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  • Discussions about racial discrepancies and socioeconomic disparities are missing the key factor: family stability. Tweet This
  • Journalists, academics, congressional policymakers, and foundation executives who dominate the national conversation rarely if ever confront the family factor lurking beneath many of our country’s biggest problems. Tweet This
  • A marriage divide that was virtually nonexistent in the 1970s risks entrenching a permanent social and economic divide in society. Tweet This

When it comes to confronting some of our country’s most serious problems–from child poverty to school failure to mass incarceration to the fading of the American dream–one of the biggest factors driving these problems cannot be uttered in our national conversation. It’s verboten.

This is a factor that predicts school suspensions, neighborhood trends in incarceration, state patterns in child poverty and the health of the American dream in communities across the country better than many of the factors that dominate that conversation. 

In mainstream media outlets, on college campuses, in public schools and the halls of Congress, we hear that race is the critical issue, or poverty, or income inequality or inadequate public spending on issue after issue. All the while, the social factor that often supercedes these other factors is left unmentioned.

We’re talking about the F-word. Family. For all of the problems mentioned above, for instance, family stability is a better predictor than factors like race, government spending and education. In other words, whether or not children grow up with two stably married parents or live in neighborhoods dominated by lone-parent families often ends up being more important than many of the factors that occupy the attention of our ruling class.

Continue reading at USA Today . . .