90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
Marriage And Income Inequality

With Guest Host Meghna Chakrabarti.

How income inequality is shaping marriage in America in ways that will make the country even less equal.

A couple gets married in front of family and friends in this 2009 photo. (Julian Thomas / Flickr)

A couple gets married in front of family and friends in this 2009 photo. (Julian Thomas / Flickr)

You’ve heard the stat: nearly half of all marriages fail. You’ve also heard the pat, reductive reasoning why: moral decline! some say. female empowerment ! say others. But there’s new thinking about what’s driving the erosion of marriage in America. It could be: income inequality. Have declining wages and lost opportunities created a world where married two-parent families may be a luxury only the most prosperous Americans can afford?  This hour, On Point: income inequality, marriage, and the future of the American family.


June Carbone, chair in law, science and technology at the University of Minnesota Law School. Co-author, with Naomi Cahn, of “Marriage Markets”: How Inequality is Remaking the American Family.” Also co-author of “Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture.”

Naomi Cahn, professor at George Washington University Law School. Co-author, with June Carbone, of “Marriage Markets”: How Inequality is Remaking the American Family.” Also co-author of “Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture.” (@NaomiCahn)

Kevin Maillard, professor of law at the Syracuse University College of Law. Co-editor of “Loving v. Virginia in a Post-Racial World.” (@noblemaillard)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: Book Review: ‘Marriage Markets’ by June Carbone and Naomi Cahn — “Forget the gender gap. The fundamental divide in the United States today runs along the lines of class and marriage. College-educated Americans and their children reap the benefits of comparatively stable, happy marriages, while less-educated Americans—especially the poor and the working-class—are more likely to struggle with family lives marked by discord and marital instability.”

Boston Globe: Millennials, reject timely marriage at your own risk – “Millennials aren’t getting married either. The percentage who will be unmarried by the time they hit age 40 could be as high as 30 percent, predicts the study. Of course, that still means 70 percent will get married, but that figure is well below the marriage rates for early baby boomers (91 percent), late boomers (87 percent), and Gen Xers (82 percent). “

Magggie Gallagher: Marriage Markets – “Marriage is a two-gender problem. How do we craft a script about sex, gender, parenting and marriage that strikes both men and women as a good deal and as a social ideal?  Then how do we make sure our economic, political and legal structures support and reinforce that script?”

Read An Excerpt Of “Marriage Markets” By June Carbone and Naomi Cahn

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Obamunism 2.0

    11,472,000 Americans Have Left Workforce Since Obama Took Office


    according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

    • Human2013

      I vacation on the Vineyard and I can assure that it is not all “wealthy Elites” and the Wampanoag tribe still owns a sizable slice of the island.

      • Che Bianchi

        I once visited New Ross (Irish: Ros Mhic Thriúin, formerly Ros Mhic Treoin), County Wexford in Eire, where you can learn about politics and the Kennedy clan. You are correct Human2013, not all wealthy elites, but I would happily crew for any yachty to eat/drink their tossed food and single malt.

      • TFRX

        But the President’s a Democrat vacaying in Massachusetts. Don’t try to confuse that idiot with facts.

    • Leonard Bast

      Your adolescent pseudonym says it all. Which grade are you in, 7th?

    • TFRX

      Now watch this drive jackass.

      • Obamunism 2.0

        Who gave you permission to crawl out of your troll cage?!

        You’d better scurry back into your troll cage otherwise someone might easily confuse you for a wharf-rat.

  • HonestDebate1

    So much envy.

    • geraldfnord

      Yes, there is so much envy of those struggling hard—and, admittedly, those very few slacking off—and getting some minimal assistance from the same society that made the rules that ensure their struggling—and, to be fair, those that allow some few of them to advance—on the part of those for whom the State does nowt but protect property and contracts that would be difficult or impossible to keep or enforce in the State of Nature.

      Perhaps they are so envious because they assume all that were good for them to _be_ natural—of _course_ a New Yorker can possess a field in California dependably without Evil Gummint’s getting in the way! Perhaps they have been mistaught to believe that those lower down were a Preterite breed apart, and they an Elect who ought not to have any sympathy with them.

      Perhaps they just hate their jobs and their own struggles, but (primate hierarchy heing what it is) know that it were much safer to ‘kiss up and kick down’ than actually to try to do something about it.

      • HonestDebate1

        If we can just make those who have a dollar more than we do feel some pain that will solve everything.

        • Human2013

          No, if we can just make those who have many dollars acknowledge that those dollars have acculmulated at the blessing of thousands of years of human discovery and social work. That those dollars were in no way independently earned and that it is in fact at the blessing of the government that you have a place to spend those dollars.

          Also, that those dollars are no way an indication of personal worth!

          • HonestDebate1

            So all you want is an acknowledgment?

            I am who I chose to be. I have what I sacrificed for. I help who I chose to help. What I have, I built.

        • TFRX

          You’re falling in the usual bullflop expected of you.

  • Human2013

    A couple months back, Tom hosted the economist Tyler Cowen on the show. In one exchange, Mr. Cowen told Tom that children were an expense that most Americans won’t be able to afford. Tom replied, “So only the rich can have children?” Yes, Tom.

    If this wage trend continues, and it appears it will, marriage and children won’t be part of most American lives. This is the part that should hit home with most Americans. It is one thing to forgo a luxury car, it’s another to have to decline having children.

    Capitalism, the US verion, is robbing American citizens of basic human pleasures.

    And the Declaration reads:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    The pursuit of happiness on $7.25/hr? That is a pursuit of hunger and destitution, not happiness.

    • Human2013

      How amusing how things have unfolded. We throw off British rule and make statements about unalienable rights. Well, it appears those rights are reserved for a few in America. Now are British rulers offer healthcare for all, higher wages, free or subsidized higher education and more dignity for all.

      • HonestDebate1

        Who is keeping you from pursuing happiness?

        • Human2013

          The gluttonous CEO, the incompetent congress, the shameful SCOTUS and your silly economists who told us that reducing taxes would lead to trickle down wealth.

          Have you experienced happiness while hungry?

          Over 50 million children are going hungry in America.

          • geraldfnord

            Don’t you know, it is your responsibility to build up all the institutes of civilised life from the ground up or by making contract with others; all our wealthiest must have done, else why would some of them insist that they had earned every penny?

            (Simlarly, you must be a better-than-average investor in order to have a decent retirement—and surely we are all capable of that if we but try—be a martial arts master shootist to be safe, a doctorto get over illness,…).

          • Rick Evans

            “Over 50 million children are going hungry in America.”

            Stop parroting activist rhetoric. Kids are not going hungry in the U.S. visit any K-12 school at lunch time and see how much food gets tossed. Same free kids qualify for food stamps. This is not the 1960s when there were children in Mississippi with swollen bellies. If 50 million children were going hungry Time Warner and Comcast would be losing half their subscribers.

          • nj_v2

            Yeah, don’t listen to those “activist” groups like the Census Bureau.

            “An estimated 85.1 percent of American households were food secure throughout the entire year in 2011, meaning that they had access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. The remaining households (14.9 percent) were food insecure at least some time during the year, including 5.7 percent with very low food security—meaning that the food intake of one or more household members was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food.”


          • Che Bianchi

            As a former employee of the Census Bureau/Commerce Dept., they ARE activist.

          • HonestDebate1

            You can be happy if you want to be. You were born with the unalienable right. And yes, I have been hungry and happy.

          • Che Bianchi

            At our house, their is always room for one more no matter what is in our bank account/government program. I will show those 50 million children to “Feed the Children,” Salvation Army, First Baptist Church of______ to name a few. Many go hungry, not the same as “starve to death.” I invite you to Sudan and India for that experience.

      • Che Bianchi

        My children and spose are British and I beg to differ.

        • Human2013

          of course they are.

    • HonestDebate1

      It is the pursuit of happiness not the delivery via government of happiness to your front door.

    • Che Bianchi

      Since Obama was sworn in, I lost my job after 34 years as an employed worker. I am able to raise 5 children w/o salary or government hand outs. I would love and appreciate a job at $7.25/hr as my savings won’t last much longer and college is 2 years away for my oldest.

      • Human2013

        What is an “employed worker”?

        “I would love and appreciate a job at $7.25/hr”

        Don’t be silly and stop undermining the worth of your labor.

        • Che Bianchi

          I volunteer at my church and elementary school. My experience is never predicated for the exchange of a fiat currency. A passion for an eternal mission is not silly, its a calling.

    • Che Bianchi

      Hey Human2013, are YOU hiring? I have a college degree, military service and some grad school.

  • Rick Evans

    “Have declining wages and lost opportunities created a world where married two-parent families may be a luxury only the most prosperous Americans can afford?”

    The choice to raise a kid with one stagnating income rather than two makes no sense in ths country assuming the parents can get along. You don’t need to be married live and parent together but our tax laws work hard to disadvantage you.

    It’s the opposite in Scandinavian countries where taxation and law levels the playing field. In a lot of those countries the out of wedlock birth rate far exceeds that in the U.S. but parents live and raise kids together.

    • geraldfnord

      Yes, but they don’t fill the pews or worship the wealthy nearly as much as we do either—and we can’t be having with that, as Granny Weatherwax opined on other subjects.

  • geraldfnord

    The worst threat if massive inequality is that it near entirely decouples those with the most influence on the world from the conditions of those at the bottom…and fear of falling there encourages those near the bottom to have less sympathy with those below them, loathing being a great way of whistling `That’ll never happen to me‘ past the grave-yard.

    • Human2013

      They will build private infrastructure in gated communities. They will use private modes of transportations and denounce their small input into the pot.

  • Che Bianchi

    Can we please stop the pejorative Red/Blue State name calling. You can’t make people behave, can’t predict the action of an individual, can’t make life equal….John F. Kennedy.

    • geraldfnord

      Citation for the J.F.K. quote? I can’t find one on the web….

      • Che Bianchi

        Guess what Geraldfnord, you cant find it on the Web. It is on a tape recording produced by CBS that was in a speech to US Steel and others.

    • geraldfnord

      More to the point, that’s a straw-man argument: we can’t make everyone behave well all the time, but in a democracy we bother with laws and the violence implicit in them because we believe that peoples’ general behaviour would be net-better than without them. It’s also a straw-man argument because no significant U.S. political force demands absolute equality. And though any individual’s behaviour can’t generally be predicted accurately for long, the actions of masses of people are predictable enough to induce powerful men and women to spend millions per year trying to predict them, that hey might reap billions.

      • Che Bianchi

        We are not a democracy, we are a Republic. Democracy is a fools paradise inhabited by straw man arguments.

  • Michiganjf


    After fifty years of Democratic control of Congress and a healthy middle class, Republicans came into power and began to ensure a country for the rich, by the rich.

    Great job guys, you did it!

    • Che Bianchi

      How is the job market in Michigan JF?

      • Michiganjf

        I live in Austin, Texas, and the job market is one of the best in the country, but cost of living and taxes are extremely high… our property taxes on a below median price home (valued 213,000 for 2014), are almost $5000/year.

  • Bill98

    I disagree that, for lower-income women, their choices in male partners is limited. Rather, they are choosing to limit their options, by insisting that they “marry up”, which was the norm for generations. This is no longer supportable, and the expectations of these women has to change. That, or they have to try to support a family alone.

    It would seem that a man who doesn’t make as much as she does, is still better than having no partner at all. I believe that many of these women will begin to realize this, and will change their criteria for a mate, accordingly.

    • michi_chi

      But then there needs to be a reordering of social norms & expectations as well. If he has a part-time job making 1/2 what I do, then why does it STILL fall to to me to pick up the kids, do all the housework, etc. The marriages I see lasting where the man makes less is when his ego is not tied up in it and he is willing to take on more of the household issues and child rearing. But I understand women who say, if he is at home all day, and I still have to do everything, then what do I need him for?

      • Bill98

        I absolutely agree that this is going to force a change in social norms, and in expectations that women have for men, and that men have for themselves. In all honesty, I think that things have changed a lot, but I also think that more is coming.

        My original point really had to do with the notion, expressed by the guests, that lower-income women have no available partners. That simply isn’t true. There are plenty of men out there, many of whom would make excellent husbands and fathers.

      • Frank411

        More has changed already MC than many women acknowledge. Go to Men at NPR and look at the data on how much time women and men put, on average, into the buckets of paid work, house work (which as typically defined does not include home repair, landscaping maintenance, garbage removal and other typically male duties), and childcare.

        In 2011 women, on average, worked 21, 18 and 14 hours, respectively, in these three categories for a total of 53 hours a week.

        In 2011 men, on average, worked 37, 10 and 7 hours, respectively, in these three categories, for a total of 54 hours a week.

        In other words, when combined home, childcare and paid work hours are compared, men are already working 1 hour more per week than women on average.

        The link is available here:


        Scroll down to “Parenting.”

  • estelle068

    This is definitely my experience. Although I have less education than my husband, I have significantly more work experience and therefore, earn a lot more than my husband. He has an advanced degree, but hasn’t been able to find a job, so started his own business a couple years ago. I pay for all of our household expenses, his student loans, while he tries to get on his feet. Because I don’t have my own personal debt, I know that I would do better financially on my own. It’s hard to be the breadwinner and still be expected to pick up the vast share of domestic duties.

  • GWelch

    Of course wealthier people are staying together. They are smart enough to do the math and realize that a lifetime of saying “Yes dear” is still cheaper than a divorce.

    • Che Bianchi

      @GWelch, “Yes Dear”

    • Chris Green

      Good point. It’s pretty sad.

  • Bill98

    A laid-off man might very well react as the one guest states, which would put a strain on the relationship. But, how about how the wife reacts to a man who is unemployed? Do they now question whether they should stay with him?

    Don’t put it all on the men. A woman’s reaction to that man can be the problem every bit as much as is his reaction to his job situation.

  • http://argonnechronicles.blogspot.com/ Dee

    It’s very difficult these days for smart, ambitious, college-educated women to find equal partners. I’m married, but am currently making 5x what my husband is making (he works part-time at a retail store). We didn’t start with quite this big of a disparity, but he’s not been as nimble and responsive to the changing marketplace as I have. And I see this over and over. At least half a dozen women I work with have very similar relationships with similar wage disparities. I wonder regularly how men actually remained the “dominant” sex once physical strength became less important and women began earning degrees in equal comparison to men. In a common law state, however, it’s not financially feasible to divorce without risking half of the savings we’ve built up. In my case, divorce would practically leave my husband homeless since it’s not at all possible to live on a part-time retail salary (and forget about child support!).

    • skelly74

      I agree. I also find men utterly useless and inferior to women. The more physical specimens are basically only good for making babies and fighting wars. My husband is quite eloquent and successful and has proven to be my equal in both intelligence and passions but he does not challenge my manhood enough intimately. I also feel I could do much better but I fear divorce would be letting him off too easy.

    • tarantacrawl

      I can tell it must be difficult to find someone else equally as educated, talented, unsupportive, and condescending as yourself.

  • Scott B

    It’s not just education levels, etc, and this isn’t just women making choices.

    Some time ago On Point had a program where a couple of business owners called in an said their employees weren’t getting married because they’re lose their social safety net help. It didn’t even occur to them that maybe if they paid their employees a living wage than maybe they could afford to get off the safety net programs.

    With more people making less, who can blame them for not wanting to get married, which social services would then take them as a combined income, and lose what meager help they’re getting from SNAP, Medicaid, etc.? There are couples that even have to divorce (at least on paper) so that an ailing spouse can get the help they need from social welfare programs like Medicare.

  • warryer

    HA! Declining marriage isn’t about income inequality.

    Look at the legal imbalance, favoring women in all divorce cases. A woman can easily deceive a man into marriage and then divorce him. More often than not the courts will rule in her favor.

    The availability of contraceptives and abortion has also made sex easier to attain. It used to be a huge benefit of marriage. Women used to have the risk of children with sex. So naturally they would demand a commitment because children much more of a “risk” than they are today.

    Women also don’t need a marriage for the financial support of a man. It used to be that the man would work while the woman stayed at home. Now that women work, they don’t need that financial support to make a living in this world.

    tl;dr: The incentive to marry just isn’t there like it used to be.

  • thedreadedgug

    If you finish school, delay childbearing until you are married, and marry the person you have a child with, your life outcomes will be much more positive than if you do not do these things. Not rocket science.

    • http://argonnechronicles.blogspot.com/ Dee

      I finished school. I delayed childbearing until marriage. But I cannot say that my life outcomes are more positive because of either of these things.

      • Michiganjf

        Yes, those old tenets are now almost entirely a Republican fantasy they’ve been conned into propagating as a recipe for success in America, as though success isn’t now hamstrung by a system they spent the last thirty years rigging in favor of the already privileged.

        • http://pfeifferphotoart.com Bruce R Pfeiffer Jr

          Hear, hear!

        • thedreadedgug

          No, it’s data. It’s statistics. Look them up, the ask yourself what you find so threatening about it.

        • Salty

          Most poverty is based on poor decisions. Better decisions = less poverty. That just is. I grew up in poverty, made good decisions and now I have all I want and need. I am not an exception. I am the rule.

      • thedreadedgug

        which is an anecdote. The plural of anecdote isn’t data, it’s anecdotes.

    • StilllHere

      There will be exceptions, but this is common sense.

    • Chris Green

      Oversimplification that does not take into account those who did all of the things you mentioned and it gave them the opposite.

      However, it does offer a better chance at a more positive life.

    • Salty

      You are exactly right. Most of the causes of poverty are based on poor decisions people make in their lives. Make different decisions – lessen your chances of being stuck in poverty. Simple. Yes, it is that simple.

  • StilllHere

    There are some real contra-stereotype factors being discussed here: women making more than men, knowledge-workers making more than their manual peers and the wage benefits to education. I’m not sure about inequality, but there are some big shifts occurring in the economy apparently.

  • Ratsandwich

    Marriage is for fools. It’s just a way to screw people. You are a fool to buy into the State sanctified sexual relationship and any possible “benefits” are easily replaced by a good lawyer and some contracts. Power of attorney, living wills, trusts and executors and so on.
    Your only sole benefit is the fact that if you’re a man and you have children out of wedlock you have NO rights to your own kids. Married men get a basically worthless recognition of their paternal “rights” which means nothing in the courts as they are pathetically clogged with victim-centric attitudes and people of both sexes that take no responsibility for their reproduction and the consequences. It’s sickening. The only people who really have any interest in preserving and expanding the marriage are divorce lawyers.

    • Salty

      Sounds like someone who doesn’t have the commitment ability to enter into a strong marriage. For the sake of the future, please don’t procreate. Children need married mothers and fathers, the real ones.

  • Radical___Moderate

    This is over the top. Marriage is a free choice of free people. Get over all of the social engineering and classism nonsense. Smart people will always have more money and better opportunities. There will never be economic equality because smart people will always make more money and have more power. Liberals believe they can legislate “equality.” The hierarchy is as old as life itself. If you gave everyone the exact same amount of money, within several years we would once again have rich and poor. This is both true in an evolutionary Darwinian paradigm of thought and in a Biblical one (i.e. “you will always have the rich and the poor). This does not mean one should not have compassion, certainly we should. My point is that you cannot mandate intelligence no more than you can outlaw stupidity.
    As bad as the Republican Party is in this country, they continue to get votes and support because most Americans simply cannot really relate to the kind of “Authoritarian Social Engineering Liberalism” that this show is about.
    Also, men will always make more than women because they are hard-wired and evolved to fight and negotiate harder and be more competitive. They often will NOT settle for salary numbers that many women just will. I have witnessed it in the job interview process time and time again.
    Though I have many liberal views, such as on healthcare, I absolutely believe this kind of social engineering liberalism is fruitless, inane and absurd in it practicality and realism. God Bless.

    • Family Field Guide

      You are speaking of “Social Darwinism,” popularized by English philosopher Herbert Spencer (1820-1903). The Carnegie boys took his ideas to the bank – however inhumane they might have been. It’s easy to see his influence today in the Conservative platform.

    • Mirumir

      I’m guessing you consider yourself one of those “smart people” who are placed above those less deserving both by God’s grace and Darwinian necessity? Judge not lest ye be judged my friend.

      • Radical___Moderate

        I am truly judging no one and an above no one. I am observing from my experiences with myself and others. Liberals always call it judging when you have an opinion they are uncomfortable with. Liberal bigotry is vile and just as unseemly as conservative bigotry. If you have opinions of me, then you are the one judging my fiend. God Bless.

  • http://argonnechronicles.blogspot.com/ Dee

    Kevin Mallard says that men’s daddy time should compensate for the child support they can’t provide. Only problem with that is that women typically spend infinitely more time on childcare and childcare related issues (doctor’s appointments, school events, etc.) regardless of the woman’s job status. So giving a dollar amount to daddy time does not compute and simply does not equalize the situation. I heard the term “co-provider” recently and that’s exactly what it takes for middle-income families to support children today. Co-provider as in more or less equal support. Look to the Scandinavian countries for ways to make this happen. (See “Overwhelmed” by Brigid Schulte.)

  • Arlene

    I believe it was your last caller, John? “we loved each other so much” – I’ve been married 23 years. We moved long distance twice. Times have been financially difficult more than once. First, foremost and always, we were committed to each other. Don’t blame the failure of a marriage on economics. If that’s the truth, it wasn’t a very strong relationship.

    • http://pfeifferphotoart.com Bruce R Pfeiffer Jr

      Well, not as strong as yours, apparently, but not necessarily not “a very strong relationship.” I think

    • Salty

      You got it. It’s commitment not pay checks.

  • http://euonymous.wordpress.com euonymous

    Fascinating topic! Society is ever changing. Women have been, continue to be, and will probably always be paid less than men, but not so much today that women feel they must be married. I suspect a fundamental change is that the children of divorce do not value marriage as an institution as much as people did when divorce was less common. As divorce rates have climbed, more children absorbed that lesson.

    We can possibly blame the American education system for children not growing up understanding the economic and social realities of our society. If both parents work, as is common, where are parents going to find the time and energy, as well as the perception of need, that will encourage them to teach key social memes to their children? It’s a complex problem.

  • http://pfeifferphotoart.com Bruce R Pfeiffer Jr

    the bottom line in this discussion for me is that a certain amount of money CAN buy happiness. That “certain amount” means not always “more money” but enough to feel secure and empowered to obtain what you, at any particular point, what you need.

  • Radical___Moderate

    I think another problem with the approach to this issue that was presented on the show today is that it reduces marriage solely to an economic equation and a socio-economic equation. Marriage really should be and must be about the actual love and commitment and mutual respect that two people have for one another (male and female or same sex). Anything less is just a glorified business contract involving the exchange of wedding bands. How bland and sour of a life would that be. Compassion is the key.

    • StilllHere

      Compassion … and a good prenup.

  • Sy2502

    I disagree with the claim that a couple must be rich to be happy together. Ask Kim Kardashian if money makes her marriage(s) happy…

    • GWelch

      Perhaps not, but I’m sure that the attendant publicity does…

  • Salty

    Marriage is such a stabilizing force in society. A few example stats and their source can be found below.

    The real problem is we have moved to a society where it is all about “me” and what makes “me” happy. It is not about responsibility. Marriage is not about being “happy” but about finding someone you can make happy. It is not 50 – 50 it is 100 – 100. (Most of the problem is with the men – and I am one of them – they need to be MEN, step up, take care of their wives and children and not worry so much about what makes them “happy”. Women should, obviously do the same. But I think the fault lies mostly with today’s men not accepting responsibility.) The future looks bleak, boys are not being taught to be real men and they will reproduce what created them… As a teacher for 20+ years I seldom see a child from a birth mom and dad who are not successful. Few kids in trouble of various sorts come from birth mom and birth dad. I could go on and on…

    Marriage and Health
    • On average, husbands and wives are healthier, happier and enjoy longer lives than those who are not married.

    Marriage and Wealth
    • Married couples build more wealth on average than singles or cohabiting couples.
    • Married men earn more money than do single men with similar education and job histories.
    • Married women are economically better off than divorced, cohabiting or never-married women.

    Marriage and Children
    Children raised by their own married mother and father are:
    • Less likely to be poor or to experience persistent economic insecurity
    • More likely to stay in school, have fewer behavioral and attendance problems, and earn four-year college degrees

    Marriage and Crime/Domestic Violence
    • Married women are at lower risk for domestic violence than women in cohabiting or dating relationships.
    • Boys raised in single-parent homes are more likely to engage in criminal and delinquent behavior than those raised by two married biological parents.
    • Married women are significantly less likely to be the victims of violent crime than single or divorced women. Married men are less likely to perpetrate violent crimes than unmarried men.

    Marriage and Society
    • The institution of marriage reliably creates the social, economic and affective conditions for effective parenting.

    Sources: Why Marriage Matters: Twenty-Six Conclusions from the Social Sciences (Institute for American Values); Healthy Marriages, Healthy Lives: Research on the Alignment of Health, Marital Outcomes and Marriage Education (California Healthy Marriages Coalition); Testimony of Dr. Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, National Marriage Project, before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Children and

    • Tim Wright

      So true. Marriage between a man and a women is the foundation of society. When we mess with this and devalue marriage, we all suffer.

      • Salty


    • Regular_Listener

      Interesting points, but I see the selfishness coming from both sides and not just the males. When I meet single women, I can tell that their primary interest in assessing me, beyond just what meets their eyes, is how much money and financial stability they are likely to get from associating with me. It is not true for everyone, some people are looking for good times, but as a general rule I think it is. Carbone and Kahn do mention this in the show – how both men and women are trying harder than ever to avoid getting saddled with a loser or a drain on their incomes. Maybe it always been thus, but it doesn’t have much to do with love.

      • Salty

        Good point – plenty of selfishness to go around…

  • LowG

    The reason low income people can’t afford to marry is because they no longer qualify for benifits if both incomes are counted in the application. If I was not married but simply living with my wife and child, all of our food and child care would be paid for by the state. Why in earth would you choose to marry if suddenly over a thousand dollars a month of assistance would evaporate?

  • anne sweeney

    Marriage has become very unpopular and no longer an economic advantage. With no Employer Child Care, Despite the ACR, less
    employee health care benefits, Less support from home due to the
    high divorce rates and parents living away or moving away from the
    family homestead. It is quite obvious that their are very few incentives
    and many detractors to tie the knot.

  • LowG

    That’s true, but regardless the fact remains.
    The lack of marrige among low income people is in large part due to the way income is considered in assistance applications.
    Sure, we can argue to change the rules. I’d be interested to hear of a plan that could both “not penalize” marrige yet still provide assistance to single working mothers who truly do need help. How do you propose to change the rules?

  • Andrea Stephen

    Reason’s that people aren’t getting married, not just the blue collar folks as the radio speakers seemed to focus on but college educated folks too, include the following.

  • C. Kaineg

    The majority of my peers (30-34) are happy to get married, but are completely opting out of having and raising children because it’s way too expensive. I was surprised this topic wasn’t addressed during the program. It’s more common for our married friends to have 0-1 child per couple, with no plans to grow.

  • dizzy7

    “Where minimum wage was always a living wage as it is in every 1st world nation except the United States.”
    Imagine a world where one of the two major political parties wasn’t determined to do everything possible to make sure that never happens in the US.

  • Radical___Moderate

    Scandinavian style socialism works (and not well in all ways at that) in the context of smaller countries whom have historically benefited from being largely on the margins and a Western European productivity and markets and military protections etc. It remain, as has been proven by political will and facts, an unfeasible implementation in the USA. Though Capitalism is NOT at all perfect or ideal. it does produce the overall aggregate wealth that allow Utopian dreamers to continue their fallacies and charades in America. Guess what? The jig is up though for all “Big Govt.,” except corporate big govt. because we are in so much debt. We all must deal with where our brain dead and greedy politicans of both parties have left us.

  • Regular_Listener

    I do suspect that some of these stable, happy, upper class marriages are successful because there is some looking the other way going on. I’m sure there is also nothing especially new about that phenomenon.

  • Regular_Listener

    Megan Chakravarti is a good guest host btw.

Sep 17, 2014
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson watches from the sidelines against the Oakland Raiders during the second half of a preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (AP/Ann Heisenfelt)

The NFL’s Adrian Peterson and the emotional debate underway about how far is too far to go when it comes to disciplining children.

Sep 17, 2014
Bob Dylan and Victor Maymudes at "The Castle" in LA before the 1965 world tour. Lisa Law/The Archive Agency)

A new take on the life and music of Bob Dylan, from way inside the Dylan story. “Another Side of Bob Dylan.”

Sep 16, 2014
From "Rich Hill"

“Rich Hill,” a new documentary on growing up poor, now, in rural America. The dreams and the desperation.

Sep 16, 2014
Jasmin Torres helps classmate Brianna Rameles with a worksheet at the Diloreto Magnet School in New Britain, Conn., Wednesday Feb. 22, 2012. (AP/Charles Krupa)

More parents are “red-shirting” their children in kindergarten—holding them back for a year, hoping they’ll have an edge. Does it work? We look.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Talking Through The Issue Of Corporal Punishment For Kids
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

On Point dove into the debate over corporal punishment on Wednesday — as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces charges in Texas after he allegedly hit his four-year-old son with a switch.

More »
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

More »
Beverly Gooden on #WhyIStayed
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

Beverly Gooden — who originated the #WhyIStayed hashtag that has taken off across Twitter — joined us today for our discussion on domestic violence.

More »
1 Comment