Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Moynihan Report at 50

The New York senator was right—and not only about black families.

 Daniel Patrick Moynihan /  Wikimedia Commons

(The American Conservative)

"The Manhattan Institute’s Jason Riley—who has written about the continuing relevance of the Moynihan Report—says Johnson’s Great Society programs began a devastating tendency: “Marriage was penalized and single parenting was subsidized. In effect, the government paid mothers to keep fathers out of the home—and paid them well.”
“For decades,” he continues, “research has shown that the likelihood of teen pregnancy, drug abuse, dropping out of school, and many other social problems grew dramatically when fathers were absent.” Riley cites a 2002 study by researchers William Comanor and Llad Phillips of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Their conclusions are sobering: “the most critical factor affecting the prospect that a male youth will encounter the criminal justice system is the presence of his father in the home.”
The tragedy of the Great Society is the manner in which it helped catalyze the destruction of much of the family. In almost all categories that Riley researched—“including income, academic achievement, and employment”—black American families have “stagnated or lost ground over the past half-century.” For instance, the poverty rate for African-Americans is about 30 percent, and four of every 10 black children are raised by single mothers living at or below the poverty line. Statistics are dramatically different for black Americans who are married: the poverty rate is below 10 percent."

Read the full article HERE.