Monday, August 31, 2015

The Moynihan Report at 50

The New York senator was right—and not only about black families.



But in my time as a staffer, there was no man, other than Coats himself, for whom I acquired more respect than a senator whose worldview in elemental ways was almost exactly the opposite of my own: Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York…… He wrote in 1965 that“The fundamental problem … is that of family structure. The evidence—not final but powerfully persuasive—is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling.” On the day his report was released, about one quarter of black kids were living only with their mothers. Moynihan called this a crisis, as indeed it was, but 50 years on between 70 and 75 percent of all black Americans are now born out of wedlock, a tripling of the trend Moynihan had spotted. More than half of Hispanic children are also born out of wedlock today, and 29 percent of white babies. (Editor’s Note: In 1965 white illegitimacy was around 2%. RK)…… according to the 2010 census, for the first time in American history more than half of all babies born to American women 30 years of age and under were born out of wedlock. In 1995, looking back at his four decades in public life, Moynihan was asked what had been the biggest transformation he had observed: “The biggest change, in my judgment, is that the family structure has come apart all over the North Atlantic world.”……..To Read More......

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