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To: Hilary Rosen and the DNC: Inconvenient Truths and The Two Parent Family

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 12, 2012 9:41 AM |

The greatest social program known to mankind is the two parent family.

I find it regrettable that for many in our nation, my broaching this topic is deemed politically incorrect and an inconvenient truth. Family issues encompass a wide array of social and economic topics. As such, and as I navigate our economic landscape here at Sense on Cents, I feel compelled to address them.

In my strong opinion, the media and those whom the media protect would like to distract the nation by discussing contraception rather than addressing the inconvenient truths of single parent families. Are we so narrow minded and unable to garner what is truly going on here? 

I believe the contrived “War on Women” and contraception issue over the past several weeks has been a political ploy. Meanwhile, the real debate and discussion screaming to be heard in our nation centers on the family. On that note, let’s address the reality and accompanying unknown costs, both direct and indirect, associated with single parent families.

Some may deem it as inconvenient, but let’s accept the fact that 40% of newborns in America enter the world into single parent families. Perhaps that fact does not unsettle some. What about the fact that 50% of newborn Hispanics and 70% of newborn African Americans are in that same camp? Not an issue yet?

What are the implications of this ‘inconvenient truth’? They are not good, but who in Washington, the media, and across America want to acknowledge that those born into single parent families face a daunting future which, if it looks anything like the past, includes the following:

Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor. In 2002, 7.8 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 38.4 percent of children in female-householder families.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2002, P200-547, Table C8. Washington D.C.: GPO, 2003.

During the year before their babies were born, 43% of unmarried mothers received welfare or food stamps, 21% received some type of housing subsidy, and 9% received another type of government transfer (unemployment insurance etc.). For women who have another child, the proportion who receive welfare or food stamps rises to 54%.
Source: McLanahan, Sara. The Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study: Baseline National Report. Princeton, NJ: Center for Research on Child Well-being, 2003: 13.

A child with a nonresident father is 54 percent more likely to be poorer than his or her father.
Source: Sorenson, Elaine and Chava Zibman. “Getting to Know Poor Fathers Who Do Not Pay Child Support.” Social Service Review 75 (September 2001): 420-434.

When compared by family structure, 45.9% of poor single-parent families reported material hardship compared to 38.6% of poor two parent families. For unpoor families who did not experience material hardship, 23.3% were single-parent families compared to 41.2% of two-parent families.
Source: Beverly, Sondra G., “Material hardship in the United States: Evidence from the Survey of Income and Program Participation.” Social Work Research 25 (September 2001): 143-151.3

Would people care to look at the impact on our society as a whole and those born into single parent families in regard to physical and mental health, incarceration, crime, teen pregnancy, child abuse, substance abuse, childhood obesity, and education? It is not a pretty picture. I strongly encourage people to read about these very unsettling realities at the National Fatherhood Initiative.

Given that we ALL pay for the social programs required to support this growing percentage of our population, when are we going to acknowledge these truths, enter into the debate, and promote the fact that Washington can NEVER solve these issues.

Two parent families are the ONLY real answer.

Perhaps Democratic National Committee adviser Hilary Rosen and others in Washington and across our nation may care to enter into this debate. Instead of making condescending remarks targeted at stay-at-home moms, how about focusing on some real sobering social and economic family statistics. It is LONG overdue . . . so let’s get it on!!

What do people think?

For those who believe our nation needs to enter into this discussion and accompanying debate I hope you will share this commentary with friends, family, and colleagues.

Larry Doyle

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

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