As my colleagues at FRC’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute have demonstrated, the most effective means of overcoming economic disadvantage is not another government program or mandated redistribution of existing or future assets, but the institution of the family:

** Married-couple families generate the most income, on average, and year-over-year show higher productivity growth.

** Intact, married families have the greatest net worth.

** Poverty rates are significantly higher among cohabiting families and single-parent families than among married families.

** Children in married, two-parent families enjoy far more economic well-being than children in any other family structure.

If Mr. Krugman wants to see true poverty, I’ll be glad to forward photographs to him of some of the places I’ve seen in India and other regions in the developing world. I would be very pressed to find any analogous photos of poverty in the United States. Perhaps Mr. Krugman has some.

No American child should ever go without good nutrition, a warm and safe home, and the chance to learn and thus develop her God-given abilities more fully. But, thankfully, very few of our youngest citizens fall out of this category.

The way to ensure that these children begin to live on the upside of opportunity is not by seizing monies or property from one group and giving it them. Instead, it’s to foster long-term, non-inflationary economic growth, personal dignity through strong family life, and a future of hope in a free society.


Rob Schwarzwalder

Schwarzwalder, senior vice president of the Family Research Council, is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and graduate of Western Seminary (Portland, OR).