The number one advantage for a poor or low income child is to have married parents. That and a job for dad, any job, will provide those parents with the opportunity to leave poverty behind. No government program makes that kind of promise. It should at least get lip service during any speech about income inequality.
More to the point, we know that being unmarried is one of the highest risk factors for poverty. And no, splitting expenses between unmarried people isn’t the same. This is because marriage creates a tiny economy fueled by a magical concoction of love, selflessness and permanent commitment that holds spirits aloft during tough times.
Unwed childbearing has risen from 6.3 percent of all births in 1964, when President Lyndon Johnson launched the War on Poverty, to more than 40 percent today. As Rector shows, these single-parent families with children are six times more likely to be poor than are married couples with kids. Put differently, marriage lowers the probability of child poverty by 82 percent.