Everyone knew -- even FDR's secretary of labor, Francis Perkins, knew -- that granting widows' benefits to unmarried women with illegitimate children would have disastrous consequences. An early 20th-century social welfare advocate, Homer Folks, warned back in 1914 that to grant pensions for "desertion or illegitimacy would, undoubtedly, have the effect of a premium upon these crimes against society."
But under President Lyndon Johnson, that's exactly what the government did. The "suitable home" requirements for welfare -- such as having a husband -- were jettisoned by liberal know-it-alls in the federal Bureau of Public Assistance. As a result, illegitimacy went through the roof, particularly among blacks, our most vulnerable fellow citizens.
In 1970, for the first time, the marriage rate for black women fell below 70 percent. But even then, a majority of black children were still living with both parents. By 2010, only 30.1 percent of blacks above the age of 15 were married, compared to 52.7 percent of whites.
Liberals keep using the bad consequences of their policies as an argument for more of the same policies. Government subsidies to unwed mothers increase the illegitimacy rate, which in turn leads to poverty, criminal behavior and more illegitimacy. So Democrats reverse cause and effect to claim it's the poverty that causes illegitimacy and then demand more payments to unwed mothers.
But we know poverty does not cause illegitimacy. The black experience from 1890 to 1960 proves it. It's the reverse, just as Bill O'Reilly said. If African-Americans started marrying again at their pre-Great Society rates, it would wipe out the entire black "culture of poverty."
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Ann Coulter comes riding to the defense of Bill O'Reilly, accused of being racist for saying that single motherhood is responsible for the high black crime rate. I recommend the article in full, but at least read this part.