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Conservative values are better for women, for children, and for society

by Greg Krehbiel on 27 January 2014

If President Obama really wants to solve the income inequality problem, help Americans be more upwardly mobile and get more women and children out of poverty, he should support marriage. See this article. Here are some key quotes.

What are the factors preventing poor children from getting ahead? … Of all the factors most predictive of economic mobility in America, one factor clearly stands out in their study: family structure. By their reckoning, when it comes to mobility, “the strongest and most robust predictor is the fraction of children with single parents.” They find that children raised in communities with high percentages of single mothers are significantly less likely to experience absolute and relative mobility. Moreover, “[c]hildren of married parents also have higher rates of upward mobility if they live in communities with fewer single parents.” In other words, as the figure below indicates, it looks like a married village is more likely to raise the economic prospects of a poor child.

What’s particularly interesting to me in this finding is that the liberal / individualist would be inclined to ask how my marriage or my kids are hurt by the increase in single parenthood. Or, IOW, it’s none of my business if other people choose non-traditional family situations.

Big surprise! It turns out that is wrong.

What makes this finding particularly significant is that this is the first major study showing that rates of single parenthood at the community level are linked to children’s economic opportunities over the course of their lives. A lot of research—including new research from the Brookings Institution—has shown us that kids are more likely to climb the income ladder when they are raised by two, married parents. But this is the first study to show that lower-income kids from both single- and married-parent families are more likely to succeed if they hail from a community with lots of two-parent families. (Emphasis in original.)

-- 2014-01-27  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 10

  1. Conservative values are better for women, for children, and for society | MemePosts
    27 January 2014 @ 5:30 pm

    […] View Original: Conservative values are better for women, for children, and for society […]

  2. RootCzar
    27 January 2014 @ 11:09 pm

    so, why limit access to marriage? i don’t know anybody, of any stripe in the political spectrum, that is advocating single-parenthood. that said, anyone here been the product of a terrible and peremptory marriage? anyone, other than me?

  3. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    28 January 2014 @ 7:51 am

    I have already explained many times why same-sex marriage is a bad idea, but you’re talking about a trivial percentage of the population in any event. Only about 2 percent of the population is homosexual, not all of them want to marry — for the sake of argument let’s say half — and not all of them are going to have kids. So the numbers are hardly going to move the needle in this context. And even if they did, there is no evidence that those kinds of “marriages” have the same effects as the marriages that were studied.

    You can’t assume that the effect of “marriage” using one definition of the term will be the same for “marriage” using a different definition of the term.

    You’re certainly right that no one intentionally advocates single parenthood, and I didn’t imply that. But there are policies that may unintentionally increase it, and it’s possible to have more policies to promote marriage — e.g., better tax incentives, waiting periods for divorce, etc.

    Also, of course there are bad marriages, failed marriages, etc. It’s still true that more marriage = more economic opportunity, so maybe the proper solution is to find ways to help people make better marriage decisions.

    (I’m not advocating a government program to do that.)

  4. Derek
    28 January 2014 @ 12:54 pm

    No such thing as “same-sex marriage” by definition. Might as well call a square a circle.

  5. RootCzar
    28 January 2014 @ 1:09 pm

    @greg – 2%? most social scientists put it more towards 15-20%
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/what-percent-of-the-population-is-gay-more-than-you-think-5012467/

    as SSM gains ground, the number of married SS couples will grow, as will the number of couples with children. that should be, a good thing… and many studies concur.

    @derek, technically you may be correct … but some common and authoritative resources simply and correctly, use the term, “marriage”

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marriage
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/same+sex+marriage?s=t

  6. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    28 January 2014 @ 1:13 pm

    @Root, I expected you to say 10 — citing Kinsey — in which case I would have simply thought that you were behind the times. (The Kinsey report was full of fraud and misinformation.)

    But 15-20? That’s way out of bounds.

    Here’s a survey of some of the stats from the oracle of all wisdom.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_sexual_orientation

  7. RootCzar
    28 January 2014 @ 1:21 pm

    wiki? edited and compiled by anybody with a computer?
    look at the years rendered on the study … well before any social acceptance took hold, and that aspect of people was kept quiet… even in polls. you can find something better sourced than that, greg.

  8. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    28 January 2014 @ 1:30 pm

    Yes, I can, but wikipedia is a kind of middle of the road, not terribly likely to be partisan source, whereas any given site can represent any extreme view you wish.

    I’ve seen stats from respectable sources that vary from 1 to 5%, but 10 to 15 is just out there.

    Also, “social acceptance” cuts both ways. I read an article recently about a study that followed particular people over a ten-year period, and the percentage of them who claimed to be homosexual decreased over the course of the study, which I believe was 10 years. The people leading the study thought this was because homosexuality was more accepted in the later years.

    I don’t know if they’re right, but my point is that you’re simply assuming that social acceptance will change survey results.

    Another thing is there’s no reason to believe that the percent of homosexuals in the population is fixed. It could easily vary from decade to decade.

  9. smitemouth
    28 January 2014 @ 1:32 pm

    @Root We agree on a lot. 15-20% isn’t one of them. There is no way in heck that is true. My pulling it out of my @$$ guess would be < 5%.

  10. RootCzar
    28 January 2014 @ 1:34 pm

    @smite … that was the point of the smithsonian article i linked to … to establish that the % is higher than people expect.