The press has rushed to report a minuscule drop in “teen births” based on data released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). As usual, the mainstream media are focusing on a trivial, politically correct story while ignoring the real story buried in the data.
Here’s the real
story: According to CDC, a record 40.6 percent of children born in 2008
were born outside marriage — a total of 1.72 million children. The
overwhelming majority of the unwed mothers were young adults with low
is rapidly becoming a two-caste society, with marriage and education at
the dividing line. Children born to married couples with a college
education are mostly in the top half of the population; children born
to single mothers with high-school degrees or less are mostly in the
The disappearance of marriage in low-income communities is the predominant cause of child poverty in the U.S.
today. If poor single mothers were married to the fathers of their
children, two-thirds of them would not be poor. The absence of a
husband and father from the home also is a strong contributing factor
to failure in school, crime, drug abuse, emotional disturbance, and a
host of other social problems.
In 1963, as Pres. Lyndon Johnson was launching the War on Poverty, 7 percent of American children were born outside marriage. White House staffer Daniel Patrick Moynihan, later U.S. Senator from New York ,
warned the nation of the calamities associated with the growing number
of out-of-wedlock births. For more than 40 years, our society has
ignored Moynihan’s warnings. Despite the transparent linkages among
poverty, social problems, and disintegration of the family, the liberal
intelligentsia has watched the steady collapse of marriage in
low-income communities with silent indifference.
reason? Most liberal academics regard marriage as an outdated, socially
backward institution; they have shed no tears over its demise. Even
worse, liberal politicians and anonymous government bureaucrats have a
vested interest in the growth of the welfare state, and nothing grows
the welfare state like the disappearance of marriage.
Single mothers are inherently in far greater need of government
support than married couples, so an increase in single parenthood leads
almost inevitably to an increase in government benefits and services
and a thriving welfare industry to supply them.
For the statist, the collapse of marriage is a gift that keeps on giving. It’s no accident that the modern welfare system rewards single parents and penalizes married couples.
Left, with the complicity of the liberal media, hypes the issue of
“teen pregnancy” — partly because feminists think girls should attend
college for a few years before becoming single mothers, partly in order
to strengthen their agenda of promoting condom use and permissive sex ed in the schools.
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