Tuesday, 25 March 2008

For the 'n'th, Time, Poverty is a Moral Problem

...but not in the way a liberal might say it. It's not that poverty itself is immoral. Poverty is just a fact, albeit an unfortunate one. It is neutral.

What I am saying, as I have said repeatedly here, is that one of the greatest causes of poverty is the decline of morality in our society. I am somewhat concerned, if that is the word to use, troubled, perhaps just a little uneasy,that my Edmonton church links to an organization that seems to be beating the tired old drum that says child poverty can be solved by simply having the government give more money to the poor. They call for:
1. expand affordable housing;
2. build a universally accessible child care system;
3. raise minimum wages and increase the availability of good jobs and living wages;
4. increase the Child Tax Benefit to $4,900 per child, per year and ensure that all low-income children receive the full benefit of this program.

However, they are completely missing the point.

Here... from the City Journal, is an article that gets much closer to the nub of the matter,
Marriage seems to be the defining characteristic of economically successful families. With out-of-wedlock birth rates in America soaring, so that many traditional families aren’t so much breaking up as never getting started, the percentage of children living with cohabiting parents is growing. Yet these kids are three times more likely to be in poverty than the children of married parents. The data actually demonstrate that poverty rates for families headed by two unmarried parents more closely resemble the poverty rates of single-parent families than those of two-married-parent ones.

And again...
Something about the marriage certificate—a sense of long-term commitment, family stability, perhaps—makes an economic difference. Research shows that married workers exhibit more job stability and make greater wage gains than cohabiting parents, a sort of “marriage wage premium,” as some economists dub it.

And more...
Given that a significant body of research now shows that children raised in two-parent, married families do better in school, are less likely to wind up in jail, and are less likely to end up on welfare, the startling racial divide in marriage tells us that a new generation of children, especially blacks, are growing up destined to struggle academically, in the job market, and in forming their own families. And policy prescriptions like a higher minimum wage or tax credits are unlikely to help many of these kids. What they mostly need is another parent—usually a father.

Read the whole article. It's worth it... because it's absolutely true. Unfortunately, it's not politically correct to acknowledge it.

Take Care

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