now! That is what I am talking about, right there. Amen!

James A Watkins

HubPages Resident Raving Lunatic :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

cynthtggt— Thank you for reading my essay. I appreciate your profound and extraordinary commentary, which I enjoyed reading and truly made me put my thinking cap on. :D

I am not sure we have lost our individuality but we have certainly lost great swaths of our individual liberty. There has surely been an extreme loss of morals. For instance, a recent study of college students found that they could only agree on 2 things that are "wrong": Rape and Murder. That's it. Everything else among the range of human behaviors is left for each individual to make up his own morality, which can change moment to moment since it is entirely subjective and relative. It is not that none of the students have any views about right and wrong, it was that those who did balked at saying what they thought was right or wrong for fear of being labeled the worst of all offenders: Judgmental.

It is like driving along a precarious mountain road without guardrails. It is not difficult to be careless or reckless and go off the cliff.

Morals dissipated because of the Sixties Counterculture, which was spawned by Marcuse and his acolytes, and accelerated by drugs and the Pill, and eased by New Age Religious beliefs, or non-beliefs.

Naturally, there has always been sin, sadness, loneliness, pain, and suffering. But the social pathologies present in America are unprecedented.

The problems we have today are far more than just more out in the open. The levels of drug abuse, sexual abuse, spousal abuse, violent crime, divorce, illegitimate births, sexual perversions, pornography, filth, bad manners, suicide, depression, and absolutely the levels of sexually transmitted diseases and the dependence on pharmaceuticals just to make it through the day are higher not only than at any time in American history before the Sixties but higher than even Satan would have dared to dream in 1963.

And it is no myth how God has been systematically pushed out of the schools and now the public squares across America.

I agree with your thoughts on collectivism and its deprecation of individual character. If you believe the New Left, nothing is any individuals fault, including mass murderers—except those who disagree with the Cultural Programs of the New Left, they are the worst scum of the earth. How dare they object to the plans of Secular Humanism? Let's just call them racists, sexists, or in general those who hate, haters.

God does say that none of us will be perfect. But He also reserves a particular enmity for those who do the Devil's work in deceiving the innocent and the ignorant, those who lead people down the path of perdition, those who openly reject God and rebel against His truth, who call good evil and evil good. It is one thing to sin privately—we all do. It is another to be PROUD of your sin, which adds the GREAT sin of Pride to the original sin and makes it a public proclamation in the hopes of persuading others to join in or at least force them to publicly approve of rebelling against God.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Deb Welch— I know this Hub is quite long. I apologize for that. I did cut it down some but there was a lot to say that I felt needed to be said. Thank you for your patience and graciousness. I especially appreciate your lovely laudations, as well as the "Voted Up, Useful, Awesome and Interesting." :D

That is an interesting story about the caller on the radio program. And I agree with you that marriage is doomed in our country, for a time anyway, and that will doom the nation to eventual oblivion or totalitarianism. Probably a One World Government will arrive before long. The Public Schools are at the root of the problem. And we are in total agreeance about what happened in 1962.

Times have changed and 95% of the changes have been for the worse in America. Sure, some things have gotten better. But every social pathology is far worse today than in the Fifties. And all this change was supposed to make people more happy. The opposite is true. Even Women's Lib, which promised to make for happier women, has made for less happy women. American women were happier before the Sexual Revolution than they are today!

James


cynthtggt profile image

cynthtggt 4 years ago from New York, NY

You wrote, "it was that those who did balked at saying what they thought was right or wrong for fear of being labeled the worst of all offenders: Judgmental." This is what I mean when I say that collective views have led to moral decay. Remember, the '50s was dubbed "The Silent Generation" because parents insulated their children from the harsh realities of life. It is not that what we see today did not go on back then. It is only that more were silent. Rather than it be only by moral laws, it is better to make room for the psycho-social implications of this, since the pull of others shapes us more than we care to admit. You wrote "American women were happier before the Sexual Revolution than they are today," in response to a commentator. You know I will respond. Men also were happier, but women are not the sole harbingers of moral decay. What happened to the men? One Christian man, General William Booth (founder of The Salvation Army), wrote, “When you see a girl on the street you can never say without enquiry whether she is one of the most-to-be condemned, or the most-to-be pitied of her sex. . .For these unfortunates no one who looks below the surface can fail to have the deepest sympathy.” This kind of man is a rare find today. What does a woman become in the absence of this kind of mind? Answer: She shops at Victoria's Secret. Don't blame the women James, for the value of the brute is extolled today by men more than the mind. If men change, women will follow.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

James, you have a way of delving into what has gone wrong to bring about the status of the world today and what we lost along the way. This is an awesome hub. The decade of the 1950s was definitely a good way of life -- for the most part, parents had consistent rules and set moral standards for their children, which brought up a generation of well balanced people who felt good about themselves, family and country, with a solid foundation of love and faith. God was the center of the family, the heart of life.

Why was that not good enough for society? I often look at the way things are now and wish we could magically go back to the "Golden Era". The best, and most important, thing we can do now is to keep our morals, our faith, and our hopes and reach out to others, as you do in your writings. Light one, just one candle in someone's heart and it can spread into a bonfire of healing.

Thank you, James. God bless you and may you always walk in peace and harmony.


lovedoctor926 4 years ago

Excellent presentation. I agree with most of the information here. Very interesting observation as far as housewives. I hope you don't mind me quoting this.. "People who attend church on a regular basis exhibit better mental and physical health, and live longer. They have more stable marriages and fewer disabilities in their old age. They are happier, feel better about themselves, are less depressed, and use less drugs and alcohol. Their children have better outcomes, too." I totally agree with this concept. I also agree with working hard and striving to be the best lead to happiness or contentment for the most part. voted up!


Coolmon2009 profile image

Coolmon2009 4 years ago from Texas, USA

I enjoyed reading your article and your Balkanized map is thought provoking.


andromida profile image

andromida 4 years ago

I enjoyed reading your thorough analysis of the present state of American socioeconomic structure. I guess no matter how much we advance technologically we should never forget our tradition and our education system should highlight the importance of the development of ethical values among our children.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Mr. Happy— Thank you! I surely do need a lamp unto my feet as a light for my path.

There is no doubt that God made the earth a very diverse place. Of course, that does make all diversity good. Healthy cells and cancerous cells are diverse from each other but the former is better off without the latter.

You are spot on that the book upon which I based this article is only about social science conducted in America. Neither the author nor I made any claims otherwise. To see the state of people in Saudi Arabia or China I suppose would require different social studies and different books.

You are correct that America, which was once the happiest nation in the world, oddly enough at the same time it was also the most Christian nation on earth, circa 1960, now is 19th out of 26 "First World" nations and the level of happiness has dropped steadily in America ever since the 1960s, the decade in which it was proposed that getting rid of God in public schools and the public square, as well as saturating ourselves with sin, would truly make us much more happy than those fuddyduds were in the 1950s.

The fact is that America embarked on a grand social experiment from the late Sixties onward and the results are in. Every social pathology is far worse today than in 1965. Most social and personal problems have increased between 400% and 800%. We lament about poverty while we spend billions on cosmetic surgery. The top drug prescribed in the country is not for an illness but so old men can screw more. The New Left was wrong about nearly everything, and it told bald-faced lies in many cases. "Divorce won't hurt children." Ha Ha. Progressive policies have created a nation where after spending trillions of dollars—enough 100 dollar bills to pile to the moon and back—to "end poverty in our lifetime" we have the same level of poverty as we had without any of those programs. Every 5th American adult needs happy pills just to make through the day. How proud the Greatest Generation must be that somehow had the wherewithal to survive the Great Depression and WWII without Prozac. They must have been superhuman. One out of eight websites is for porno and 89% of all pornography is created in America, where we can now see the girl next door getting reamed by several men at once. Women have never been more objectified. Suicide, depression, drug abuse, child abuse, spousal abuse, sexual abuse, rape, murder, and other violent crime are at rates 4 to 8 times that of 1963. We have killed 55 million babies in the very place nature designed to keep them safe—in the wombs of their own mothers. Perversion runs rampant, the F-Bomb is dropped in public all day every day, common courtesy out the window, more people know the Kardashians and Snooki and what they said and did than know about James Madison or Thomas Edison. Half of all babies now born out of wedlock and every social study ever done shows plainly that those babies will be far more apt to exhibit every kind of problems known to man. The children suffer. Every third American is obese, so lack of food is not the problem. Our education system, the best in the world before this social engineering began, is now among the worst although we spend 2nd most of any nation on it. The cure of Sex Education in schools has proven a worse prescription than the original disease. Rampant promiscuity has caused unprecedented levels of Sexual Transmitted Diseases. 95% of all cervical cancers in women are the result of STDs. 19 million persons are infected with a STD each year in America—4 million of them teenagers. 65 million Americans have a contagious Sexually Transmitted Disease right now. 25% of all American adults have a lifelong incurable STD. All of these numbers of infected persons represent astonishing increases of 700 to 900 percent since the Sexual Revolution.

And you would call of this . . . Progress.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

ElSeductor— Thank you very much, R, for taking the time to read my article and share your thoughts with us. I see that your latest Hub is about how to entice a married lady to commit adultery with you. Nice.

I do apologize for the long length of this article. I appreciate your patience.

I never said you had to have a relationship with God to be happy. I said that social studies show that the happiest people do and the unhappiest people don't. And at least in the United States, that is the truth.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

cynthtggt— Thank you very much for both of your outstanding comments posted here five days ago. The first one you made to Mr. Happy and in it are many marvelous points. The quote from Hayek is superb. "The Road to Serfdom" sits right on the shelf behind me as I write this. Brilliant book!

As you put it so succinctly "we must all with conviction stand in defense of the individual, whether we have religion or not, if we are to preserve any remnant of a free nation . . . "

The world will one day lament the disappearance of (to use some of your words) "America . . . the last bastion of capitalism . . . its loss as a religiously-based individualistic country that produced swaths of commercial wealth . . . deserves more credit for tolerance than you give it of both religion, as well as atheism."

Amen! Thanks again.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

cynthtggt— I appreciate your contributions to this discussion. You are a clear-eyed thinker with great wisdom and discernment.

You wrote: "women are not the sole harbingers of moral decay"

You are absolutely correct and I apologize if I implied they were or are. I only meant that the Feminist Revolution and Sexual Liberation were supposed to be for them, for their benefit, not to be "shackled by a patriarchal society" was predicted to be the key to the happiness of women. And that is dead wrong, as the evidence shows, I think.

I am not at all surprised that the average man was more than willing to live by the Playboy Philosophy and have as much recreational sex as he could with women who read Cosmo. I mean, men have always been horndogs, have they not? Not that it makes it right, good, and noble. Not at all.

I totally agree with you that Mr. Booth of the Salvation Army was a rare man of dignity and integrity, a type of man that is as hard to find today as gold in them thar hills.

Unfortunately, narcissism and nihilism are the end result of teaching our children Secular Humanism in school.

You made a ton of excellent points in your remarks. Thank you very much.

James :-)

ps these aticles are related to this topic

http://hubpages.com/relationships/Sexual-Revolutio...

http://hubpages.com/relationships/Alfred-Kinsey...


quicksand profile image

quicksand 4 years ago

Hi James,

I speed-read this article for the second time, but I have to come back a couple of times more cause I want to make sure I don't miss anything.

This time I am determined to make a comment, so here I go! ... Well the way I look at it, happiness can be induced by avoiding stuff that gets you worried.

I have met people who are cheerful even if they don't have the basic amenities, and I know that the vibes that they generate is kinda protein for the mind! ... Well that's the best way I could put it!

Avoiding negative people who complain at every turn could do a lot of good because negativity eats up that protein!

Getting too deeply involved in society also has the tendency to force changes in ones attitudes and habits and this too can lead to loss of happiness.

Well that's the way I look at it and basically it has worked for me! Voted up and interesting too! Cheers!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Phyllis Doyle— You are quite welcome, my dear. Thank you ever much for your blessings and your awesome accolades. I appreciate this visitation from you, as always.

I love how you explicated what was right about the Fifties. As you said so succinctly, it was "a generation of well balanced people who felt good about themselves, family and country, with a solid foundation of love and faith. God was the center of the family, the heart of life."

Amen.

I am truly touched by your warm words. I can feel your heart through your words about healing and reaching out to others. Thanks again for your lovely spirit.

God Bless You,

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

lovedoctor926— Thank you for your kind compliments, as well as the voted up! :-)

I do not mind you quoting me at all. In fact, I am honored that you might think highly enough of my words to do so.

I sincerely appreciate the visit and your excellent remarks. It is always good to hear from you.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Coolmon2009— Thank you! Thank you very much. :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

andromida— I am well pleased that you enjoyed my Hub. I love your comments. You are spot on. You get it.

Thank you ever much for posting your remarks. I appreciate the visitation.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

quicksand— Hello my friend! I missed this comment you made somehow. I apologize for taking so long to respond to you. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read my article not once but twice. That is high praise indeed and for that I am grateful to you.

I think there is much to be said about avoiding anxiety. Jesus said "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" and "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

If your approach works for you then I say "Bully for you!" I am happy for you and I am well pleased that you came by to share your personal philosophy with me/us.

Thank you very much for the "Voted up and interesting!" Good man.

Ciao!

James


MonetteforJack profile image

MonetteforJack 3 years ago from Tuckerton, NJ

Sir James, thank you! Now I know what makes Americans happy :) There are lots of truths in your hub. One truth that hits home -- diversity. That's so true. My husband and I currently live in a diverse neighborhood and well, it's not perfect. Until we can really save up and move out, to make things good for us, we just keep to ourselves. Another truth is, we try to better ourselves by reading and research in the hopes our IQs go up higher and of course, so we can know more and so we can have better paying jobs. The third truth, Jack and I are happily married for forever :)

God bless you with many joys, Sir James!

Monette


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 3 years ago from Southern Minnesota

fascinating statistics and interpretations. You seem to have addressed every social, cultural, and religious ill that lends to happiness or not. I was "happy" to see that Home makers were the happiest : )

The one Sad observation I make is that this unhappiness and poor life choices as you have exhaustively referred to above in the nation at large has crept into the church culture as well and it appears that unhappiness is quickly becoming epidemic there as well.

Excellent info and observations.


expertscolumn profile image

expertscolumn 3 years ago from New York

This is very interesting i have to say

America today is not the same from 100 years ago for sure. Diversity that made America is ruining it, social trust is falling apart and it's a big dilemma for sure.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

MonetteforJack— Hey!! It is truly a pleasure to hear from you again. I hope all has been well. Thank you for reading my article and for posting such thoughtful, insightful remarks. And you are welcome!

I am glad you liked my Hub, Monette. I love that you are reading and researching in order to increase your brainpower by adding more and more knowledge and wisdom. God Bless You!

It is wonderful that you and Jack are happily married forever. That is a cornerstone of happiness. I will pray that you get better jobs and move into a more comfortable neighborhood.

I sure appreciate the visit, your comments, and your blessings. Good to see that we are in agreeance.

James :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

Tamarajo— Thank you very much for taking the time to come by and read my article. It is always a distinct pleasure to hear from you. Your comments never fail to delight in their superb discernment and wise brilliance.

I am glad I brought a smile to your face. I agree with you about the demonic creep into the mainline churches. I read a fascinating book about why those churches, with their liberal bent in a failed attempt to stay "hep", have lost half their members. It is called "Exodus: Why Americans Are Fleeing Liberal Churches for Conservative Christianity" by Dave Shiflet.

Merry Christmas and Happy New year!

James :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

experts column— I love your comments, which I agree with and that I consider to be so wise. Thank you very much for taking the time to read my Hub. I look forward to reading your writings, which I have made myself a note to do ASAP. Welcome to the HubPages Community!


Donna Kay Bryan profile image

Donna Kay Bryan 3 years ago

James,

Wow, I am amazed! So much of what you have written here has hit me to my core.

I taught in a socioeconimcally depressed community for the last 6 years, which could have been used as a portion of your "study" here. It has been heartbreaking to see the decline of America, the American family, values, morals, and ethics. As for traditions, many of my students traditionally celebrated Christmas and Easter, but many could not tell you why. It seemed that they thought it had more to do with seeing cousins and eating special foods.

The theme for my classes last year was "Ethical Responsibility." I tried to teach ethics and morals through the literature we read, and the writing assignments I gave. I even had an "Ethics Points" component as part of their grade. All of a sudden I noticed that students were questionning more, doing for others more, and realizing the age-old battle of good vs evil. It gave me a glimmer of hope.

I truly hope that we can turn things around in this country, and get back to a life lived with integrity.

I do hope that things will change for all of our sakes.

Voted up - beautiful, awesome, and interesting.

God bless,

-Donna


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

Donna Kay Bryan— Welcome to the HubPages Community. I love teachers and I appreciate what you do to mentor the upcoming generations of Americans. God Bless You Donna!

Thank you for taking the time to come over and read my article. I sincerely appreciate your outstanding comments, which are insightful and thoughtful.

I am glad that you find my Hub to be moving and relevant. I surely share your feelings that "It has been heartbreaking to see the decline of America, the American family, values, morals, and ethics."

You also wrote: "As for traditions, many of my students traditionally celebrated Christmas and Easter, but many could not tell you why."

The secularization of the most holy days on the calendar is a travesty. It is done in the name of "inclusiveness" or some of those other Marxist/Freudian terms. What it really means is the erasure of the Lord from public spaces. We know who is the driving force behind that movement—and I don't mean men of flesh and blood.

Speaking of teaching ethics and morals, I read recently that a new study (and book) shows that college age youngsters can only agree on TWO things that are definitely wrong to do: murder and rape. Beyond that, it is every man to himself when it comes to right and wrong because the last thing the kids want to be is "judgmental"—which is REALLY what they have been indoctrinated as the greatest of all wrongs.

I am honored that you gave me the "Voted up - beautiful, awesome, and interesting." And I am grateful for your blessings.

James


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 3 years ago

James A. Watkins, This is a wonderfully composed presentation. You have showcased the basic rudimentary principles of what it takes to have true, “Happiness!” You have given us much to ponder and have made some excellent points! One can have all the things that life has to offer and still not experience much happiness. Yet, one can also lose much and still experience happiness. Why? Because happiness is not found in things! It is a cavernous internal reservoir of safe deposits within one’s soul that we can draw from to override life’s disappointments. It is a place of elation and satisfaction that one experiences when as you so wonderfully stated; “Happiness means to reach old age generally pleased with who you have been and what you have accomplished that has been important—through your own efforts over an extended period of time.”

Experience is not always the best teacher. But when you have a plethora of cherished experiences they override most of the unpleasantness that we may encounter within life! Again as you stated:” “True happiness nearly always involves some combination of God, family, vocation, and community. Kind of makes me wonder why they don’t teach that in school. And should make all of us wonder why Faith, Family, Vocation, and Community have been enfeebled by our government since the 1960s..... & “Happiness consists of lasting and justified satisfaction with life as a whole.” Yes! Here you are "Spot On!" I so agree Professor! For me personally; I believe that placing the Lord first is essential!

As always it is has been a pleasure as well as another thorough, thought provoking educational treat. I so admire your “Gift of the Pen” Your writing is superb as usual! In HIS Love, Grace, Mercy, Peace & Blessings! & Yes! “HAPPINESS!” God Bless You!


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 3 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

My goodness James, you really put some thought and hard work into this hub. Great job!! I am thrilled to say, I'm basically a happy person, even with all of the stresses of today, mostly because I have realized helping others is a great way to have fulfillment in my own life.


skye2day profile image

skye2day 3 years ago from Rocky Mountains

James my brother. Oh darn I lost my first comment. My fingers go faster then the buttons move. lol. I hit the delete button. First I want to wish you and yours a most blessed new year of good health, joy and prosperity shaken, pressed down, and running over in His marvelous love.

Anyway I am 'happy' I came to your neighborhood to visit. I am always informed with well researched fact and truth in your excellent, organized and moving writing.

This paragraph almost sucked me in. 'the same year the Supreme Court kicked God, the Bible, and Prayer out of the public schools, and the schools began to indoctrinate children into the substitute religion of Secular Humanism, which makes the State the highest authority in the world instead of God.' My last three hubs bring up this truth and fact. The Holy Spirit is moving to get out messages, Amen.

The fact is when GOD is taken out of the picture the hedge of protection is slowly lifted from us. Many will blame God saying any good God will not allow evil and wickedness to abound. The truth is God is not the author of evil. As you so stated the ball really started to roll in the 1960s as pride swept over the nation. Many including me jumping into the boiling pot. Oh how blessed we are to have grace and mercy of God abound on His creation. One day though Gods wrath is going to come on us. When God is taken out of the picture He has given us up to our own iniquities. Let us pray God comes back to this nation. We have made a choice to do it our way. Reminds me of the song by Frank. "I did it my way" Our way is a mess. There is only one way to happiness and His name is Jesus Christ.

I do hope you will come over and visit this coming year. JK. I know you are busy and I am always blessed with your visits. Well again you did it James you spoke truth. Thank you for doing that. Hugs galore brother. Your sister in Christ. Skye.


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

Guess, this is my last read for the day and I'm signing off. However, I'd like to commend you for this very well written hub. It is lengthy, alright but indeed substantial.

What really makes us happy--is so thought provoking. Can we completely get rid of greed, lust, envy and the vicious cycle of wanting more? Maybe, it's time, it's time to go back to the basic when life was not that complicated, faith is not twisted; where it's peaceful and where the core of humanity, which is love (God is love) is of utmost important than anything else in the world.

Amen to this hub.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 3 years ago from North Carolina

Just when I thought it wasn't possible to "define" happiness, I read your hub. This is an impressive look into the real condition of America. I have to agree with you on all these points. You did a great job of pinpointing the factors that have led to the decline in happiness over the generations. It appears we are victims of our own greed.


buddhaanalysis 3 years ago

I read this article and found that author is unhappy about falling lifestyle and disturbed/broken families.(which also becoming trend due to copy cat behavior of so called modern india)

He also says that multi ethnic community in same country is not good idea.I also agree that and never understood why did USA allowed millions of population/workers from India,China or any other countries which became trend and now they really have to stop it.(BTW i guess USA already had dispute within Spanish and British invaders descendant citizens)

I really don't know why homosexuals are increasing in world and if someone opposes it then it should not be blamed that it is due to religious mentality.

I really sad that in early 90's we have seen very strong USA but now this article telling me different story.

"I don't know why young generation don't look premarital affairs as bad but it does lot problem like complete collapse of society step by step.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

DeBorrah K. Ogans— What a distinct pleasure it is to see you here! Thank you very much for gracing me with your presence again. It has been a while since we have interacted. I surely appreciate you taking the time to come over and read my article and post you're always amazing comments.

I am grateful to you for the kind compliments. I do hope this article will make some folks put their thinking caps on. As you said so well: "Happiness is not found in things."

I do love this quote from the book from which I based this article: “Happiness means to reach old age generally pleased with who you have been and what you have accomplished that has been important—through your own efforts over an extended period of time.” (Charles Murray in "Coming Apart")

By the way, I could not recommend that book highly enough. It is truly eye-opening.

I agree with you 100% that the key to happiness IS putting the Lord first. Sometimes, that is not so easy to do but if we really think about it, it is a matter of trust. If we really trust God we will put him first.

I am thankful for your blessings. I enjoyed reading your remarks. Until next time,

God Bless You!

The Professor

James :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

picklesandrufus— I am well pleased that you recognized the hard work I put into this Hub. Thank you for your gracious compliments.

I am happy that you are so happy. I surely agree with you that "helping others is a great way to have fulfillment in my own life."

It is a pleasure to hear from you again. I appreciate the visit and your correspondence.

James :)


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 3 years ago

James, It is always a delightful pleasure! Thank you for pointing out the quote origin Professor. Just wanted to say it really has been much too long... My time has not been my own… You have not been overlooked I have stopped by briefly... However I must admit I have to set aside more time when I read one of your brilliant articles. A few moments will not do since there is so much to ponder, process and digest in order to leave a well deserved comment.

Thank You again for this most truly relevant thought provoking composition we are living in some very interesting times. I pray that all continues to go well with you… Your due diligence and hard work are always evident! Just now that many more along with myself are always Blessed by your marvelous works. Voted UP of course! “Your Gift will make room…” As Always GOD BLESS YOU! Much Love, Peace & Happiness in JESUS NAME!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

skye2day— You are quite welcome, my dear. I am so happy to see that you have visited my Hub and left me such a nice note. It has been a while since we have corresponded. You were always one of my favorite Hubbers. It is great to "see" you, Sister!

Happy New Year to you! I certainly appreciate your best wishes and blessings, as well as the hugs. Thank you for reading my article and even more for your gracious accolades.

Yes, the Holy Spirit is moving. I will come over shortly to read your latest writings. I look forward to it.

That "hedge of protection" you mentioned is, as you said so well, "slowly lifted from us." And this that you wrote is awesome: "Many will blame God saying any good God will not allow evil and wickedness to abound." AMEN

Without grace and mercy, where would we be? You wrote: "When God is taken out of the picture He has given us up to our own iniquities. Let us pray God comes back to this nation."

Yes, indeed. You are so right. I will join you in that prayer.

God Bless You!

Brother James :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

CrisSp--- I sure am glad that you took the time to make this Hub your last read for the day. :-)

I apologize if it is too long. I appreciate your patience. Thank you very much for lovely laudations.

You ask an excellent question: "Can we completely get rid of greed, lust, envy and the vicious cycle of wanting more?"

There is always hope, my friend.

I enjoyed your insightful and thoughtful remarks. Well put!

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

tammyswallow--- It is very nice to hear from you again, Tammy. I am glad that you liked my Hub and that we are in agreeance. I appreciate your kind compliments and thoughtful comments.

"The decline in happiness over the generations" you noted is very real according to all indicators. Isn't it amazing the promises that were made by those who created this societal upheaval as to the great benefits we would all enjoy? They have proven to be wolves in sheeps clothing. :-)

Thank you for coming!

James


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Hi James. I came back to reread your excellent article and look over the new comments. You certainly spark a lively commentary with your well chosen words. Well done Professor.

PS Thank you for the ultra kind remarks on my earlier comment. I always learn something from reading your work.


samowhamo profile image

samowhamo 3 years ago

Hi James just curious because I don't know a lot about this but what are the chances that we could live in a police state my father fears that we may (but not in his lifetime).


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

Buddhaanalysis— Thank you ever much for taking the time to come by and read my article. Yes, you read me right. I am "unhappy about falling lifestyle and disturbed/broken families," and I am so sorry to hear your report that this is also being copied in India.

I share your feelings of being "really sad that in early 90's we have seen very strong USA but now this article telling me different story." Oh yes, the USA is going downhill alright. And that fall from grace is accelerating too.

You wrote that you "really don't know why homosexuals are increasing in world." It can only be demonic activity leading people to make those choices about their personal behavior.

I think your comments are great. And I sincerely appreciate you making them here. Thanks again for visiting.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

DeBorrah K. Ogans--- You are most welcome, my dear. The pleasure is all mine I assure you. Your visits never fail to delight, inspire, and encourage me.

Life is busy these days. Most of us run a brisk pace. That is why I appreciate it so that you take the time to come and see what I've been writing once and a while.

Your comments are always marvelous. Nobody makes better comments on my work than you do. Yes, these are interesting times alright. A little too interesting sometimes. :-)

You know I appreciate your prayers and blessings. Thank you for the best wishes and the "voted up!"

God Bless You Sister!

In Jesus Name,

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

PegCole17--- Hello there! You are most welcome, my dear. Thanks for coming back by. I am always well pleased when you visit. I appreciate your kind compliments. :-)

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

samowhamo--- Thank you for visiting and commenting. Welcome to the HubPages Community. I look forward to reading some of your writings, which I shall do soon.

It is very possible that America, and even more likely the entire world, will descend into madness, chaos, and a police state, a la "1984." There are men who want to rule the world, to create a One World Government, a New World Order. And they are men who thrive on telling others what to do, how to live, and what to think. They are into political correctness, by which they train the populace like sheep to accept State Doctrine. Some of them are Atheists but the chief among them are Satanists. They will promote Socialism and use its utopian dream to vanquish any competitor to the World State, any competition for affection and loyalty to the State, in particular Churches, Families, and Marriage. They will take control of the food supply and the supply of pharmaceuticals---the happy pills that 1 in 5 Americans already depends on. This is why they want control over health care. Any opponents will not get health care, nor happy pills, nor food in the end, branded as "enemies of the state."


samowhamo profile image

samowhamo 3 years ago

Thank you James and you can call me Sam if you like. I write mostly about paleontology (the study of dinosaurs and prehistoric animals) herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians) and a couple of articles on sexism towards men.


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 3 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

James,

Wow! It has been a little while now since I have slowed down enough to read your latest. You are such an incredible writer and informer. Yes, as Mr. Happy said, it is just another opinion, but the research you did to conclude to this hub is astounding, as is always with your hubs.

Just exactly HOW did we allow ourselves to ruin a good thing?

People can say what they want, but I will say with 100% confidence that “God” does exist. He laid out His plan. We ALL have choices that we make and take. He has the prescription, that allows us all to have “peace, comfort and joy” in our lives, which transforms into what we know as happiness.

Yet, so many today refuse to accept that as a remote possibility….and chose other avenues to attempt Happiness.

We live in such a unique time. We were able to see all of this first hand, and to see the destruction of it.

The good news is, God’s plan still allows us, to endure and embrace His plan of “peace, comfort and joy” despite what others do.

James, please keep on sharing your wisdom and your talents.

Sincerely,

Chris


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

SAM!! You are welcome, friend. Thank you. I will check out your Hubs on "sexism towards men" for sure.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

CMerritt— Chris! It is a distinct pleasure to "see" you here, my friend. I always look forward to hearing from you because I enjoy reading your insightful comments. I am grateful to you for the awesome accolades, Brother. They mean a lot to me as they come from a mind that is keenly discerning.

I agree with you that we DO indeed live in a unique time. I have lived through the destruction of the greatest country that ever was. She was always imperfect, and always would be, but she will be missed by the world after she is gone—that I guarantee.

Yes, God exists. He created the universe and all that is in it and He created Man in His own Image. He set in place the laws, both physical and moral. They can be broken only with dire consequences—such as trying to fly off a building flapping your arms. We do have Free Will, as you say so well. Sin builds a wall between our Creator and us as individuals. It can only be breeched by His Son.

I appreciate your wise remarks, and I thank you for taking the time to read my Hub.

Faithfully Yours,

James


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 3 years ago

JJRBJ-

Yes, everyone WANTS to be happy, but often those things that are pursued are unobtainable. It takes no effort at all to find happiness in a sunrise, a baby's smile, or the antics of our four legged family members. "Long drives" can be just as satisfying as world travel, a great meal at the dinner table is as good or better than a five star restaurant........ happiness is found in the people we love.

You write...... "Hardly any other factor promotes happiness as does a good marriage. " Operative words being "good marriage." We are both well aware that bad marriages promote nothing but decay, chaos, and the slow death of the people we truly are. Our children need to see and be aware that there is such a thing as true, unconditional love........ they might not always believe it at first, but they do need to see it...... the believing will come.

Young people need to understand that blatant pursuit of the opposite sex might just get them a partner, but that in the end you cannot catch another human being......... girls need to understand that the giving of their bodies is sacred; virginity can only be given once, and it should be given in love....... not in the hopes they'll have a date for the next school dance (oh my, I forgot....... it's not about dating, it's about hooking up). The same goes for the boys.

You couldn't be more correct in saying "Religion makes us happy." There is nothing more edifying than spending time in the house of God, particularly when you're fortunate enough to attend a church where you can feel His presence from the moment you enter the front door. Happiness is found in the fact that God's house becomes the place you can't wait to visit again......... what a wonderful feeling of real happiness. We none of us are perfect (far from it), but in actively pursuing our faith we find a peacefulness that unbelievers do not have. A peaceful soul is a happy soul, and I admittedly don't always deal so well with those things that wreak havoc on the peacefulness......... those things remain unwelcome.

As for the world of business and politics, I defer to your expertise. I love my job, or should I say I love my children........ even those who are unlovable. I daily find myself defending the positive areas of public education that work, but we both know for the most part it just doesn't. God's absence from the public schools is sorely felt, but I am lucky enough to work in a school that says the Pledge every morning the way it's written, to take advantage of each morning's moment of silence and know there are children who use it to pray......... Jesus' presence is front and center at the "holiday" assembly, and I have made it a priority to do what I must to keep Christian literature in the Book Club curriculum.

"Everybody wants to be happy." Yes, they do! But there's a big difference between the happiness that warms you up inside and the happiness found in a job, a house, or in between the folds of a wallet. Things are unimportant, accolades are unnecessary, and there isn't one thing in this world I wouldn't give up for the happiness I have right now in this time and this place. Life is more than beautiful; I am happy. AMLNAF ~ K


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

You have went all out here, happiness is the key to a good life especially when achieve that specific goal. Well done on a great job on the topic voted up!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

Kaie Arwen— Hello there, my dear! It is always a distinct pleasure to see that you have visited. Your comments never fail to brighten up my day, encourage me to do better and do more, and warm the cockles of my heart. Thank you very much for reading my work and sending me such a thoughtfully nice note.

I agree with you that we can "find happiness in a sunrise, a baby's smile, or the antics of our four legged family members. 'Long drives' can be just as satisfying as world travel, a great meal at the dinner table is as good or better than a five star restaurant."

Yes, indeed.

I especially love that you added this: "happiness is found in the people we love."

Ain't it the truth!?

You write that "Our children need to see and be aware that there is such a thing as true . . . love........ they might not always believe it at first, but they do need to see it"

Yes they do. That is so important.

I agree with you wholeheartedly that the body is sacred. Two things in this world are marked out as particularly sacred: Life and Sex. And, of course, they are interrelated.

You write: "There is nothing more edifying than spending time in the house of God, particularly when you're fortunate enough to attend a church where you can feel His presence from the moment you enter the front door."

You have got that right, Sister! If you are blessed enough to have found a church like that you blessed among women.

Loving the unlovable is part of our mission in life, part of having a servant's heart. I can tell that you have one, Kaie Arwen.

As you say, "God's absence from the public schools is sorely felt." I am glad and proud that you (and some others) do all you can to be Salt and Light where God plants you. And what more important place than in our public schools, animated as they are by the spirit of the AntiChrist, disguised as Secular Humanism.

I am thrilled to see you say how happy you are! You are truly remarkably blessed.

I appreciate your once again fabulous remarks. God Bless You!

JJRBJ


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

DDE--- Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article on Happiness. As you said so well, it is the key to a good life. AND a good life is a key to happiness, too. I think that life tends to spiral, in one direction or the other. Which make sense in a cosmic sort of way, since life is made of spirals. :D

Anyway, I appreciate your kind compliments and the voted up! I look forward to reading some of your writings, which I shall do soon.

James

ps I have Croatian friends from Split.


Vickiw 3 years ago

Hello James, I am honoured that you have decided to follow me. Of course I went straight to this Hub, and am quite blown away by your great research and ability to put it all together in fascinating form. Like most people in academia, I have points of disagreement with you, but appreciate your passion for what you believe. I think my beliefs have become much simpler over the years. I think that realistically we cannot turn back the clock,sad as it is. On the other hand without the technology that we have, we would not be having this conversation. I am so thrilled to see how many followers you have, and of course will become one too. So that tells you how much people desire to have happiness, even though they may not be able to achieve it. Perhaps the most sensible thing is for families ( in whatever form that may mean) to sit down together ( what a concept!) and discuss what happiness means to them, and what steps they can take to achieve it. In my case I believe happiness comes with enjoying nature, teaching, and helping others, so I make those my daily priorities. I think that helping starts with giving, and that encourages other small circles of giving. It doesn't have to be a major thing, but it does increase the circles of giving and love that should surround us. Thank you for your very wonderful and thought-provoking article.


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 3 years ago from USA

I think you hit on some important points here. I have been sadden to see the rise in divorce amount the elderly. I knew of a couple that had been married over 50 years one day up and leave each other. I know others may disagree with this, but I agree that without God households are more chaotic and disfunctional. It seemed that morals had taken a back burner to greed, lying, and stealing. I seen a difference growing up in the households that based their life around their faith verses those that chose to reject God and follow their own path. To me, technology has it benefits, but also its downfalls. I guess that is why I often felt that it would be fine with me if life was revered back to the pinoneer age. It was a life that sorted out those that wanted to work for it, from those that wanted to live off the work of others. Great hub! I found it thought-provoking and interesting.


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 3 years ago from Manila

This is indeed an excellent hub which presents some interesting information. It is great to know that the people who attends church regularly are happier people than those who do not. Truly religion makes people happy. I believe the christians who are living in the center of God's will are the happiest people of all for our relationship with God truly makes us happy. Thank you for sharing this great wealth of information. Remain blessed always. I am wishing you a great day today. Best regards.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

Vickiw— Hello there! Welcome to the HubPages Community. I look forward to reading your writings. I have made myself a note to do so soon.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I know it is much longer than usual and I am grateful for your patience. I am honored by your awesome accolades.

Yes, it is sad and true that we can never go home again. But then again, a man such as William Wilberforce, with his reformation of manners—by which he meant morals—surely helped lift his nation out of the muck, mire, and nasty filth for a century or more at least.

I am thrilled with technology. I have no problem with it. The problem, as always, is in the human heart. Nuclear technology can be used to save lives or destroy them. It is within the human heart that the power to do both resides.

You write, "In my case I believe happiness comes with enjoying nature, teaching, and helping others, so I make those my daily priorities. I think that helping starts with giving, and that encourages other small circles of giving."

Well put. I appreciate your outstanding comments. And you are most welcome.

James


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

When they throw a little girl out of school because she pulled a piece of paper out of her backpack that looked somewhat like a gun and then called her a murder there is something truly wrong with what is going on in America.

My friend called yesterday all upset the teachers wanted to put both her grandchildren on pills. I'm not a doctor but I have be around the children and have taken care of them they are just children.

I enjoyed your hub and voted up.


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 3 years ago from upstate, NY

Boy, when reading this I see we're in a worse condition than I even imagined! How far we have fallen! One fact that caught my eye was the increase in children growing up without fathers, I know first- hand how this affects kids in a big way. The family unit is the bond that holds civilizations together.

The class warfare crowd would probably have a bird if the read your section on the attributes of success! I guess that’s the way to be sure you’ve uncovered some important truths! Contrary to popular opinion, successful people and dare I say wealthy people tend to be virtuous people.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

tlpoague— I am so happy to see that you have visited my Hub. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this article. I appreciate your most excellent remarks, too, and your kind compliments. :-)

I am saddened to hear your report of a rising tide of elderly folks getting divorced after years and years of marriage. That is doubly sad. We are going to need a lot of government nursing homes because most people are blowing all their money AND becoming estranged enough from their families that no one will care for them, or take them in, if they get old and infirm.

Once our society decided that all morals are equal that of course meant that any or no morals were to be tolerated, meaning not judged. I totally agree with you that I too have "seen a difference growing up in the households that based their life around their faith verses those that chose to reject God and follow their own path."

Truly. Indeed.

I tend to think technology itself is neutral but how it is used can most obviously be for the good or the bad. Television and movies are a great example of that. They once showed high ideals and allowed no vulgar language, no taking God's name in vain, no ridiculing Christians, no sordid behavior, no glorification of perversion, no anti-hero worship, no sexual titillation, no graphic violence, no sin without consequences. The Devil through his earthly minions preached that this was an unreal presentation of human life by these arts because nasty evil things ARE done in the world and it would be more realistic to portray them. Of course, the idea in the old days was to give our civilization a high bar to pass. And the movies were just as good then as they are now. But now, the world in cinema and television is ten times worse than the real world and thus presents a world that one would have to sink the very basement of human depravity and decadent behaviors to go as low as what is portrayed for children of all ages as a matter of routine. The bar is so low none of us could pass under it.

Yes, you are right that the pioneer age sorted out those that wanted to work for it, from those that wanted to live off the work of others.

God Bless You!

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

Cristina327— I am well pleased to see that you visited my Hubs again. Thank you ever much for taking the time to read this one and leave such a nice note. :)

You write, "I believe the Christians who are living in the center of God's will are the happiest people of all"

I agree with you. And social statistics bear this out too, as much as many social scientists are loath to admit it.

As you note, "the people who attends church regularly are happier people than those who do not."

That is true! Praise the Lord!

I sincerely appreciate your kind compliments, blessings, and best regards. And, you are most welcome.

Faithfully Yours,

James


Monis Mas profile image

Monis Mas 3 years ago

A fantastic hub on a topic, that everybody desires every day of their lives: happiness! To me happiness is to be able to hug my husband, feel healthy and cuddle with my dog. There are so many things that are missing in my life to feel "fully" happy (if that's possible), but I think I have many reasons to feel fortunate. Thank you for a great article!


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 3 years ago from Brownsville,TX

Wow James what a hub.. I am fascinated.. You did your research on this.. there are so many different ways to be happy.. Mine is being a christian without my Christian Faith I wouldn't have nothing. and you are so right it has declined over the years. but I hang on with all my might that's all i got.

this is a great write

many blessings to you

Debbie


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

moonlake— I agree with you wholeheartedly about not putting little children on pills. In fact, I just watched a documentary the other day about this called "Frontline: The Medicated Child" that I highly recommend. Mostly put on pills are boys. Why? Because they act like little boys always have!

I didn't hear about the little girl you mentioned. I will have to look that up. Sad.

I am glad you enjoyed my Hub. Thank you for visiting and commenting. I appreciate very much the "voted up!" :-)

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

wba108@yahoo.com— I love your wise and discerning comments, my friend. As you say, "The family unit is the bond that holds civilizations together."

Yes, it is. Indeed. AMEN.

As you exclaimed: "How far we have fallen!" We sure have fallen far. But in an odd twist, there are people, believe it or not, who call our fall "PROGRESS."

I kid you not. And I certainly agree with you that "Contrary to popular opinion, successful people and dare I say wealthy people tend to be virtuous people." I never knew this for sure until I had a jet charter service for 14 years and all of my clients, obviously, were very successful people. They were also, with a couple exceptions, wonderful people. Nearly all of them had once been poor. And except for a few, they had discovered some kind of product or service that people responded to in such numbers as made them wealthy. And they managed their business and their money wisely.

Thank you very much for reading my work. It is always a pleasure to hear from you.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

Monis Mas--- You are most welcome! You are truly blessed among women. I love how you explained that to you "happiness is to be able to hug my husband, feel healthy and cuddle with my dog."

:-)

I sincerely appreciate your gracious compliments. Thank you for reading and commenting. Welcome to the HubPages Community!

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

Deborah Brooks— Thank you ever much for the gracious laudations, Debbie. I appreciate the visit and your kind comments. I am grateful to receive your affirmation, encouragement, and blessings. I am glad that you liked this Hub. Thanks again for saying so.

God Bless You!

James :)

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