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Breadwinner Moms
A new Pew study points more to a breakdown of the family than to anything else.


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Mona Charen

But what are we to make of the ever-swelling population of women who don’t have the luxury of part-time work because they chose to bear and raise children alone?

Pew tells us something unsurprising — the younger you are, the more likely that you are an enabler of this socially suicidal pattern. Seventy-four percent of those aged 50 and older say the rising number of single mothers is a big problem. The percentages decline steadily with the ages of respondents. Only 42 percent of those aged 18–29 think single parenting by choice is a big problem.

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Some liberals, like President Obama, pay lip service to the importance of fathers. “I was raised by a heroic single mother,” he told Morehouse graduates, “but I still wish I had a father who was not only present but involved.” That’s helpful, but liberalism has been the consistent cheerleader for burying the old stigmas that kept families intact. Liberals don’t mind if you want to have an intact family, but they bristle at the notion that you might recommend it for everyone. Katie Roiphe, for example, delights in the fact that 53 percent of the babies born to women under 30 are illegitimate. “If there is anything that currently oppresses the children,” she wrote recently in the New York Times, “it is the idea of the way families are ‘supposed to be.’”

Roiphe is partially right — ideas can be oppressive. Liberal ideas are undermining marriage and condemning millions of children to unnecessary poverty, instability, and unhappiness.

— Mona Charen is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2013 Creators Syndicate, Inc.



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