Friday, January 31, 2014

What prevents poor children from becoming middle class adults?

From Family Action Council of Tennessee:

What is the greatest obstacle in the U.S. to upward intergenerational social mobility, that is, what's the primary factor preventing poor children from moving up the economic ladder as adults?  Is it income inequality?  The quality of their schools?  Racial and economic segregation? Much to the dismay of liberals, the answer is ... none of the above.  It is family structure. Children living with married moms and dads have the greatest chance of moving up the economic ladder, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard and University of California at Berkeley.

The study of more than 40 million children and their parents found that "the fraction of children living in single-parent households is the strongest correlate of upward income mobility among all the variables we explored...."  While liberals believe the answer is throwing more money at supposedly underfunded government programs, we believe the solution is public policies and societal support for encouraging and strengthening marriages that provide children with both a mother and a father.  As we recently observed, 40% or more of births since 2008 in the U.S. have been by unmarried women, and the percentage of all babies born who are born to unmarried women has more than doubled since 1980.
My Comment: This truth is almost universality ignored by popular culture and the mainstream press. There can be big conferences and lengthy reports addressing the issue of poverty that never mention the fact that the primary factor contributing to poverty is unmarried women giving birth to children. We need to change the economic incentives that encourage single women to have children and we need policy changes that support families.  However, we need a cultural shift. Instead of single motherhood being something that is to be celebrated and single mothers being treated as noble heroes, they should be pitied and having a child out of wedlock should be condemned and be a shameful event. Public condemnation can influence behavior. Women are not having children out of wedlock because they don't know what causes pregnancy. Women are not having children out of wedlock because they don't have access to birth control. They do it primarily because it is the norm and not condemned. When something is socially condemned you will have less of it.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

No comments:

Post a Comment