Saturday, January 07, 2006

Avoiding Poverty

USA Today has a column on the importance of marriage as the 'great equalizer' for blacks in this country, not to mention, the quoted statistics are staggering:
According to testimony given last fall to a Senate subcommittee by Ron Haskins of The Brookings Institution, from 1970 to 2001, the overall marriage rate declined 17% but 34% for blacks. The overall rate for out-of-wedlock births is 33% compared with 70% for blacks.

These disappointing trends are critical because research has shown that marriage provides significant benefits for men and women. Most important, children who are raised by their married, biological parents do better across every measure of economic, social, health and educational well-being than children raised in other family arrangements. In fact, when comparing families of similar socioeconomic status, these black children have similar outcomes as their white counterparts. Marriage is the great equalizer.(/snip)

Kinte's dedication to his family is not unique. In 1890, 80% of black families with children were headed by married couples, according to sociologist Andrew Billingsley. That figure has dropped to 39%. In 1950, 64% of black males older than 15 were married compared with 68% of white males. By 1998, only 41% of black males were married. From 1950 to '98, the percentage of never-married black women doubled.
After reading the column it reminded me of something I had read in "Arrogance" about their only being three things that a young person has to do to essentially avoid poverty:
As a matter of fact, it wasn’t a conservative at all but William Galston, an assistant to Bill Clinton, who said that in order to avoid poverty, just do three things: finish high school, marry before having a child, and don’t have that child until you’re at least twenty years old. Only 8 percent of people who do all three of those things wind up poor, but a staggering 79 percent of those who fail to do them wind up in poverty. (emphasis mine)
Amazing information. You'd think someone would come up with a PSA or something to get the word out.

Also notice that not one of those three things require any cost whatsoever from a willing participant. Kind of makes you wonder about all of those billions in government programs....

UPDATE: I almost forgot. While we're talking about poverty and all, Ace reminds us how terrorism is rooted in poverty and something else.....I just can't think of it right now. Maybe a religion or something? (/sarcasm)