Excerpt: Heather Mac Donald, Bribery Strikes Out
It isn’t lack of opportunity that keeps poor people poor.
The best solution for poverty reduction is the one that is the least likely to pass the lips of liberal policy makers: marriage. As was already abundantly clear before the CCTs, single-parent households are the primary source of long-term poverty in New York City and the country. Looked at from a purely economic standpoint (the least relevant one), a married father provides his children with additional material support and manpower backup when all hell breaks out in a household, as it periodically will. A father also serves as a more credible authority figure than a mother, on average, something that boys particularly need. The recent outbreaks of anarchy in Philadelphia and New York by bands of inner-city youth suggests that the systematic disappearance of fathers from their children’s lives is taking an ever-greater toll on social order.