Table of Contents
I. The Decline of the American Family
II. The Cost of Fatherlessness
III. The Increase in Single-Parent Families
More Births Out of Wedlock
High Divorce Rate
IV. Guiding Principles for Strengthening Traditional Families
V. The Need to Strengthen Traditional Families
“Family decline will be stemmed only when it is widely understood that care provided by both biological parents is the most powerful social and economic advantage that any child can enjoy.”
– Heather MacDonald, “Encourage Two-Parent Families.” The Wall Street Journal. N.p., 8 July 2014.
In keeping with the principles outlined above, state legislators and government officials should reject public policies that weaken and undermine the critical social institution of the two-parent family. More importantly, state legislators and government officials should undertake a bi-partisan effort to pursue a wide range of public policies specifically designed to protect and strengthen traditional families. As part of this effort, state legislators and government officials should consider action in the following public policy areas:
• Fatherhood Initiatives: Campaigns to alert the public as well as business, community and religious leaders to the urgent need to actively address the social crisis of father absence and the decline of the traditional family.
• Tax Relief for Families: Reforms to reduce the heavy tax burden on families so that a more reasonable share of family economic resources is available to parents raising children.
• Welfare Reform: Reforms to help encourage marriage among those receiving public assistance.
• Gambling Reform: Public policies that will protect both adults and children from the destructive impact of compulsive gambling behavior upon families.
• Parental Rights: Legislation to recognize and strengthen the unique role of mothers and fathers, particularly in the education and healthcare decisions for their children.