Magazine June 8, 2009, Issue

The Parent Problem

On the persistent link between family structure and black poverty

In late March, the Urban League issued its 2009 “State of Black America” report, which declared that “African Americans remain twice as likely as whites to be unemployed, three times more likely to live in poverty, and more than six times as likely to be incarcerated.” A week earlier, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released figures showing that in 2007, 71.6 percent of black births were to unmarried women, compared with 27.8 percent of non-Hispanic white births. The NCHS numbers came out shortly after the Census Bureau published data from its Current Population Survey (CPS). Among other things, …

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Trust the Afghan Army

Along the Durand Line, Northeast Afghanistan — The view from the Karir Pass on the Durand Line separating Afghanistan from Pakistan is spectacular. To the west, a river meanders toward ...
Politics & Policy

The Parent Problem

In late March, the Urban League issued its 2009 “State of Black America” report, which declared that “African Americans remain twice as likely as whites to be unemployed, three times ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Dunce Cap-and-Trade

Democrats in the White House and Congress are now making the most serious push ever for legislation to force reductions of U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions. The stated purpose is to reduce ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Of Beauty and Loss

Late in 1914 four young Englishmen, just out of school, met and decided it was their mission to reform their country morally, through poetry. The odds of this quixotic enterprise’s ...
Politics & Policy

The Hot Seat

This brisk history of the Supreme Court’s constitutional decisions contains much that is admirable and interesting. Nevertheless, the main lesson advanced by the book has been commonplace at least since ...
Politics & Policy

Shelf Life

The problems of mainline Protestantism in our time — the collapse of what used to be called “the Protestant Establishment” — can make for depressing reading, so it helps that ...
Politics & Policy

Waste Watching

There are very few directors in Hollywood — below the Steven Spielberg league, that is — who can make absolutely any film they want. Consider Ron Howard and Steven Soderbergh, ...
The Straggler

Office Manners

The question going round the dinner table was: Do you have any secret pleasures of a mentionable kind? The subsequent confessions displayed various degrees of weirdness: the lady who sings ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

For the Birds In the picture accompanying Richard Brookhiser’s most recent column (“Bright Wings,” May 25), the bird identified as a phoebe is a phoebe. The bird identified as a crow, ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ This vice-president, by nature, cannot be in an undisclosed location. ‐ Dick Cheney is the madwoman in the attic, the crazy voice that Republicans ought to stifle. So says the ...
The Long View

Ask Nancy Pelosi

The Speaker of the House responds to your questions. Dear Nancy: I’m a long-time reader, first-time writer. I’ve loved your work in the House of Representatives and have been reading your column ...
Politics & Policy

Postcard From Hubbard Hall

The actresses here fit their parts. Mother, daughter, student, nurse. This play concerns a farm In decline. The barn roof collapses. Chickens die, mysteriously. Gwen plays a concerned daughter. The farmer’s daughter: You know all the jokes. I want to act the traveling salesman, driving, ...
Happy Warrior

Raw Deal

Well, the Speaker has resigned. No, not Nancy Pelosi, but Michael Martin, Speaker of the House of Commons at Westminster. It’s seven-and-a-half centuries since Sir Peter de Montfort served as ...

Most Popular

Elections

The First Debate Showed Why Biden Will Win

Joe Biden is not Hillary Clinton, and that will be enough to win him the election this November. This much has been clear since Super Tuesday this year during the Democratic primaries. In 2016, Hillary split several very important states with Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday, and those she won, she won without ... Read More
Elections

The First Debate Showed Why Biden Will Win

Joe Biden is not Hillary Clinton, and that will be enough to win him the election this November. This much has been clear since Super Tuesday this year during the Democratic primaries. In 2016, Hillary split several very important states with Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday, and those she won, she won without ... Read More

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Let Them Fight!

We need to blow up the traditional presidential-debate formats — not because there was too much mayhem in last night’s contest, but because the mayhem wasn’t constructive enough. The Commission on Presidential Debates is now apparently considering allowing moderators to cut candidates’ mics mid-debate. ... Read More
Elections

Biden Owes the Country More

Tuesday night was a national embarrassment, and both candidates are to blame. Donald Trump came into the evening apparently determined to dominate the discussion, and he did. To some extent, I think it was effective; he certainly came off as the warmer body with more ideas about what America should be and with ... Read More
Elections

Biden Owes the Country More

Tuesday night was a national embarrassment, and both candidates are to blame. Donald Trump came into the evening apparently determined to dominate the discussion, and he did. To some extent, I think it was effective; he certainly came off as the warmer body with more ideas about what America should be and with ... Read More
Elections

A Lot of Things Are ‘Possible’

It’s possible that the overwhelming majority of the polls are wrong, and that Donald Trump is not trailing Joe Biden by about six points nationally, by about five or six points in Pennsylvania, by about five points in Michigan, by five points in Wisconsin, by about two points in Arizona. It’s possible Trump ... Read More
Elections

A Lot of Things Are ‘Possible’

It’s possible that the overwhelming majority of the polls are wrong, and that Donald Trump is not trailing Joe Biden by about six points nationally, by about five or six points in Pennsylvania, by about five points in Michigan, by five points in Wisconsin, by about two points in Arizona. It’s possible Trump ... Read More