Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Center for American Progress highlights ending poverty and protecting all families

Family structure too often is the fall guy for everything bad in society -- violence, illegal drugs, homelessness, illiteracy, and, of course, poverty. The right wing loves to tell us that the root of all social problems is the decline of life-long heterosexual marriage and that the solution is ... life-long heterosexual marriage.

This time of year -- the approach of Father's Day -- is prime time for such messages. Not only do these ideas disrespect families headed by lesbians and gay men, they let off the hook all the social and economic policies that keep poor and low income people where they are and let the rich get richer. If the solution is marriage, then the fault lies with the individuals who don't marry, not with the entrenched interests of the rich.

The Center for American Progress has long been my idol on how to really end poverty. Their 2007 report, From Poverty to Prosperity: A National Strategy to Cut Poverty in Half, is still an excellent road map.

I also highly recommend the program they are hosting tomorrow, June 9, Strengthening Families: Developing a Progressive Agenda that Promotes Family Stability and Cuts Poverty. Here is the description:

A progressive view of the role of government supports the notion that governments should act affirmatively to create and protect the conditions necessary for all families and children to thrive. Developing policies to support and stabilize families should go beyond a narrow focus on marriage promotion and unmarried childbearing; policies should reflect the fact that decisions related to family structure, relationships and parenting are inherently personal, and are made complex by one’s life and economic circumstances. Progressive policies must recognize and address the reality of today’s complex family dynamics.
I couldn't say it better myself. If you can't attend the program in person (here are the details), you can stream it live. The speakers have impeccable credentials. They want to end poverty without blaming those who live in families other than married mother/father form. It doesn't get better or smarter than that.

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