If You Want Smaller Government, Promote Stronger Families

Article by Joshua Speer

Advocating for less government and more traditional values in this day and age tends to
be met with hostility and accusations of “hate speech,” as anyone who has done it
will know. How do outcomes differ when children are raised in a two-parent household in
comparison to the alternatives? The difference is night and day, to put it mildly.

The poverty rate among single-mother households is at 36.5 percent, compared to just 7.5
percent for married couples, for starters. To see what this disaster looks like on a larger
scale, look no further than the current state of the African-American community, where
72.3 percent of children are born to single mothers. Lack of traditional upbringing is at
the root of the problems faced by blacks as a whole today; not racism or white privilege.
The destruction of the family is exacerbated, not cured, by the existence of the welfare

Dr. Thomas Sowell wrote in a 2014 article:

“If we wanted to be serious about evidence, we might compare where blacks stood a
hundred years after the end of slavery with where they stood after 30 years of the liberal
welfare state.”

The difference is the lack of personal responsibility. As Larry Elder stated in his
PragerU video on this very topic: “If you subsidize undesirable behavior, you will get
more undesirable behavior.” This is true because of the economic principle which notes
that humans naturally respond to incentives, and what better incentive exists than to make
one’s own life easier at the expense of others?

The Democratic Party has exploited single mothers in this way for years, as they have
turned them into their most dependable cohort (second only to African Americans) by
making them dependent on welfare programs. They have, in effect, replaced the
institution of marriage to the father with marriage to the state. The end result of this is
something psychologists refer to as learned helplessness – which consists of long-term
negative consequences of both poverty and parenting.

In his interview with Phyllis Schlafly, Stefan Molyneux addressed something
fundamental in the fight to shrink government that many libertarians tend to fail to:

“Telling the government to reduce its power without dealing with the breakup and break
down of the family is like telling someone who has won the lottery to not cash it in
because it’s going to add to inflation because the government is just going to print the

You simply cannot shrink the size of government without confronting the core issue of
the collapse of the nuclear family. Otherwise, you are simply putting a band-aid on a
gaping wound. Regardless of what angle you examine this from, the results of the welfare
state are clearly a disaster for the people they claim to be helping: struggling families.