Kathleen Parker, Washington Post, 12/15/2012
The middle class needs not just tax breaks and jobs but also marriage. This is the finding of a new University of Virginia and Institute for American Values report, "The State of Our Unions," which tracks the decline of marriage among the nearly 60 percent of Americans who have high school but not college educations... As lead author Elizabeth Marquardt writes in the report: "Marriage is not merely a private arrangement; it is also a complex social institution. Marriage fosters small cooperative unions – also known as stable families – that enable children to thrive, shore up communities, and help family members to succeed during good times and to weather the bad times. Researchers are finding that the disappearance of marriage in Middle America is tracking with the disappearance of the middle class in the same communities, a change that strikes at the very heart of the American Dream."