Tag Archives: marriage

How Strong Families Help Create Prosperous States

Figure8 states

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Economics has its roots in the Greek word oikonomia , which means the “management of the household.” Yet economists across the ideological spectrum have paid little attention to the links between household family structure and the macroeconomic outcomes of nations, states, and societies. This is a major oversight because, as a new report from the Institute for Family Studies and the American Enterprise Institute shows, marriage and family patterns are important factors in states’ economic performance.The report, Strong Families, Prosperous States: Do Healthy Families Affect the Wealth of States? , was authored by […]

Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance review – does this memoir really explain Trump’s victory?

A sign in Columbiana County, Ohio, shows support for Donald Trump on the day of the US presidential election.

A sign in Columbiana County, Ohio, shows support for Donald Trump on the day of the US presidential election. Photograph: Ty Wright/Getty Images Some books stand alone, while others are almost impossible to assess outside the political and cultural debates of their time. In June 2016, a few months before the US election, a young Silicon Valley investment manager published a workmanlike memoir, which has become a No 1 New York Times bestseller. JD Vance had grown up poor in rust-belt Ohio, in a family that was, by his account, highly dysfunctional. His book describes how he transcended severe […]

Strong, stable families are foundations for prosperity


Inequality, social mobility, and economic opportunity animate so much of our politics. Just check the headlines. These issues are increasingly characterized not only as economic and political issues but also moral ones.

Yet for all of the ink spilled about the need for a fairer and more just society, the prevailing solution seems to be more redistribution.

There are limits to redistribution however. Not only can it become an impediment to economic growth, it can soon amount to little more than a wealth reshuffling that fails to create the conditions for broad-based opportunity.A real opportunity agenda would start with the family. […]

Maryland’s Misguided Foray Into Student Loan Forgiveness


My home state of Maryland has launched a new scheme to encourage home buying and help young people pay back their student loans. What’s not to love? Actually, quite a bit.

Here are the nuts and bolts of the program, called “SmartBuy.” Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development has several homes for sale. If an individual with student loan debt buys one, Maryland taxpayers will refund up to 15% of the home’s purchase price, a sum which must be applied towards the buyer’s student debt. SmartBuy participants must then occupy the house for at least five years.

The median purchase […]

Upward Mobility and Discrimination: Asians and African Americans

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Asians in America faced heavy discrimination and animus in the early twentieth century. Yet, after institutional restrictions were lifted in the late 1940s, Asian incomes quickly converged to white incomes. Why? In the politically incorrect paper of the year ( ungated ) Nathaniel Hilger argues that convergence was due to market forces subverting discrimination. First, a reminder about the history and strength of discrimination against Asians: Foreign-born Asians were barred from naturalization by the Naturalization Act of 1790. This Act excluded Asians from citizenship and voting except by birth, and created the important new legal category of “aliens ineligible […]

Mr. President: A Healthy Marriage Culture is Vital to America’s Success

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This morning, our votes have been cast and counted, and the contentious nature of the election season at least is hopefully nearly behind us. Some of us went to bed knowing the results, while others woke up to the news that Donald J. Trump is our next president. Regardless of how we may feel about that news, the work of our nation must continue, most importantly finding a way to heal the rifts that threaten to keep us divided. Throughout the presidential campaign, we’ve heard considerable debate about which candidate would best improve […]

Mr. President: A Healthy Marriage Culture is Vital to America’s Success

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This morning, our votes have been cast and counted, and the contentious nature of the election season at least is hopefully nearly behind us. Some of us went to bed knowing the results, while others woke up to the news that Donald J. Trump is our next president. Regardless of how we may feel about that news, the work of our nation must continue, most importantly finding a way to heal the rifts that threaten to keep us divided. Throughout the presidential campaign, we’ve heard considerable debate about which candidate would best improve […]

Why Clinton and Trump Both Avoid Talking about the Most Defining Issue in the Election

What is the most defining issue of this Presidential election?

It’s different from asking voters which issue they consider “most important.” On that matter, the polls are in reasonable agreement – the economy and terrorism are typically tied atop the list , with other issues much further behind. It’s still the economy, stupid, even two decades after that became a political catchphrase, while concerns about safety and security in an uncertain world have risen to the forefront as well.

But the defining issue of the election isn’t necessarily what voters self-report as the most important. Instead, it is the issue that […]

6 charts showing race gaps within the American middle class

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The U.S. has substantial economic and racial inequality, and the two overlap. Black Americans, for example, are more likely to be poor . But as we argue in our new paper, “ Time for justice: Tackling race inequalities in health and housing ,” and on a podcast with Isabel Sawhill , race gaps cannot be explained by economic factors alone.

Black Americans are disadvantaged compared to whites—even when they have higher incomes and more education. Here are six examples. 1. Infant mortality

The infant mortality rate for black babies is twice that for whites . But this is not […]

Economic Mobility of Black and White Families

Executive Summary and Chapter

The dream that one can rise up from humble beginnings and achieve a comfortable middle-class living, if not attain great wealth, transcends racial lines. But is this a reality for black and white families alike?
This report, by Julia Isaacs of The Brookings Institution, reviews overall income trends based on Census Bureau data and provides an intergenerational analysis based on a longitudinal data set that allows a direct match of the family income of parents in the late 1960s to their children’s family income in the late 1990s to early 2000s. 1 Related In […]