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CWA's Crouse Cites Family Breakdown as Cause of Poverty

Contact: Stacey Holliday, Concerned Women for America, 202-488-7000 ext. 126


WASHINGTON, Mar. 27 /Christian Newswire/ -- A new Brookings Institution report blames the lack of presidential initiatives to combat poverty for the increase in poverty as well as for today's gap between the rich and poor.  Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Director and Senior Fellow of the Beverly LaHaye Institute, Concerned Women for America's (CWA) think tank, said that the reason for the increase is not political, but social. "The increase in the overall poverty rate is due to the decline in the percentage of the population living in married-couple families whose poverty rate is a fraction of that of any other group."


She added, "If the family structure of the population had not changed from 1973 to 2005, the overall poverty rate -- instead of increasing to 12.6 percent -- would have decreased to 9.8 percent in 2005.  Thus, it is not purely or even primarily weakness in the performance of the economy that has produced the increase in the overall poverty rate in 2005 as compared to the historic lows of the early 1970s."


Crouse continued, "Changes in the culture's social values -- the decline in marriage and increase in divorce -- rather than the performance of the economy or the particular economic policies pursued by government account for the increase in the overall poverty rate. Instead of throwing away nearly $600 billion in governmental anti-poverty programs -- that have worsened rather than curbed poverty -- we need to focus on strengthening marriages and families."


Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest public policy women's organization.