Family Breakdown Essay

1338 words - 5 pages

Family Breakdown

Many problems affect our society, and each problem presents us with different challenges and obstacles. The most prevalent of these problems are crime, poverty, and poor education. Collectively, society looks toward the government to intervene and find a solution to these problems. This is easily illustrated by reflecting back to our last presidential election. The two candidates, George Bush and Al Gore, gave their views and outlined the agendas they hoped to implement in order to resolve society’s problems. Mr. Gore proposed that we give more economic relief to individuals to increase their economic status, thereby reducing the need for crime and providing more opportunity for enhanced education. This belief asserts a social agenda in which the government plays a paternal role to aid society. George Bush’s ideas revolve around the underlying premise that people should have more responsibility for the actions they take and a greater ability to make decisions individually, in order to lessen the burden on society. His beliefs assert an individualistic approach that relies on a person to make their own decisions to resolve societal problems. One can argue for or against each philosophy and give sound reasons for each view. This issue raises a great debate among the people of this nation, which is proven by the fact that the last presidential election was the closest in history.
It is easy to identify problems, yet, it is much more difficult to identify the causes. Politicians want to make decisions proactively, instead of simply reacting to problems as they arise. One of the largest and most prevalent causes of crime, poverty, and poor education stems from the breakdown of the family. Leslie Carbone writes in her article, The Government’s Role In Family Breakdown,
“Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school and five times as likely to live in poverty. The likelihood that a young male will engage in criminal activity doubles if he is raised without a father and triples if he lives in a neighborhood with a high concentration of single-parent families”
No one will argue that families are important to society, but how can one stop the cyclical effect of dysfunctional families. Since this is a societal problem, one must address how society can deal with the problem through government policy.
Divorce is on the rise. Society used to define marriage as a union, before God, between a man and a woman. Government licensed this religious union to make it a binding legal contract. Marriage was seen as a lifetime commitment ‘for better or for worse’ and there were few things that were strong enough to break that bond. Today however, couples are finding is easier to get divorced. Government has played a role in this by permitting no-fault divorce, which allows unilateral divorce for no reason at all. In effect, the contractual obligation of the marital union has been taken away. Our society has suffered from...

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