A formula for success

Economists Isabel Sawhill and Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution:

Our research shows that if you want to avoid poverty and join the middle class in the United States, you need to complete high school (at a minimum), work full time and marry before you have children. If you do all three, your chances of being poor fall from 12 percent to 2 percent.”

That’s a pretty simple formula. Unfortunately, unwed child births are at historic highs, high school graduation rates are dismal, and it’s tough to find and keep a job while you are on drugs or in prison, which is the fate of all too many of our youth.

Also unfortunate is that we tend to inherit both our genes and our environment from the same people, meaning that the behavior patterns of the fathers tend to be visited upon the sons.

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