Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson is saying things that even some conservatives are having a problem with. Some say he's right, though.
The data are clear, says Carlson (pictured): boys raised without their fathers are at terrible risk, and the breakup of the family is a national disaster. No one really argues those points, but Carlson's explanation of the reason for the failures is what getting reaction:
Carlson: "Falling male wages certainly play a role. When men make less than women in their potential dating pool, women tend to consider them less attractive marriage partners. Fewer men marry, more children are born out of wedlock .... America's middle class is in decline because middle-class American families are declining .... The major driver of family collapse is simple economics."
That's not setting well with some free-market conservatives who says the breakdown of the family is a moral issue, not a policy one. If you want to lower the out-of-wedlock birthrate, get married or be chaste, they say. Brad Wilcox, director of The National Marriage Project, tends to agree – but:
"Conservatives have been, I think, not sufficiently attentive to the ways in which bad public policies and excesses with some markets have hurt American families," he tells OneNewsNow.
The falling wages that Carlson talks about are hitting middle-income earners hardest. Single parents, particularly moms, often get more money from entitlement programs than do their married peers.
"Among the working class in the last 30 years you've seen dramatic declines in marriage, dramatic increases in divorce," Wilcox notes, "and I don't think you can argue that there's just been some kind of eruption of personal irresponsibility."