Q. Describe what you call the breakdown of marriage.
A. When the war on poverty began in the mid-’60s, about 7 percent of children were born outside of marriage. Today, that number is 42 percent. To discuss poverty in the United States and to leave out the decline of marriage is sort of like talking about geography and leaving out the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. The breakdown of marriage is the overwhelming reason why child poverty exists.
Q. Are people living together and not getting married?
A. You have a large number of single mothers. Sometimes, they are cohabitating with the father or a series of boyfriends. Those relationships are extremely unstable and won’t last. In New Jersey, roughly a third of all the families with children are single-parent families – and three out of four poor families….