Inequality and Family

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As you might expect, the smartest piece in the New York Times Magazine's gala inequality issue belongs to Roger Lowenstein, better known (to me, at least) as The Guy Who Killed Social Security Reform. Still, you might notice a few words missing from his discussion of why "so many have been stuck for so long at the bottom and in the middle" - words like marriage, divorce, fatherhood, and illegitimacy. Sure, the rich-poor disparity in family structure - which is increasing even as the overall divorce rate is trending down - isn't the only factor driving inequality, but neither is it something to be passed over in silence.

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Ross Douthat is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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