Why Marriages Fail

In: Social Issues

Submitted By Yuriiy
Words 722
Pages 3
When marriages fail or fail to take place, women and children become vulnerable and dependent. Those women, along with their friends and relatives, are inexorably drawn toward the Party of Government. And research shows it is not only women of childbearing age that are made more dependent on government, but aging men and women in general. To expect a nation of fragmented families to turn away from an expanding welfare state is to expect a miracle. The original social democrats of Europe saw this quite clearly, which is why (especially in Sweden) they crafted social-welfare proposals with an eye to deinstitutionalizing marriage, making mothers less dependent on fathers but more dependent on government.

We are at a key crossroads now. Half or more of all children will grow up outside of intact marriages. Yet through arduous effort and public debate we have managed to slow the rate of divorce and halt the growth in unmarried childbearing. Government policy is not everything. But effective changes in welfare policy could help.

How? Here are three eminently practical suggestions, supported by research, taken from a recent Institute for American Values policy brief (see www.americanvalues.org).

1) Expand marriage education for low-income couples. Right now, the government suggests to mothers and fathers that the height of responsible fathering is signing paternity papers. Why not ask couples who apply for welfare if they are interested in marriage? If they say no, they say no. But even asking the question serves as an important signal to marriage-impoverished communities: Americans believe marriage matters.

2) Add a marriage message to teen-pregnancy programs. Most conservatives are not even aware that existing teen-pregnancy programs do not generally promote waiting for marriage. Instead they urge teens to wait until they are older before having children.…...

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