That’s not actually the headline of the lead story in today’s New York Times, but it could be. The actual headline (in the print edition—online slightly different of course) is: “Unwed Mothers Now a Majority Before Age of 30.” But the subhed is where Charles’s thesis comes in: “Most Rapid Growth Has Been Among White Women in 20s.”
And the lede sentence circles back to Charles’s main argument: “It used to be called illegitimacy. Now it is the new normal.” But as Pat Moynihan warned us almost 50 years ago (and got nothing but attacks for so doing), the society that accepts this as “normal” is asking for lots of trouble.
One paragraph in particular could have come straight from Charles’s new book:
One group still largely resists the trend: college graduates, who overwhelmingly marry before having children. That is turning family structure into a new class divide, with the economic and social rewards of marriage increasingly reserved for people with the most education.
So go out and buy Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960 – 2010. After Charles and I both finish our current book tours (and I return from overseas—more on that later today), he’ll sit down with Power Line’s cameras for an exclusive and wide-ranging conversation. Stay tuned.