by John Horvat II
It should be an obvious conclusion to reach: Marriage is good for society. History confirms this conclusion. Economists can document it. Teachers can perceive it. Children experience it. And yet so many do not want to reach this easy and obvious conclusion.
However, it is an undisputed fact that has now been laid out in clear terms by Heritage Foundation researcher Robert Rector who wrote a study titled “Marriage: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty.”
The new study joins countless others that show how marriage benefits the material, emotional and spiritual good of children. A stable home provided by marriage reduces a child’s chances of living in poverty by 82 percent. When children live with unmarried or single parents, some 37 percent live in poverty.
Less than seven percent of children in homes with both a mother and a father suffer the same fate. “Being married has roughly the same effect in reducing poverty that adding five to six years to a parent’s education has,” writes Rector.
When marriages fail, everyone pays. Welfare programs to single-parent homes cost taxpayers $330 billion annually, which works out to $30,000 for each American. Based on such facts, it would seem that another obvious conclusion would be that promoting the traditional family would be the most efficient way to solve so many of the nation’s social ills.
And yet the liberal establishment takes a contrary approach. Divorce, abortion and same-sex “marriage” figure high on their agendas. Social welfare programs pour torrents of dollars into “fighting” poverty instead of focusing on the actual cause of poverty. There is no amount of welfare that can replace the presence of a mother and a father in the home.
It is an obvious conclusion that is easy to reach but not always easy to practice. Marriage takes virtue. It presupposes responsibility and self-sacrifice. The facts are there for all who wish to see them. Marriage is good for society, couples and children. Those who oppose traditional marriage can reach this conclusion just as easily as anyone else, but it appears they find it much easier to simply avoid it.