Reducing Poverty, Part 3

brideIn a column in today’s Elmira Star-Gazette, Kathleen Parker adds her voice to those advocating marriage as a cure for poverty. Or perhaps she doesn’t. She writes — Every single parent could marry tomorrow and still she (or he) wouldn’t have a job.  That phrase appears near the end of the article. Her other 500 words undermine that observation.

Parker’s title — Marriage should be an important tool in the War on Poverty — sets the stage. In the body of her article she attributes poverty to bad luck — if poverty is a matter of luck it presumably has no cure. She notes Senator Gillibrand’s suggestions of pay equity, preschool education, affordable childcare, and increased minimum wage only to dismiss them as old ideas. She goes on to suggest that respect for marriage is politically incorrect. She writes: “we live in a culture that devalues and mocks marriage.” Who knew that?

Parker concludes that ending poverty must include “rebuilding a culture that encourages marriage,” and that the old idea of marriage is better than any newer ideas for ending poverty. Parker, like Sherlock Holmes solving a mystery, having eliminated all other possibilities for ending poverty, concludes that what remains, family values and marriage, however bizarre or improbable it seems, must be the answer.

© William Hungerford – January 2014

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3 Responses to Reducing Poverty, Part 3

  1. Deb Meeker says:

    I read that article in this morning’s paper and had to smile. If we could all just go back to when the little woman stayed home and took care of the kids, and had dinner on the table at five, and…..

    Perhaps millions of women who are and those who are not married, would like nothing better than to be home with their kids, and participate in their communities events. But Parker should know if she considers herself a journalist, that is nearly impossible in today’s economy; yes, even for married women.
    Parker played at trying to put a chiffon dress on a scrub woman’s life, by telling them to use men for welfare instead of the government.


  2. whungerford says:

    I sense that Kathleen Parker may have been conflicted — forced by some constraint to promote the view that marriage is the answer to poverty, yet unable to swallow it herself.


  3. BOB McGILL says:

    You act like the government is somehow responsible for women having kids. The government is supposed to be for the people by the people, I didn’t have any kids, how much am I going to have to pay for someone else’s kids ?
    My opinion is YOU HAD EM, YOU TAKE CARE OF EM !!!!!!!!! 🙂


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