To defeat poverty, look to marriage

More to the point, we know that being unmarried is one of the highest risk factors for poverty. And no, splitting expenses between unmarried people isn’t the same. This is because marriage creates a tiny economy fueled by a magical concoction of love, selflessness and permanent commitment that holds spirits aloft during tough times.

In the absence of marriage, single parents (usually mothers) are left holding the baby and all the commensurate challenges and financial burdens. As a practical matter, how is a woman supposed to care for little ones and/or pay for child care, while working for a minimum wage that is significantly less than what most fair-minded, lucky people would consider paying the house cleaner? Not very well.

Setting aside the issue of choice in reproductive matters, one easily observes that we live in a culture that devalues and mocks marriage, reducing the institution to a buffet item. The lucky can hire a pedigreed baby sitter en route to the next dinner party, dropping a buck in the beggar’s cup, while the unlucky are strapped to a welfare check or low-paying job and a no-hope future.