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Why Marriage Matters To Financial Stability

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
The Truth Network Radio
December 18, 2014 12:00 pm

Why Marriage Matters To Financial Stability

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

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December 18, 2014 12:00 pm

NC Family president John Rustin talks with W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), about a new AEI report he co-authored, “For Richer, For Poorer: How Family Structures Economic Success in America.”

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This is family policy matter program is produced by the North Carolina family policy Council of profamily research and education organization dedicated to strengthening and preserving the family enough in the studio.

Here's John Rushton, president of the North Carolina family policy Council and thank you for joining us for family policy matters. It is our to have Prof. Brad Wilcox on the program. Wilcox's director of the National marriage Project at the University of Virginia Senior fellow at the Institute for family studies and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where he directs the home economics project.

Wilcox is co-author of a new report from the American enterprise institute entitled richer for poor health, family structure's economic success in America be talking with Prof. Wilcox about some of the key findings in this new report.

Prof. Wilcox thanks so much for joining us here today.

We appreciate your time and the great insights in this report now a key finding of this report for richer, for poorer, is that the nearly 1/3 of the growth in economic inequality can be attributed to the breakdown in the American family that we rarely hear discussions about the role that family structure and particularly marriage plays in the economic outlook of America.

Why is marriage such an integral piece of the economic puzzle and why is it so often overlooked or even ignored by others who study the economy, not the great question.

I think that we know marriage, mild-mannered Constitution and helps people build a better economic future together and that your today, people can pool their income when they get married and so financially we see that your married families tend to do better.

I will shoot you in the report as well that that married men especially on molecular work more hours make more money compared throughout single melt year. Grievant Dr. five kids are not living with the mother of the children. So marriage no basically boosts families economic well-being in a number of different ways of the report makes clear, but I think it's hard for people on the left in the media and the Academy and in public policy circles to kind of acknowledge the connection between marriage and economic success in America procure recent study number one unit are concerned about stigmatizing single-parent stigmatizing nontraditional families and the second point, I think, is that they probably viewed that way. Nothing can be done to strengthen our marriage in America, and given that reality in America. You always try to be with the help people who are in single-parent families, and other nontraditional families. No achieve a better economic level of well-being in that reality. And so will focus really on marriage per se because I think nothing will be done strengthener were renew the fortunes of marriage in America. I know in the report, you argue that the which weekly marriage has played a major role in changing economic fortunes of American family life. Explain what you mean by the retreat for marriage and how this impacted family fortunes in America.

What you know document in the 50s and 60s.

The vast majority of American adults are married and there were no major class divides in marriage, many of which were are rich. If you're middle-class or working-class American you know you are likely gently married in America, my conflict while visual changes in the wake of feet cultural and economic shifts of the 70s and late 60s, but since then, we seem to happen is that few Americans are getting married thing works. But what many folks don't realize is that this conflict treats for marriage were once again, fewer Americans are getting married thing hurt obvious relief concentrated today, matches, poor American working class and lower middle-class Americans. By contrast, college educated American vertebrae pretty well. Divorce rates have come down dramatically since since 1986 the height of the divorce revolution so college educated, got back to Denver on the marriage front, the warrior, though, is that Americans don't have a college degree, including North Carolina are much more likely today that cohabit captured thought of marriage to experience a kind of relationship, carousel, or go around their kids are caught up in all this instability in ways that are bad for pump project multiply conducted results. Wilcox you speak in the report of an intact family premium explain force. If you will. What that means and why that is important.

What we find is that young adults, both young men and women today who always put on to parent working about hundred $60 more per year compared to their peers, raised in a single-parent family and father making personally between four and $6000 more on average per year and enjoying an even bigger amount of money when it comes to their family income compared to their peers ready to single-parent household looks point here is that being raised parent stable contract to current helpful tips kids more stability all beneficial outcomes, fewer negative serve detours in our lives will afflict to have a baby out of wedlock, for instance, and all that means that there better prepared. By the time I get there early 20s and early 30s to be out working well and labor force temporary more money in labor force because it had a stable family background account to complete kind of start in life that in addition to the intact family premium you speak about the benefits of marriage for men in particular who enjoy a substantial marriage premium talk about that. If you would. The substantial marriage premium good men enjoy as a result of being a part of that married family structure your knowledge about family, marriage, or in the life we often talk about no chips of her primary object concern. I got definitely warranted. Also recognized that what's happening to the family. America today has implications both for the emotional of social and technical bring up of women, and even more so for men and to the point of manage this is that when you get married and the trunk.

I'm paraphrasing George article opposite economist and Nobel Laureate poser corporate bookings accolade is absurd basically is that will men get married, they settled out and when men still get married, they still settled out and you know this may seem like an old-fashioned notion appeal of no relevance to 2014 bedfellows. This empirically affect that we see our report that when men get married. Their work more hours make more money as a consequence we also see in other research that were mentioned married. They tend to attend bars less and churches more and we see email and other work that when men get married and tend to reduce the risk to be able to keep them at risk for any number of negative health outcome soaks the point here is that, simply that your marriage gives men access to routines of responsibilities and relationships that on the whole, make them better man.

The coarser plenty of no exceptions will know that you know but I'm thinking that on average of marriage tend to be good for guys and so one reason is concerned about the retreat for marriage making a lot more guys in those communities you have detached from families and from family life that would otherwise stabilize their lives and utilize new purpose and direction of that they don't currently have is, are not integrated into a stable married family. Now what about the role of public policy.

I believe the nuclear family policy Council focuses a lot on public policy and working with our elected officials to establish policies that promote the family of American structure and clearly those policies do have an effect on the culture from your perspective and end, particularly from the standpoint of the issues that you looked at in this report are some of the specific policies that can help to strengthen the economic prospects of lower and middle income families wearing 11 key role is first do no harm and I think what you know with the state of North Carolina should be attentive.

The way in which particular public policies regarding a meditator canister throughout her policy.

Do they basically popularized on North Carolinians from Nelson Denny marriage, I know a couple in Virginia for instance working-class couple who work directly married, but they're expecting a baby and realize a business technology to pay for the birth of a child, and if there were, get married, they would lose their ability to get that Medicaid benefit sucks. I think that you know that the lawmakers were done or not, should be attentive to any latitude that they have in terms of these policies to try to minimize or eliminate marriage penalties no better than a logical positive support member one where it should be a lot more comes to good vocational education into the partnership opportunities object should go on. Movement outscored South Carolina calculus of Carolinians 211 your company's moving etc. Linux metric was important because it means all younger adults agreement men are getting access to jobs and make them more attractive as potential husbands more authority married you mix them more economically viable to their families and adults representing most Americans do today.I should get a college degree. Too much work focuses on trying to devote to be a guest of the plenty of jobs you will plumbers and electricians advanced manufacturing folks IT folks who make money newly. My folks are going to be innocentagreement: should do more to connect young adults to those good middle school job opportunities and then finally I think in terms of looking at the public policy agenda this year sponsoring PSA in the public service announcement and like 11. A number of questions that should this be very clear and communicate a message to young adults for North Carolina that families are more likely to flourish when and adults finish at least a high school degree find a job, get married, and then after the metal that they pursue that for success sequence. They are much more likely to move into the middle class they middle-class and to avoid poverty benefited that sequence along and I know it's it's it's a fact.

And it's one administration to do a better job of many places of imaging wall of the idea that success sequence that there are certain things that we ought to strive his young people to do that will lead not inevitably necessarily not guaranteed, but will put all the pieces in place for what is proven to be success in the future beyond the government, what about other civic institutions and organizations like churches, schools, civic groups of what can they do to help encourage you to first of all acknowledge that success, sequence, and then pursue it in a way that will be productive for their future employment surveillance the claimant includes religious institutions search your good points and make them number one pointed what would seem since the 70s.

Unfortunately, Americans who don't have a college degree are much less likely to be meaningfully engaged in our civic confusion, including our churches, and science and comment upon France and churches through much better job of reaching out to working-class in a lower middle class and poor marriage. In particular, the man brought the most attached. In those communities from churches to think really intentionally but what can we do to make our our church community more welcoming to the ordinary guys in our community because the victim reach them and integrate them into life communities that's never been but none of those guys but on the families of those men already formidable for a job truly is to really do a lot better think education from the pulpit and from other venues of your ordinary lay members of the church is to basically teach them you know about the importance of marriage for for adults and for kids enough so that people realize when the talking kind encourage their kids to notice family pass to the their kids are clipped to understand that no luck yet education matters not yet the job matters but it also takes you that if you sequence how you do marriage and parenthood. Your odds of forging a stable family are much better in the odds of being financially secure. You know, in midlife are much better, uniting the church. You mortars can't communicate, this is our research and when some excess weight or members to so mighty as living know that the voluntary civil or the religious doctors, nurses also take heart will thank you for that. That's really important for us to consider in professional carts.

Unfortunately, we are out of time this week. But before we leave. I want to give you an opportunity to let our listeners know where they can go to obtain a copy of your excellent new report from literal support and also where they can learn more about the American enterprise Institute and also the National marriage Project sure will go to the website or other board more, the American enterprise.

And now I'm on twitter at Wilcox and MP Grable, Brad Wilcox, thank you so much for being back with us on family policy matters for your time and your great work promoting marriage in our society.

We are truly like my pleasure be since family policy matters is information and analysis, future of the North Carolina family policy Council known as weekly discussion on policy issues affecting the family you have questions or comments, please contact 91 907-0800 visit our website and

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