Editor’s Note: President Lyndon B Johnson’s great “war on poverty” was actually a war on the American family. It has been shown that people who receive welfare have much less incentive to work or to get married. In turn, destroying families leads to more burglaries and violent crimes. And it just so turns out that “Baltimore is one of the least five ‘intact’ counties in the entire United States.” Gee. Go figure.
Via The New American:
With many Americans wondering why so much alienation exists in cities such as Baltimore, Maryland, perhaps one answer is a reaction to decades of federal government programs that have been driving the destruction of the American family.
The Family Research Council’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute has released a report highlighting the startling statistic that only 16 percent of teenagers in Baltimore between the ages of 15 and 17 have been raised in an intact, married family. Baltimore is one of the five least “intact” counties in the entire United States. Bishop E. W. Jackson, a senior research fellow for the Family Research Council, related this depressing fact to the recent senseless rioting and looting in the city. “Boys … are inculcated with the values of the streets,” he explained, adding that “race and poverty become an excuse for criminality.” The crisis in the African-American community, Jackson contends, is in “marriage and family.”
That crisis has been building for years, and it is not restricted to the African-American communities of the country, although the rates of illegitimacy and single-female households are higher there than in other ethnic groups. Since 1960, there has been a three-fold increase in the number of children growing up in single-parent families. According to Mary Parke, in her article “Are Married Parents Really Better for Children?,” in 1960, only 22 percent of black children were in single-parent homes (almost always with the mother); however, by 2001, this figure had soared to 53 percent. Among white Americans, the rate was a mere seven percent in 1960, but had increased to 19 percent by 2001. And these distressing numbers are still rising.
In their article for the Heritage Foundation entitled “How Welfare Harms Kids,” Patrick Fagan and Robert Rector explained how this accelerating trend has affected the incidence of violent crime and burglary. They show that growing up in a single-parent family on welfare triples the probability that a young black man will engage in criminal activity. It is instructive that the explosion of illegitimacy and single-parent homes has occurred since 1960. It was in 1964 that President Lyndon Johnson led Congress to enact the bundle of government programs designed to conduct a war on poverty in his so-called Great Society.
What is the role that welfare, by whatever name it is called, has played in inflicting such damage on the American family? And why has the destruction of the family in American society contributed so greatly to the creation and continuance of an American underclass, seething with anger and resentment?
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Contributed by Steve Byas of The New American.