From the article:
"If you are concerned about children, then children will have a better chance in a married-couple family," Haskins said. "There are advantages to children living in a married-couple family," Haskins said. "And government cannot make up that difference."
Haskins told his audience that the "bully pulpit" - politicians, policy-makers and other opinion-formers must stress the case that marriage is one of the surest means of furthering the interests of poor children. He did not press for any specific governmental policies.
Notably, Haskins said that his theory on the benefits of marriage includes gay couples, an admitted break from the position held by many conservative Republicans. Creating jobs, providing support for low-income parents entering the workforce and expanding quality preschool programs are also crucial in helping improve the lives of impoverished families and children over the long term, Haskins said.
Also speaking was Jodie Levin-Epstein another expert and Democrat with a different take on how to reduce poverty.
Levin-Epstein said putting money into the hands of low-income parents through an earned income tax credit also helps. She said existing research in the United Kingdom, where officials are trying to eradicate poverty by 2020, shows that low-income families do not use the additional money for alcohol or tobacco as some might believe, but for work-related costs such as improving their transportation, buying a phone or getting better food for their kids.
Levin-Epstein, a Democrat, said her main concern about advocating marriage is when it becomes a matter of government policy. She said there are also studies that show children of couples who divorce are sometimes worse off than those in single-parent households because of the resulting emotional turmoil and other issues. Stability and support in a two parent home is key, she said.
It should be noted that while Haskins was invited to speak, promoting marriage is not on the organization's 2007 agenda.
We've discussed how to battle poverty before, but I don't recall promotion of marriage being mentioned as a solution. Personally I think any state money to combat poverty would be better spent on job training, child care, health care, counseling, education etc. Promotion of marriage wouldn't even make my top ten list. What's your take?
Poitras, Colin. "Expert Espouses Marriage To Reduce Poverty". Hartford Courant. 11/29/06