The choices we make individually, especially as parents, have a profound effect on whether we are rich or poor, more so than anything that Washington D.C. does. The Brookings Institution study found that 81% of non-poor families were traditional two-parent families. Only 40 percent of poor families were two-parent families. A similar study conducted by the Heritage Foundation found that the child poverty rate for married couples was 8.2 percent—for single-parent families it was four times higher, 35.2 percent. That same study found that restoring marriage rates to their 1960 levels would have lifted 3 million children out of poverty. One personal decision—the decision to marry or to have children out of wedlock -- has profound consequences for millions of American families.
We can't fight poverty without changing the culture that feeds our growing poverty rate. That's why traditional values matter. They're not about enforcing some ancient and outdated cultural view on everyone, they are about making sure that we have a society that leaves a better world for the next generation. If our society valued marriage more highly, we would have fewer children born into poverty. We would have less crime and less violence on our streets. Our schools, communities, and nation would all be stronger.
That's why traditional values are relevant, and why changing our culture is so important to the future.