Parenthood and happiness and Europe

I’m currently working on my latest research– the politics of parenthood goes international!  Anyway, looking to see if we can find the same patterns of parenthood in the European Social Survey as we have found in America.  So far, the answer is a resounding yes (moms more liberal on social welfare issues; minimal effect for dads).  Hooray.  That said, I couldn’t help but also look at happiness as a dependent variable in all my analyses.  So, what did I find.  Parenthood (with a bunch of controls you would expect) is associated with less happiness.  Also, parenthood is associated with less subjective health.  Damn vectors?!

Anyway, the ESS also asks a question as to whether you’ve ever had kids in your home.  Thought I’d check and see if persons who do not currently have kids in the home, but have in the past might be happier.  Nope.  Even those who used to have kids are less happy.   And less healthy.

Not a ringing endorsement for parenthood, but I’ll still take it.

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Comedian in chief

Wow, I loved this segment with President Obama and NCSU (almost) alum Zach Galifinikas.  I love that Obama has a good sense of humor.  I laughed more from Obama than Galifinakas.  Watch it.  Also,  an interesting review from James Poniewozik.

Photo of the day

A great photo gallery of NASA images at HuffPo of all places (in honor of the new Cosmos).  I’m a sucker for a good nebula:

Carina Nebula
NASA
This Hubble photo is of a small portion of a large star-birthing region in the Carina Nebula. Towers of cool hydrogen laced with dust rise from the wall of the nebula.

 

Oh, and I really enjoyed the first episode of the new Cosmos.  I do, however, miss the music from the original– so much better.

 

Growing Latino electorate

As long as Republicans pander to their xenophobic old, white male base they are going to drive away Hispanic voters.  And while Repubicans can still do pretty well in low-turnout midterm elections– as they probably will in 2014– the medium-long term outlook looks ever worse for them.  Via Greg Sargent:

latino

GOP pollster Whit Ayres, who favors reform, tells me Republicans should take the two point rise in critical swing states very seriously.

“It’s significant,” Ayres says. “Some aspects of the future are difficult to see clearly. The increasing proportion of Hispanics in the electorates in key swing states is not one of them.”

“Swing states are by their very definition closely contested,” Ayres continues. “Many of them have been won in close races by only a percentage point or two. Changing the demographics of the state by two percentage points puts a finger on the scale in each of the swing states for the party that’s doing well among Hispanics. This underscores the critical importance for Republican candidates to do better among nonwhite Americans, particularly among Hispanics, if Republicans ever hope to elect another president.”

Ayres adds that the one-point rises also matter. “It is a sign of things to come,” he said. “States that have been comfortably red, like Georgia and North Carolina, are changing, and will become swing states unless Republicans figure out how to win significant support in the Hispanic community.”

 

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