Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Political Correctness will not always have Center-Stage

Public policy is often captive to political correctness, although there are times when sanity prevails, even for a little while. A good example of this is the strong relationship between single-parent families and poverty:
  • Seventy-one percent of low-income families are headed by single parents, according to U.S. census data complied by the Heritage Foundation. For families with children that love above the poverty line, the numbers reverse: 73% are married. (World Magazine, April 6, 2013, 56) 
It was such findings that led Robert Doar, commissioner of New York City’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) under mayor Michael Bloomberg, to take action. Against great opposition, he succeeded in running ads in favor of sexual and academic responsibility:
  • “If you finish high school, get a job and get married before having children, you have a 98 percent chance of not being in poverty.”
  • “90 percent of teen parents don’t marry each other.”
Predictably, the media was not supportive, even though Doar’s documentation was there. He claimed:
  • “The media can’t seem to ask their subjects the important question: Where is the father?”
However, even Doar’s own agency experienced “discomfort” with the ads. Planned Parenthood charged that the ads would create “hostility” towards teen pregnancy. However, to carry this faulty logic further, there should be no ads against any behavior, lest they might cause hostility against any anti-social behavior. Hence, there should be no ads against drug use, lest they cause hostility against the drug user; there should be no ads against smoking, robbery or burglary so that it would not create hostility against those who commit these behaviors!

How then do we explain this patently faulty logic, especially in light of the fact that, according to many indicators, children suffer outside of the traditional family structure? Evidently, for many sexual liberty trumps the welfare of children. However, as Doar has demonstrated, reason sometimes gets its say.

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