W. Richard Cobb: Marriage key to beating poverty

January 30, 2014 

OK, enough already. We know from Gene Nichol’s many N&O opinion pieces, most recently the Jan. 26 Point of View “Everything but ,” that “the marriage of poverty and educational underperformance” is torturous and that “the achievement gap between the children from high income and low income families has been growing for 50 years.” We also know his moonshine assumption of more money and government direction as the solution.

I suggest at this 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty that there is another correlation he needs to research. According to the Census Bureau, 6 percent of children were born outside of marriage 50 years ago; today it is over 40 percent. For families currently headed by married couples, the poverty level is only 7.5 percent contrasted with 33.9 percent for single-parent households. Moreover, a new Harvard study shows children of married couples have more upward income mobility.

Even a casual observer can link traditional marriage as a problem-solver in this child poverty-education crisis. Better still, the cost to the taxpayer is zero.

W. Richard Cobb

Rocky Mount

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