From commentator Mona Charen,
Why are so many young women (64 percent of moms under the age of 30) having children out of wedlock? Nowhere is the class divide in America as wide as on the matter of marriage. College-educated men and women are sticking with the traditional order of marriage first and children second. Not only that, but they are far less likely to divorce than their parents’ generation was. Those with only some college or less, by contrast, are much less likely to marry before having children, and much more likely to divorce if they do marry.
McArdle was answering her own question in a sense. She noted that many who have studied the retreat from marriage among the uneducated propose the “working class men are garbage” hypothesis. According to this view, lots of young men are unemployed and playing video games all day. Why would a young woman want to marry such a loser? She’d just be getting another kid.
But as McArdle observes, someone is enabling that behavior on the part of the young man. Someone is providing a roof over his head, putting food in his belly and paying his power bill so that the game console stays on. Is it his parents? Or is it a young woman? If she has a child (possibly his child), she is eligible for a whole panoply of government assistance, including TANF, food stamps, WIC, housing assistance, low income home energy assistance, and much more. Thirty years ago, in “Losing Ground,” Charles Murray wondered whether the welfare state was enabling the sort of behavior that isn’t good for people — such as having children out of wedlock. More.
The main reason the welfare state functions that way is that so many former working class jobs have gone to eastern Asia.
Easing the hardship reduces the likelihood that working class citizens will begin to wonder about the progressive policies that enabled that.
It is a stage on the road to permanent progressive government. When prosperity fails, the more traditional citizens will be blamed. Just watch.