if government's growth is left unchecked . . . we will transform our social safety net into a hammock.
--Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), 1.26.11
The safety net has become a hammock.
--Gerry Garibaldi, City Journal, Winter 2010-11
Garibaldi, a teacher at an urban Connecticut high school, has a lot to say about single girls having babies:
In our society, perversely, we celebrate the unwed mother as a heroic figure, like a fireman or a police officer. . . In today’s urban high school, there is no shame or social ostracism when girls become pregnant. . . Connecticut is among the most generous of the states to out-of-wedlock mothers. Teenage girls . . . qualify for . . . medical coverage when they become pregnant . . . medical insurance for the family; child care; Section 8 housing subsidies; the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; cash assistance. If you need to get to an appointment, state-sponsored dial-a-ride is available.Yet, Garibaldi has found these statistics for single-parent children:
From the FBI: 63% of all suicides are individuals from single-parent households. From the Centers for Disease Control: 75% of adolescents in chemical-dependency hospitals come from single-parent households. From the Children’s Defense Fund: more than half of all youths incarcerated for criminal acts come from single-parent households.And from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton’s ongoing work on “fragile families” (a project that in politically-correct terms, suggests there may still be a man around):
➢ Almost three-fourths of African American children and just over half of Hispanic children are born to unmarried parents, and whites are quickly catching up -- so much so that the proportion of white children born to unmarried parents today (29%) is actually higher than it was for blacks in the mid-1960's.
➢ Unmarried parents are more likely to have started parenting in their teens; are more likely to be poor; are more likely to suffer from depression; and are disproportionately African American or Hispanic. . . nearly 40% of fathers who have children outside of marriage have been incarcerated at some point in their lifetime. . . likely an undercount.
➢ most unmarried parents do not stay together. The[ir] children experience high levels of instability and complexity. Only 35% of unmarried couples are still living together five years after the birth of their child. . . single mothers . . . engage in harsher parenting practices and fewer literacy activities with their children than stably married mothers.
On teen pregnancy, we should note two important facts. First, teen pregnancy rates have been falling since 1991, except for an upsurge in 2006 and 2007, and are at their lowest levels in 70 years, with experts attributing the fall to increased use of contraception, pregnancy prevention messages, and use of “alternate intimacies.” Second, the U.S. teenage birthrate still leads the developed world, a major public health concern.
This blog earlier discussed the many problems facing black males.