A New Path to Upward Mobility: Get Married and Stay Married


This is one of the top 5 articles on Fox News Opinion right now, written by Sheila Weber, executive director of National Marriage Week USA and the Let's Strengthen Marriage Campaign:

Marriage, we have just learned, is a major cause of the growing great divide among American upper and lower classes.

Last week, in advance of National Marriage Week USA (Feb. 7-14), I took note of fresh news about marriage that should make every American stand up in alert attention.

In mid-January, the Pew Research Center told us 72% of all adults ages 18 and older were married in 1960; but today just 51% are—a record low.

... Research is overwhelming on the fact that this disadvantages children on an enormous scale—think increased teen pregnancies, increased prison populations, and children who grow up with no modeling for how to attain healthy marriage in the next generation.

So what can be done? New York Times columnist David Brooks, who cites “Coming Apart” as probably the most important book of the year, calls for a two-year mandatory national service program to teach responsible behaviors. (Murray cites a loss of the four core American values—marriage, honesty, industrious, and religion—as all contributing to the growing economic woes of the working class.)

Brad Wilcox, head of the National Marriage Project, calls for creators of film and television to promote the values by which the elite live, but because they are stuck in the grips of nonjudgmentalism, do not promote the values of marriage, hard work, obeying the law, and faith as the path to human flourishing.

In these economically challenging times, we must commit ourselves to lowering the high cost of retreat from marriage.

... This is why caring leaders are creating a new national observance designed to strengthen and support marriages, called National Marriage Week USA to be observed from February 7 to 14 each year.

If you are fortunate enough to be in a marriage, I encourage you to take care of it.

Whether you are married or not, Americans should be supportive of promoting marriage prior to childbearing and the strengthening of marriage at all socio-economic levels.

Nothing short of the future of our country, and our way of life, depends on it.


  1. Apollonia
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    This means support of SSM. Thanks.

  2. Publius
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    The first same sex couple married in California is getting divorced. I guess they didn't get the memo about staying married.

    Of course, same sex couples, who are typically DINK (double income, no kids), already prosper more than the typical straight family.

  3. Zack
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    This means support traditional marriage.

  4. Reformed
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I this a celebration that all married couples can participate in? Or just another way to bash?

  5. Ash
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Publius: "Of course, same sex couples, who are typically DINK (double income, no kids), already prosper more than the typical straight family."

    Exactly. The idea that same-sex couples need marriage for "upward mobility" is laughable.

    That's what SSMers don't understand. Same-sex couples are not similarly situated to opposite sex couples. The reason why a decline in marriage results in poverty (as discussed by the article) is not because two financially independent adults can't get their relationship validated by the state. It's because, in the absence of marriage, women get pregnant and raise children by themselves, often in poverty. The "growing great divide" is not an argument for ssm; it only reminds us of the reasons why marriage is important to society in the first place, reasons resolutely rejected by those who advocate for ssm.

    But what's the use, lol. They are going to go from thread to thread repeating the same stuff over and over, no matter how many times it's addressed.

  6. Posted February 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Man + Woman: where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

  7. Mr. Incredible
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    The best way to put it, D/E!

  8. yoshi
    Posted February 10, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink


    Exactly how is your argument relevant to the issue of marriage equality?

    Furthermore - the fact that gay couples are more well off is largely false. Gay women are generally poorer on average. And it isn't about income anyways. Its about providing the tools to same sex couples to protect their families and themselves. This is what those against marriage equality frequently miss. Things like hospital visitation, spousal rights, retirement benefits, etc. Which are next to impossible to achieve via contract.

  9. Posted February 10, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    "Which are next to impossible to achieve via contract."

    Can you give some actual examples or reports or something to give more info. on this claim?

  10. CuriousGeorge
    Posted February 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink


    A woman from Washington collapsed while on vacation in Miami. Although her partner had documentation of her relationship and a power of attorney, she claims hospital officials told her she wasn’t a family member under Florida law. The woman spent hours talking with hospital personnel in an effort to visit her partner’s bedside. Although she eventually prevailed, her partner’s condition had already deteriorated and the woman died. Because of the problem, the children the patient had adopted and been raising with her partner weren’t able to see her before she died.

  11. Posted February 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Curious George, while tragic, the simplest thing would be to revise visitation laws in hospitals, rather than by redefining an entire institution, that would have dramatic unintended consequences that would make all women and mothers and children (and paternity rights for fathers) much more uncertain and vulnerable.

  12. CuriousGeorge
    Posted February 10, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Permalink


    I do not see how removing the barrier to who has access to a marriage license based on the sex of either party changes the rights / responsibility /benefits o marriage.

    Certainly, the bill in WA (Law as of next Monday), did nothing to change the definition of the civil marriage contract - it just allows all citizens access to entering into it regardless of race, religion or the sex of either party.

  13. Posted February 10, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Curious George, can I suggest you read Chairm's comments on this post--


  14. Ash
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Yoshi: "@Ash

    Exactly how is your argument relevant to the issue of marriage equality?"

    My comment was an affirmation of Publius's remarks about the economic status of opposite-sex v. same-sex couples. Really, it was just a response to the common self-centered nature of many ssm supporters who come on this page. How are they self-centered? Well, like commenters #1 and #4, they try to hijack any discussion about marriage and the poor with talk of the needs of same-sex couples, who, if poor, are not poor for many of the same reasons low-income heterosexuals are poor (the chief reason being non-marital child-bearing).

    So, Publius noted how different the typical same-sex couple is from the average traditional family, and I simply added on by saying that the "marriage=upward mobility" talk of the article is clearly not pertinent to same-sex couples. I'm not saying same-sex couples don't have financial struggles, but I know the struggles aren't due to the arrival of unplanned children.

    (I wholeheartedly welcome Publius to correct me if I misrepresented his comments in any way.)

  15. Spunky
    Posted February 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    @ Publius

    Your entire post was a series of cherry picks.

    The first same sex couple married in California is getting divorced. I guess they didn't get the memo about staying married.

    Two people don't the gay commuity any more than any other two people just because they were the first to get married. It doesn't matter if one couple gets divorced. It does matter if the divorce rate for gay couples in the U.S. is lower than that of straight couples.

    Of course, same sex couples, who are typically DINK (double income, no kids), already prosper more than the typical straight family.

    DINK opposite-sex couples and are married already prosper more than DINK same-sex couples. And gay couples who can't get married but have kids are worse off financially than straight couples who are married and have kids. Your comparison of two different groups completely misses the reason that gay couples want equal benefits. And of course, it also generalizes gay and straight couples rather than considering everyone.

  16. Spunky
    Posted February 13, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Shoot. That second paragraph should read "Two people don't represent the gay community..."

    In the next paragraph, it should read "DINK opposite-sex couples who [not "and"] are married."

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