“Modern culture is inconsistent with the needs of children”: left-of-centre think tank

The Brookings Institute, a well-known US think-tank with something of a liberal reputation, has just released a report, Creating an Opportunity Society, which shows that getting an education, getting a job, and waiting to get married before having children are the keys to economic mobility. 

Of course, this is just the latest in a series of studies which show that marriage is the best way to achieve stability for children, and for adults. In fact, the Brookings findings seem to amount to nothing more than plain common sense. Except for the fact that common sense isn’t so common anymore. 

The authors, Isabell Sawhill and Ron Haskins, anticipate that they will be objections from their own side to proposals to strengthen marriage. But they have a rebuttal for such critics: “To those who argue that this goal is old-fashioned or inconsistent with modern culture, we argue that modern culture is inconsistent with the needs of children.” 

For those who don’t fancy wading through the entire Brookings paper, Clive Crook has a useful review in this Financial Times column.