Sunday, January 05, 2014

Which Came First, The Single Parent Family Or The Poverty?

Unrelated intro: I feel both proud and ashamed that I didn't blog yesterday. Proud that I showed I could master my blogging OCD* and shame that I had a blog written in my head and didn't post it. After nearly 8 years of daily blogging, I felt it was more important to break that streak than it was to share some tiny tidbit.

On with the show.

I just changed the tagline on this blog to reflect my deepest conviction - that America is in desperate need of local, Christian missionary work. See this post for a good summary of the rationale. For me, that idea focuses thought and action into something useful. The two biggest issues we face are the destruction of the traditional family and government debt. One is atomizing society and the other will destroy wealth and social stability.

By "atomizing society," I mean that intermediate institutions are growing weaker, reducing society to two primary elements: the individual and government.

So now really on with the show.

While everyone admits that marriage has declined significantly over the past 4 decades, President Obama and progressives in general want us all to focus on income inequality. There's an excellent post at the Manhattan Institute showing how income mobility correlates quite well with marriage, but not so well with income itself. The question is this: Is income a factor of marriage or marriage a factor of income? In his speeches, President Obama tells us that income inequality causes the breakdown of the family.

The question seems easily answerable. The assertion of the progressives, the solve-income-inequality-first crowd, is that low-income women will have babies without getting married because they're poor. This seems silly on its face.

If you're poor, a second, committed adult in the household can't help but make things better, even if they just watch the kids so you can go down to the HHS office to apply for food stamps. Reading the flyers about government social services posted at Catholic Charities, there are plenty available, but they all assume you have free time to travel to dispersed government offices, fill out forms and interact with clerks. It's not the sort of thing you'd want to do while carrying a screaming toddler. Government assistance aside, even if the husband is unemployed, he can at least provide labor hours in maintaining the house and raising the children.

So there you have it. The next time you find yourself in an income inequality discussion around the dinner table or on Facebook, ask that question: Why would poverty cause a woman to have a baby outside of marriage?

If I'm a woman living here, I want a husband if only for the protection.
* - This is a joke, in case you were wondering. I don't really have blogging OCD. Well, maybe just a teensy weensy bit. :-)


Renee said...

Overlay poverty with the lack of biological father in the home.

Public policy and law makers KNOW this, but hands are tied in fear of being labeled or harassed, and there would be a challenger heavily funded if they don't comply.

K T Cat said...

Great comment, Renee. It's crazy when you think about it - where social opprobrium used to support responsible behavior, it now supports irresponsible, self-destructive behavior.

Anonymous said...

My mom was a middle school teacher for years, and for some time taught in one of the poorer schools in a small city. There were a number of girls who got pregnant. For most of them, it was on purpose, and they said that they wanted to so they would have someone who loved them.

Interesting tidbit of information...

Personally, I think the best solution lies with getting back to the Bible. I agree with you wholeheartedly. More government won't help.