While many Americans who take the traditional Judeo-Christian values of America seriously have extolled the virtues of a happy marriage, economists and social scientists — many of them studying the situation from a secular point of view — are now coming to the same conclusion. These experts agree that single parenting accounts for much of modern poverty. Robert Lerman of the Urban Institute, for instance, believes that unmarried status accounts for 40 percent of the poverty in single-parent families.

Statistics show that married men tend to work harder and make more money than unmarried men. Dr. Bradford Wilcox of the National Marriage Project explains,

[Married men] work about 160 hours more compared to their similarly credentialed peers after they transition into marriage in that first year of married life. Men who get married and stay married tend to be better workers. They work harder, they work longer hours, they think more strategically, and as a consequence, they tend to earn more money.

Dr. Wilcox noted that married women also benefit: “Women who get married and stay married by the end of their lives have a lot more in the way of assets — whether it’s a home or some kind of retirement account.”

Dr. Jennifer Morse of the Ruth Institute agrees, adding, “The family is absolutely necessary for the market to function.… The substitutes to the family are expensive and ineffective, and taxpayers end up paying the price.”

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