Two women, same ethnicity, same approximate age, similar background growing up, similar education, both with children, both work hard. One lives at the poverty level and survives with the aid of food stamps – the other lives comfortably in a middle class life-style. The difference? One woman got married before she had her children and then stay married – the other woman never married the father of her children. Thus is the tale delivered by The New York Times in their recent article: Two Classes, Divded by ‘I Do’
Want the best chance of having a successful life for yourself and for your children ? Get married before you have children and stay married. Yes, it really may be that simple.
But the thing that makes me crazy is that people are so reluctant to acknowledge the obvious– marriage matters. Why can’t pundits and media types just say it! Marriage is important. In fact it is so important that more than a few smart people have distilled it down to just three things.
If you want to have a 74 percent change of living your life in the middle class and just a two percent chance of living at or below the poverty line,
Do these three things:
1. Graduate from high school.
2. Wait to get married until after age 21 and do not have children till after being married. (This means avoiding pre-marital sex and cohabitation.)
3. Get a full-time job.
These rules apply to all races and ethnic groups.
By contrast, young adults who violated all three norms — dropped out, got married before 21 and had children out of wedlock and didn’t have a full-time job — had a 76 percent chance of winding up in poverty and just a 7 percent chance of winding up in the middle class.
Why aren’t we hearing more about this?
Seems so simple. Why isn’t this basic information being taught repeatedly in every high school? Where are the Public Service Announcements on radio and TV? Why can’t more people just say it? Why aren’t we reading this important steps and information at the beginning of every news article related to family life and the even articles about the economy?
Want smaller government? Encourage people to get married. The government makes a terrible husband and father, but that’s what you have happening when 53 percent of the births to women age 30 and under are out-of-wedlock. The vast majority of those single moms end up looking to the tax payer for support.
(Forty-one percent of all births in the U.S. are out of wedlock; the out-of-wedlock birth rate in the African-American community is over 70 percent.)
What happens to the children?
And it isn’t all just directly about dollars. The negative repercussions of single motherhood reverberate throughout society. Here’s a brief synopsis (facts that are substantiated over and over again by research).
In the U.S., children raised by single mothers are 70 percent of high school dropouts, commit 72 percent of juvenile murders, 60 percent of rapes, have 70 percent of teenaged births, and represent 70 percent of the young people who commit suicide.
Controlling for socioeconomic status, race and place of residence, the strongest predictor of whether a person will end up in prison is fatherlessness – in other words, being raised by a single mother.
Watch the video (here) about the two women chronicled in the NY Times article. Notice how no one in the piece will make a direct correlation of the woman’s plight and the fact that she was involved pre-martially with a man and had three children without the benefit of making him accountable through marriage.
Notice, too, that the word “partner” is used repeatedly. Can we not use the word husband or wife anymore! Not even “spouse” – no… just “partner.” That’s part of the problem. The silent, politically-correct stamp of approval is being placed on a non-marriage way of life – a way of life that is bringing great harm to our children and to our society.
Am I on one today… you bet! This has got to stop! Children need both their mother and their father in a stable married relationship. If someone tries to tell you otherwise, they simply don’t know what they’re talking about.