CHICAGO - Traditional family values, recently attacked by critics of the Illinois Republican Party's platform, do matter, experts say. And yes, traditional family values affect economic issues, and could help correct budget deficits and long term national debt. Indeed, a political party that promotes healthy families promotes less dependence on the government - and that's an important Republican platform plank.
Experts are pointing to the breakdown of the traditional family as a crucial part of America's financial crisis. A Washington Times story writes that part of that dilemma - the absence of fathers - can't be overlooked and needs to be addressed:
In every state, the portion of families where children have two parents, rather than one, has dropped significantly over the past decade. Even as the country added 160,000 families with children, the number of two-parent households decreased by 1.2 million. Fifteen million U.S. children, or 1 in 3, live without a father, and nearly 5 million live without a mother. In 1960, just 11 percent of American children lived in homes without fathers.
America is awash in poverty, crime, drugs and other problems, but more than perhaps anything else, it all comes down to this, said Vincent DiCaro, vice president of the National Fatherhood Initiative: Deal with absent fathers, and the rest follows.
People “look at a child in need, in poverty or failing in school, and ask, ‘What can we do to help?’ But what we do is ask, ‘Why does that child need help in the first place?’ And the answer is often it’s because [the child lacks] a responsible and involved father,” he said.
Children need fathers - not only for emotional and psychological reasons, but for financial reasons. And sensitivity to that issue may be key for the Republican Party to touch the souls of what really ails America culture - especially minorities - these days.
Though income is the primary predictor, the lack of live-in fathers also is overwhelmingly a black problem, regardless of poverty status, census data show. Among blacks, nearly 5 million children, or 54 percent, live with only their mother. Twelve percent of black families below the poverty line have two parents present, compared with 41 percent of impoverished Hispanic families and 32 percent of poor white families.
Read more at Washington Times