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Time For Sister Souljah To Get Hitched
By Ed Driscoll · September 12, 2007 11:05 AM · Bobos In Paradise · The Making of the President

In the New York Sun, Steven Malanga writes that it's time for politicians to promote the benefits of marriage:

Though Gotham's economy didn't rebound as strongly or as quickly after September 11 as the nation's did, the city has made comparable progress reducing family-centered poverty over that period a testament to the city's welfare-to-work policies.

Even as poverty rates decline here and nationwide, however, cultural trends threaten to pull us back in the other direction. New York faces a growing out-of-wedlock birth rate that could upend its families' economic gains. Today, a third of all births in New York are to women without husbands, many in no position to keep their kids out of poverty. In fact, half of all out-of-wedlock births in the city are to women who already are impoverished.

Rising out of poverty will be difficult for many of these women: a quarter of them have only a high school diploma, and 38% don't have even that. Under such circumstances, succeeding in our economy which often requires starting in entry-level jobs while also trying to raise children alone is exceedingly difficult.

True, some overcome these obstacles. But many others can't: 74% of New York women heading families still stuck in poverty have a high school education or less.

Of course, there's another road out of poverty: waiting until you are married to have children. In the vast majority of out-of-wedlock births, if the fathers of the children were married to their mothers, dad's earnings would keep the family out of the poorhouse. In New York, in fact, only 3.5% of married families in which the husband works full time are poor.

It has taken New York City more than a generation to find the political will to reform welfare, ending its legacy as a program that encourages a lifetime of dependence. Now the city and the nation face new challenges, as the decline of the traditional family threatens those least able to cope with economic hardship.

The next wave of reform must try to get men to support the children they father, as Mayor Bloomberg argued in a Washington, D.C. speech the other week: discourage out-of-wedlock births, and dare any government official undertake this one? promote marriage.

Ironically, doing just that would give any of the presidential candidates on the left a pretty easy way to feign a move towards the center.

Related: "California marks marriage milestone: majority are unwed".

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Ed Driscoll knows small business, financial planning, career counseling, home theater, technology, markets, double-breasted suits, and blue hats. But what he really likes to do is produce the "Blog Week In Review"--Pajamas Media ad, 7/06

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