Friends, today I’m here to talk to you about something most people seem to be ignoring: divorce rates in the US are on the rise. In fact, one expert I spoke to said they were “skyrocketing” at such an alarming rate that in another 10 or 20 years, people will likely be getting divorced before they even get married. I tried to remind him that such a thing was simply called “breaking up,” but by then, he was well into the stack of pancakes in front of him, and there was no reasoning with the man.
Whatever you want to call it, however, it’s clear that this great nation of ours has a real problem and that divorce rates will soon leave our country shattered and broken. Unless we want to see the US turned into another latchkey child, walking home alone after school, a house key hanging from a chain under our collective shirt, something needs to be done. And today, I’m here to issue all of you a wakeup call because there’s a single, clear force behind this sharp increase in divorces, and it’s not celebrity couples or social media.
No. The single greatest contributor to divorce is the auto industry!
Years of Clear, Incontrovertible Data
Before we go any further, let’s take a moment to look at the facts – yes, I know that’s probably something you haven’t done in a long time, so I’ll hold your hand while we do so. In 1964, according to a report by the US Department of Marriage and Silicon-Based Cookware Additives (it was a single organization in the 1960s, don’t ask), more than 78% of adult men and women in this country were married. I don’t have the numbers in front of me to verify whether or not that’s the highest it’s ever been in America, but it’s certainly a strong number indicative of a healthy nation and homelife.
With that in mind, based on the figures released by the USDMSBCA at the time, the divorce rate among adults was only 17.8%. So of the more than three-quarters of the country that was married, fewer than one-in-five of those marriages would end in divorce. Sadly, since the USDMSBCA was defunded and brought to an end in 1978, these figures are hard to come by, and even a Freedom of Information Act request will leave you without them. This means you can’t double-check my work and verify this data, but just take my word for it.
As the years went on, however, things became quite different. Looking at statistics provided by the US Department of Gelatinous Food Products and Wedding Records (they replaced the USDMSBCA in 1979 and remained intact for 32 years before they were defunded and closed down in 2011), by 1987, only about 70% of adults were married, and of those marriages, some 40% were expected to end in divorce. By 1994, the divorce rate was up to 48%, and the numbers continued this trend.
Today, according to the most recent data from the US Department of Nuptial Bliss and Corn-Based Sweetener Development & Porcine Statistics (they replaced the USDGFPWR in 2013 – thanks Obama!), the divorce rate is now up to 84%. Only about 17% of the general adult populace of the US is married, and the vast majority of those marriages will end in divorce. Shocking, I know, but the statistics from the USDNBCBSDPS speak for themselves.
How the Auto Industry is Destroying Marriage
A tremendous amount of time, energy, and money have been poured into trying to figure out what’s going wrong – what’s tearing apart the very fabric of our social structure? Well, I’m here to tell you: the massive seam-ripper that is laying waste to our household stability is the auto industry. In particular, a single devious ploy: getting husbands to buy vehicles as a surprise wedding, birthday, or anniversary gift for their spouses.
You can’t possibly make it through December (or even much of November at this point) without seeing commercial after commercial showcasing this devious act. A husband wants to get something special for his spouse or wants to surprise his spouse and really show his love. So what does he do? He buys a $60,000 vehicle as a surprise.
The setup is usually pretty simple. Maybe his spouse surprised him by getting them each an early present and gifts him with a watch or something equally suitable. Now I want to be clear about something: a watch is a reasonable surprise gift. A nice sweater, a good meal, and an impressive leather-bound book are also all excellent surprise gifts.
But the husband, enamored with his spouse, decides to offer a little surprise gift of his own. What does he have? A box of chocolates from their favorite local chocolatier? Perhaps the latest video game that he knows his spouse has been hoping to play? No – his surprise is a vehicle that costs more than many people will have made that entire year. A perfectly reasonable gift!
This is the image hurled upon the American public, year after year. Buy your spouse a car, truck, or SUV to surprise them with this holiday season. Men and women definitely appreciate it when a spouse spends tens of thousands of dollars without talking to them about it first, right? Oh wait – it’s not right, and it’s killing this country!
What this Means for You
The numbers from the USDNBCBSDPS are clear – divorce is on the rise. When you take the line graph showing these numbers going up year after year and place it over a graph showing the number of advertisements with surprise vehicles being given as gifts that have been released each year, the lines on them overlap perfectly. This is not a coincidence – the auto industry is driving the increase in divorce rates with its irresponsible advertising.
And what are we to do? Not listen to commercials? Preposterous. Everything I know, I’ve learned from TV. From how to stay in a happy marriage to how to eat cookies and which clothing to wear, TV has guided me through all of life’s difficult decisions. I’m not about to turn away from such an endless font of wisdom over something as slight as reckless marketing.
What’s important, however, is that you recognize the difference between fantasy and reality. The people on your TV buying each other surprise vehicles as gifts aren’t real. Remember that, Rutherfjord… remember that.
Should You be Worried, Alarmed, or Afraid?
Yes, all of the above, damnit! If you’re not considering which place near you has the best window to throw a fiery trash-can through, then what are you even doing with your life? Advertising is telling us things that aren’t true, setting up impossible goals and expectations, and then allowing us to live in a world where we can’t have everything we want all the time. It’s insane!
I, for one, am considering no longer watching commercials at all. I think it might be better to take a break from such things and focus on social media instead. Surely that view into the lives of the people I graduated high school with will provide me a greater sense of reality and achievable goals.
Editor’s Note: We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that advertising is your friend. How else would you know what you should and should not buy? Commercials can never lie, and we invite you to take a moment to visit our gracious, generous advertisers, and partners today. Thank you.