There is a lot of talk about “privilege” in our nation: white privilege, the privilege of the “1%,” privilege of living in one school district versus another. Yet, the greatest “privilege” in America is hardly ever mentioned. It’s a privilege that creates happy, healthy, smart kids, a privilege that helps ensure economic stability for everyone involved, a privilege that keeps our neighborhoods and cities safer and more productive.
It’s marriage. (I was going to say “mah-widge” and give a Princess Bride reference, but I’ll skip that.)
In yesterday’s National Review, writers Lee Habeeb and Mike Leven call the results of the “marriage privilege” startling:
In a report last year entitled “Saving Horatio Alger,” which focused on social mobility and class in America, Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution discovered that the likelihood of a child raised by parents born into the lowest income quintile moving to the top quintile by the age 40 was a disastrous 3 percent. Worse, 50 percent of those children stay stuck in the bottom quintile. And the outlook for the children of those marriage-less children is equally stark.
That’s bad news for the country, and the American dream, such numbers. (more…)