For Richer or Poorer

If we want to fix marriage, we might start by fixing the economy

Illustration by Harry Campbell for TIME

Social issues, particularly the economics of marriage and childbirth, have been major themes in the Republican primary races. As Charles Murray's much-talked-about book Coming Apart points out, marriage is becoming a luxury good: Well-educated rich people get married and stay married. Most of the rest of the population doesn't. This, along with a spate of studies about the growing number of low-income, single-parent families, has spurred a debate about whether government should push marriage as a poverty-elimination tool. But is it really that simple? To quote Beyonc, would poverty go away if we "put a ring on it"?

Statistically it's true...

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