March 25, 2015

THE WAR ON WOMEN AND THE POOR:

Why Won't Liberals Talk about the Most Important Kind of 'Privilege' in America? (LEE HABEEB & MIKE LEVEN, March 23, 2015, National Review)

Much has been written about privilege in academic settings over the past few decades. There's the privilege of wealth, and the advantages wealth confers if a baby is lucky enough to be born into it. Much too has been written about the advantages of being born into this world as a Caucasian -- known in academia as "white privilege." 

But not enough has been written about the most important advantage a baby can have in America: the advantage of being born with a mother and father who happen to be married. Call it "the marriage privilege" -- the advantages are startling.

In a report last year entitled "Saving Horatio Alger," which focused on social mobility and class in America, Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution discovered that the likelihood of a child raised by parents born into the lowest income quintile moving to the top quintile by the age 40 was a disastrous 3 percent. Worse, 50 percent of those children stay stuck in the bottom quintile. And the outlook for the children of those marriage-less children is equally stark. 

That's bad news for the country, and the American dream, such numbers. 

But Reeves discovered a silver lining while crunching the data: Those children born in the lowest quintile to parents who were married and stayed married had only a 19 percent chance of remaining in the bottom income group. Reeve's study revealed that this social-mobility advantage applied not just to the lower class: The middle class was impacted, too. The study revealed that children born into the middle class have a mere 11 percent chance of ending up in the bottom economic quintile with married parents, but that number rises to 38 percent if their parents are never married. 

You'd think a finding like that would be headline news across the nation, or that the media might want to talk about the real reason for the wealth gap in America -- the marriage gap.


Posted by at March 25, 2015 6:05 PM
  

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