The Two-Parent Privilege is Real: A review of Melissa Kearney’s important new book.
JUSTIN VASSALLO, 2/02/24, Liberal Patriot)
In her new book, The Two-Parent Privilege: How Americans Stopped Getting Married and Started Falling Behind, economist Melissa S. Kearney takes an unflinching look at how the fragmentation of the ordinary American family is, in fact, both an overlooked dimension and driver of modern inequality. “It is not only that lacking two parents makes it harder for some kids to go to college and lead a comfortable life,” Kearney contends. “In the aggregate, it also undermines social mobility and perpetuates inequality across generations.”
Backed with abundant data, Kearney argues the collapse of marriage as a social institution among lower-income families has compounded the demographic consequences of stagnant wages and the loss of steady employment in many sectors and regions. This phenomenon, she writes, is inextricable from the education gap, the geographic narrowing of economic opportunities, and policy decisions that have reinforced the advantages of the already well-off.
That which is accessible to all is, be definition, not a privilege.