There’s the “M” Word Again
Jennifer Marshall approaches a point frequently made on Anchor Rising from another direction:
Waiting until marriage to have children is the second of three “golden rules” for avoiding poverty that researchers identified over the years: (1) graduate from high school; (2) marry before having children; and (3) get a job.
Actually, being married is even more significant than graduating from high school for avoiding poverty. Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, shows this in a new paper, “Marriage: America’s No. 1 Weapon Against Child Poverty.” By contrast, typical responses to poverty call for more spending on government programs. Far from helping poor Americans escape dependency, however, massive increases in welfare spending over the past four decades have entrenched poverty across generations.
Marriage and childbirth must be inextricably linked, conceptually, to foster a society in which (1) having to get married feels like a real potential consequence of the behavior that leads to childbirth and (2) children are born into households in which their parents have formed a partnership for their emotional and economic well-being. For the subsequent generation, having close familial relationships with both male and female parents — creating direct lines of lineage along a family tree — will decrease the behavior that leads branches into dire circumstances.