This past week I was happy to discover my genetic ancestry via a simple DNA saliva test. Some of you might not know, is that I am mostly Scandinavian, with western European mixed in. So I spent the last few days chiseling away at my family tree, in hopes to find new relatives. Relatives that I either knew about or didn’t know. While working on this it dawned on me, that researching this really connected with my interest in behavioral economics. Hold up, did I lose you on this yet? Stay with me for a second while I explain.
So behavioral economics in essence is the study of human behavior in regards to spending and general economic theory. So as I was plotting out my family tree, I noticed a general grouping of people. Some families tended to stay in one geographic area, while others branched off. And so the tree grew, one branch after another with more points so to speak on the graph. You can easily trace the pattern of people moving. Why did they move? Was it for new beginnings? A new job? Economic reasons will probably underline the situation.
I noticed another trend. The farther back the tree went (i.e., back in the 1800’s and 1700’s) I noticed the family size grew bigger. And as the generations came closer to present day the family size grew smaller. I would imagine most likely to work on farms and such they needed more labor. However, they could still raise and support this large family size.
Which brings me to something near and dear to my heart. Children are being raised today without both parents in the house, and a lot of households are struggling to feed their families. How can this be, in todays age of iPhones and smart tv’s that we can’t feed our own families? (I am not saying get rid of your iPhone)
According to the nonprofit organization Feeding America, these facts might startle you. I implore people who have never seen poverty to take a close look at these numbers. Families report that 84% purchase the cheapest food possible, even if its unhealthy just to feed their kids. 20% are ineligible for federal assistance because they make too much money. 1 in 6 children worry when they will have their next meal. 13.1 million children lived in food-insecure households in 2015.
The following are statistics from the US Census Bureau, which I can not claim that they correlate to the above mentioned statistics. However, I will one day do more research to back up my hypothesis that they do correlate. Until then, it is merely speculation.
According to the US Census Bureau, 23 million children are living without both parents. To put that in comparison, 50.7 million children live with both parents. You might say this is great, 50.7 million are doing fine! That is nearly half the children without a father or mother. On top of this, grandparents are living more so with single parent households. I would presume to help raise the kid and for assistance. Yet this is probably why 1 in 6 children worry when their next meal is.
As brothers and sisters in Christ we should feel moved in our hearts to help these families and children. We want a stronger nation economically? It all starts in the home. The home is the nucleus of the nation. The home builds up the community, the community builds up the state, and the states combined make the whole. I simply ask you, to ask yourself if you are volunteering in your neighborhood or donating to charitable causes.