Marriage isn’t the answer to poverty. That’s the argument made in article last week in The New Republic by Carter Price, who asserts that conservatives are too preoccupied with marriage in anti-poverty efforts.
It’s true that that marriage is not a silver bullet to cure poverty. But problematically some on the left , including Price, use that assertion to conclude that marriage should be left out of the equation to solve poverty altogether. This is completely off base. Whether the link between marriage and poverty is causal or indirect, unwed childbearing remains one of the most salient indicators of poverty and deserves significant attention.
Price takes particular issue with a Harvard study by Raj Chetty and colleagues that suggests that children, regardless of whether they come from a single- or married-parent family, have greater social mobility when raised in a community with a higher share of married parents. Price notes that some areas of the country with high shares of single mothers are doing better (or worse) than Chetty’s study would predict. In other words, marriage doesn’t explain everything. But neither does any other factor.
Price restates the common progressive argument that poverty leads to marital breakdown rather than the other way around. Yet, even Harvard professor William Julius Wilson, whom Price cites in his article and who by no means is conservative, makes the case in his book When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor that economic factors aren’t solely to blame for marital decline, specifically referring to marital decline among African Americans. Wilson notes “Although there is a strong association between rates of marriage and both employment status and earnings at any given point in time, national longitudinal studies suggest that these factors account for a relatively small portion of the overall decline in marriage among African-Americans.” Economic and cultural norms work together, Wilson explains, writing that “the weaker the norms against premarital sex, out-of-wedlock pregnancy, and nonmarital parenthood, the more that economic considerations affect decisions to marry.”
There is a strong connection between the breakdown in marriage and child poverty. Having two parents working in a home means in most cases a significantly higher household income. It should be no surprise that children in single-parent homes are more than five times as likely to be poor as their peers in married-parent homes, regardless of parental education level. Children in single-parent homes are also less likely to thrive: they are more likely to drop out of high school, spend time in prison, abuse drugs and alcohol, and have an unwed birth.
Overlooking marriage would be a big mistake. Yet, the reality is that amidst the government’s War on Poverty over the past 50 years there has been far too little focus on marriage. Meanwhile, marital breakdown and unwed childbearing have soared, particularly in low-income communities. Today, over 40 percent of children are born to single mothers, a rate that has jumped from under 10 percent in the 1960s.
Of course other factors matter. In fact, The Heritage Foundation’s 2014 Index of Culture and Opportunity examines the multiple factors that contribute to opportunity: a strong economy, a thriving work ethic, access to quality education, as well as strong families. These factors work together, not independently of each other.
A sound anti-poverty strategy must include multiple factors: promoting self-sufficiency through work, implementing policies to encourage job creation, improving access to quality education, and taking steps to restore a culture of marriage. Combining these efforts will help create a society where more individuals have opportunity to succeed and flourish.
The post Marriage Won’t End Poverty. But It Will Help (A Lot). appeared first on Daily Signal.
A Personal Anecdote About Taking a Cab Ride That Illustrates Why Municipal Hostility Toward Uber is Silly
I got back to my house in
Philadelphia a few minutes ago after spending the last few days at
the Reason offices in Washington, D.C. I knew I was going to get
home late, my train wasn't scheduled to arrive until after
midnight, but not quite this late. What happened? My cab driver
missed our exit on the highway. I figured this out after he asked
if he missed the exit and I looked up at the road and realized yes
he had. Then he pulled over and asked me to enter the address onto
his phone GPS. When he got off at the right exit he didn't know
which direction to go, and he made a wrong turn a little later when
I wasn't paying attention again. All in all the ride took twice as
long as it should have. Why did I take a cab? Philadelphia doesn't
allow Uber X. Since I was at a train station, where cabs are
plentiful, I didn't see the need to order a black car via Uber,
which would cost maybe twice as much.
If the argument by taxi commissions the country over is that
cities should ban Uber because it's not as safe and reliable as
licensed cabs, this kind of experience—which is hardly unique—is a
powerful counterexample. I had a licensed cabbie but I might as
well have been hitchhiking. Neither the city of Phildelphia nor any
other city government ought to be limiting my choices based on what
they (lubricated by taxi industry lobby money) believe is best. As
an adult I can make my own decision. It's time to stop pretending
taxi licensing regimes do anything other than raise revenue for
municipal governments and protect established monopolies.
Check out Reason TV on the battle over Uber in Washington, D.C.,
the city where I first decided I would use Uber after getting
a cab ride to the train station last time I was there and ending up
missing the last train headed north. The cab driver's card
machine broke and he accused me of breaking it. Watch Reason TV on
Uber in D.C. below:
Could the IRS be governed by multiple commissioners? Some lawmakers hope so.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee yesterday heard pitches for proposed reforms aimed at preventing future targeting scandals at the Internal Revenue Service.
One proposal is to name multiple members from both major political parties to a commission to govern the agency. Having a single commissioner in charge, as is now the case, allows problems to go unnoticed and “emboldened division-level leadership” such as former IRS official Lois Lerner to run fiefdoms with relative impunity, a committee report said.
Another suggested reform is to limit the time the IRS may consider an application for tax-free status for nonprofit policy advocacy and political groups. Still another is to make it easier to fire IRS employees for improper actions.
Testifying at the hearing were David Keating, president of the Center for Competitive Politics; Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer representing targeted conservative organizations; and two Heritage Foundation experts — James Sherk, senior policy analyst in labor economics, and Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow.
“Our mission on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee is to make government work better for the American people,” Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said in opening remarks. “We must get politics out of the IRS.”
Issa’s House panel has held about a dozen hearings on the IRS’ targeting of tea party and other conservative groups for extraordinary scrutiny before the 2012 elections and is investigating whether agency officials got marching orders from the White House. Lerner, who has refused to answer questions about the targeting scandal before Congress, oversaw the IRS division that approved or rejected advocacy groups’ applications for tax-exempt status.
In anticipation of yesterday’s hearing, called “IRS Abuses: Ensuring That Targeting Never Happens Again,” the committee issued a staff report outlining 15 potential reforms. Many of the proposed changes, though not all, would require majority votes in Congress.
Among the reforms suggested:
Creating an IRS Commission
Heavily favored by Republicans on the panel, the proposal calls for making the IRS a multi-member, bipartisan commission similar to the Federal Election Commission. The report states:
The committee’s investigation has shown how easily the IRS can trample individuals’ constitutional rights. With such vast power over every taxpayer and an increasing policy agenda, the IRS sorely needs measured policies and public acceptance of its action.
Such a measure was backed by von Spakovsky, a former FEC commissioner. The current structure of the IRS, Heritage’s senior legal fellow told the committee, “will leave any political involvement subject to claims that the agency is being misused for partisan purposes.” He added
The whole advantage of having a multi-member commission is that the board has to work to try to reach consensus on issues. …You’ve got people with different points of view raising issues on it. It’s particularly important, quite frankly, to have people of both political parties on there.
Issa agreed that a bipartisan commission would help boost Americans’ confidence in government. “American confidence is much greater than when the political appointee of one party makes a decision,” he said.
Currently, a single commissioner, John Koskinen, sits at the helm of the IRS.
Imposing Time Limits for Acting on Tax-Exempt Applications
Mitchell said some of the groups targeted by the IRS waited years to receive a response. Mitchell, whose clients include voter-fraud watchdog True the Vote, said the inordinate delay is what tipped her off to wrongdoing.
One organization, she said, applied for tax-exempt status in October 2009, didn’t hear from the agency until June 2010, and didn’t receive tax-exempt status until July 2013–a year after news of the scandal broke.
Von Spakovsky and others argued for a time limit for the IRS to review applications. Mitchell called for eliminating the application process entirely, saying:
Then you won’t get into a fight about whether its progressives or tea party because you take away the power of the IRS to make that determination in the first place.
The committee called for a more “streamlined approach” for processing applications for 501(c)4 organizations such as True the Vote. Such an approach, von Spakovsky said, would grant tax-exempt status automatically if the IRS failed to respond within a predetermined time period. The specified period could be lengthened, he said, if the agency requested more information.
Such a time limit, he noted, is adminisitered by the Department of Justice under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
Making It Easier to Fire Federal Employees
Sherk, the Heritage labor economist, said it takes “heroic” efforts to remove federal employees from their positions, and agency managers rarely attempt to do so because of the exhaustive process.
He called for the elimination of “all restrictions on firing federal employees,” and said Congress should return to the original Pendleton Act regulating the hiring of federal employees.
Lawmakers agreed the process for firing federal workers should be improved. The committee report said:
The current personnel practices are unfair to American taxpayers and do little to deter misconduct by federal employees. The federal government must implement better policies relating to administrative leave.
Employees accused of wrongdoing are placed on administrative leave, then can go through a lengthy appeals process. Sherk pointed to one postal employee whose appeals lasted three years.
We have a horrible system that makes it very difficult to remove government employees for any reason. …We’ve gone way overboard. We not only regulate the hiring process, which I think is quite reasonable, but make it very difficult to remove employees.
The post Lawmakers Ponder Ways to ‘Get Politics Out of the IRS’ appeared first on Daily Signal.
Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., says his proposed Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act will address mounting concern about what some call the encouragement of corruption in law enforcement.
Walberg’s legislation, introduced Monday, would raise the standard of proof necessary for the government to seize property and reinstate due process so the government is required to prove a property owner’s involvement in criminal activity.
“To me, it sounds like common sense,” Walberg said. “It does not detract away from good law enforcement going after criminals or criminal activities.”
The bill also addresses what Scott Bullock of the Institute for Justice calls a “complete violation” of federalism built into the current law by limiting equitable sharing agreements between the Department of Justice and local or state government agencies.
Walberg joined Bullock, The Heritage Foundation’s Legal Fellow Andrew Kloster and The Washington Post’s Radley Balko for Heritage Foundation’s panel, “Arresting Your Cash: How Civil Forfeiture Turns Police Into Profiteers” held Tuesday.
“There are hundreds of frightening anecdotes in this reverse lottery where an unlucky few fund law enforcement activities by bearing the hidden tax of civil forfeiture,” Kloster said.
Just last week the Baltimore City Paper revealed federal prosecutors pursuing a civil forfeiture case in the U.S. Maryland District Court wanted to “disguise and downplay” fraudulent certification.
The certification, falsified by the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, legitimized the use of a drug-detecting dog that discovered $122,640 in a passenger’s luggage at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport. According to the paper, the federal prosecutors knowingly used this fraudulent documentation in its attempt to keep the cash for the government.
The panelists pointed to the “perverse” incentives enabled by civil forfeiture as the fundamental problem with the law. In many cases, according to Balko, proceeds from seized forfeiture property go directly to the individual police department or prosecutors office, creating the incentive to find drug or criminal connections where there may not be any.
“Every economist tells you that incentives matter,” Bullock said. “You give people the wrong incentives it should not be surprising that they act accordingly.”
According to Balko, author of “Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces,” many police agencies build forfeiture into their annual budget, which further incentivizes police to meet those minimum goals.
“If forfeiture’s supposed to be what you find in the course of doing a drug investigation it shouldn’t be something you’re relying on in your budget every year,” Balko said.
Civil forfeiture also violates due process, according to the panelists, because under current law property is considered “guilty” until the owner is able to prove it innocent.
“The police can seize your property if they can even loosely connect it to some sort of crime—drug crime is the most common,” Balko said. “You then have to go to court to win it back and basically prove you earned that property legitimately.”
But despite the introduction of Walberg’s bill and various other efforts to amend the law, Balko said substantial civil forfeiture reform will be difficult to achieve.
“It’s going to take some political courage to reform this because you’re going to get a lot of pushback from police organizations,” Balko said. “They will fight tooth and nail on this. It’s a sacred cow for them. Again, a lot of their budgets depend on this at this point.”
The post Legislation Introduced to Curb Civil Forfeiture’s ‘Perverse’ Incentives appeared first on Daily Signal.
The Obama administration often denies any responsibility for the current global chaos or claims that it erupted spontaneously. Yet most of the mess was caused by, or made worse by, growing U.S. indifference and paralysis.
Over the last five and a half years, America has had lots of clear choices, but the administration usually took the path of least short-term trouble, which has ensured long-term hardship.
There was no need to “reset” the relatively mild punishments that the George W. Bush administration had accorded Vladimir Putin’s Russia for invading Georgia in 2008. ...
Last week, by 2-1 vote, a Washington, D.C., appellate panel ruled that the Obama administration unlawfully changed Obamacare. Meanwhile, on the same day, on the same question, a panel from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the other way. This issue is headed for the Supreme Court.
Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute, is — according to CNBC — the “intellectual godfather” of what is perhaps Obamacare’s most serious court challenge. Cannon says when Congress drafted Obamacare, they made it clear: Tax credits, grants and ...
In June, President Barack Obama sent a letter to Congress asking for help to address the surge of illegal crossings at the Texas-Mexico border. Among other items, Obama asked Congress to grant him the legal authority “to exercise discretion in processing the return and removal of unaccompanied minor children from non-contiguous countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.”
The administration blamed a 2008 anti-human-trafficking law signed by President George W. Bush for preventing officials from promptly deporting minors not eligible for asylum.
House Republicans were happy to oblige. Speaker John Boehner maintained ...
NEWBURY, England — World War I began as most wars do with patriotic fervor and predictions of a quick end. It lasted four years.
While the match igniting the “war to end all wars” was lit by the assassination of Austria’s Archduke Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, formal declarations of war occurred 100 years ago on July 28 (Austria declares war on Serbia) and Aug. 1 (Germany declares war on Russia, and Russia on Germany). Aug. 1, 1914 will be commemorated Sunday at a charity event to benefit current British war ...
On the Chicago block where that 3-year-old boy was shot in the stomach, a victim of the city’s murderous gang wars, there was a woman watering her flowers.
“Please don’t put my name,” she said, her thumb directing the spray. “Don’t put my name.”
Her arm kept moving back and forth on a sunny day in the 4400 block of South Sacramento Avenue, a neighborhood of two-flats where tourists don’t go.
It was clean and tidy, and I remember it as a boy, with the Polish and Lithuanian housewives scrubbing the sidewalks with ...
The corrupt media is very slack to what’s happening to Christians around the world. But, worse than that we have a president that NEVER speaks ageist Christian persecution.
Washington Free Beacon reports Chinese authorities are ramping up their persecution of Christian churches in response to what they perceive as an emerging threat to the communist regime, according to reports.
Public security officials in recent days forcibly removed crosses from two churches in the southeastern coastal province of Zhejiang, the New York Times reported. Authorities have now issued orders to demolish more than ...
Tonight's horrifying story about the Bush administration's moral bankruptcy: they reportedly kept some of their most public top officials deliberately ignorant of CIA torture practices after the 9/11 attacks -- up to and including Secretary of State Colin Powell.
In common human terms, this is "knowledge of guilt." They knew the ...
I have no idea how anyone could look at the insane impeachment talk coming out of so many Republicans these days and still find a way to invoke the Magical Balance Fairy and say "both parties are equally responsible for this."
But Chuck Todd did.
Chuck Todd on Wednesday railed against ...
I’ll be on The Jerry Doyle Show in a few minutes (at 8:30p.m.
ET) talking about the continued efforts to reform the National Security Agency (NSA) as
well as former NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander’s million dollar a
consulting. Check here
to find out where to listen on the dial or the Internet.
Well, it's crazy day in the right wing universe and the xenophobic insanity over migrant children just keeps getting worse.
Now Michele "Crazy Eyes" Bachmann is weighing in on the religious right radio program Wallbuilders Live, with a new theory, that is her theory, which is hers, that President Obama is ...