It’s an argument that shouldn’t be controversial, but is: Marriage breakdown is a major cause of modern poverty. So writes former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer in a Wall Street Journal column that has sent anti-traditional family liberals into a tizzy.
Given the sociological evidence, Fleischer’s conclusion should surprise no one. Social scientists, of both liberal and conservative stripes, have long maintained that stable marriages and families increase economic prosperity, particularly for women and the poor. Too often, those results are suppressed or ignored.
But as Fleischer argues, if we’re truly interested in reducing poverty and increasing incomes, we should be interested in marriage. More often than not, the difference between rich and poor in America boils down to the matrimony question: