ROSS DOUTHAT: Men, Money, and the Marriage Crisis: “This is not the place to get into the separate debate about the wisdom of our immigration policy, but if you take it as a given, the issue is this: The men dragging down the overall low-skilled wage average since the ’60s are primarily recent immigrants, whose numbers have dramatically increased relative to mid-century, and whose wages are low by American standards but obviously much higher than the wages earned by their fathers and grandparents in their countries of origin. . . . All that I’m saying here is that we should approach this policy debate with a real sense of the strong cultural element at work, and without the illusion that we’re dealing with a crisis in marriage and family that’s been brought on by economic devastation, immiseration, stark decline. The trend in income and safety-net spending doesn’t bear that thesis out … which is why its defenders often end up invoking income inequality rather than absolute trends, a subject I hope to turn to later on this week.”
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