|That ring means something.|
THE most important divide in America today is class, not race,* and the place where it matters most is in the home. Conservatives have been banging on about family breakdown for decades. Now one of the nation’s most prominent liberal scholars [Robert Putnam, formerly of Harvard] has joined the chorus...I've always found it intriguing when a liberal discovers the blatantly obvious. In this case, it is such manifest truths as "two parents are better than one" and "having kids inside marriage increases their odds of success." I mean, good grief, reading most liberals would lead you to conclude that humankind has just discovered this thing called 'parenthood' and is not sure what to do with it.
What we are not sure what to do with is parents. Nor perhaps is there anything that can be done with them in our present cultural funk. Since we are a culture that balks at such voluntary social controls as slut-shaming or shotgun weddings, and we instead very loudly insist that the greatest societal dangers are racism, sexism, and 'victim-blaming'**, it looks like we are going to simply have to live with - or die by - the results of monetarily subsidizing the stupid and harmful reproductive decisions of an ever-growing proportion of our population. After all, the trend of single parenthood does not arise out of nothing, but out of a very specific set of cultural and fiscal circumstances, circumstances created by liberals over the last 50 years and which have exacerbated the very problems they were supposed to help.
In the meantime, lest we forget that Dr. Putnam is a liberal, after explaining very well how the primary solution to the problem of failing kids is married parents, he presents the following incredibly useful suggestions:
Mr Putnam sees “no clear path to reviving marriage” among the poor. Instead, he suggests a grab-bag of policies to help poor kids reach their potential, such as raising subsidies for poor families, teaching them better parenting skills, improving nursery care and making after-school baseball clubs free.Well then, since there's no clear path*** to doing the one thing that has the potential to fix the problem, how about more welfare and free after-school baseball clubs? Surely that's got to be worth something.
* One of the interesting findings - and it does give me hope - is that while the uneducated white out-of-wedlock birthrate has skyrocketed, with all the societal anarchy that comes with that, that same rate for educated black women has dropped by a third and is now half the uneducated white rate. That is proof that these trends can be reversed.
** Treating poor people, black or white, as fully-human beings who are usually in the positions they are because of a long string of choices made by them.
*** Here's one, just for fun: give married men hiring and promotion preference in ALL benefits-eligible government jobs.