Rich Lowry on the social threat of a stratified marriage culture


Rich Lowry writes at NRO on America's deepening (and troubling) class divide when it comes to marriage and other societal indicators:

Murray identifies what he calls the “founding virtues,” such as marriage, industriousness, and religiosity, which have always been considered the social basis of self-government. He looks at whites aged 30–49 and divides them into the top 20 percent socio-economically and the bottom 30 percent. The top tier is basically the upper middle class, the bottom the working class. He finds two worlds, increasingly separate and unequal.

... In 1960, everyone was married — 88 percent of the upper middle class and 83 percent of the working class. In 2010, 83 percent of the upper middle class is married and only 48 percent of the working class. This gap “amounts to a revolution in the separation of classes.” In 1960, births to single mothers in the working class were just 6 percent; now they are close to 50 percent.

These trends mean, just as it is suffering economically, the working class is getting cut off from the richest sources of social capital: marriage, two-parent families, and church-going.