Heart2Heart: ‘Will getting married keep you from being poor?’

Bridget Boakye April 17, 2018
Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, left, waves to supporters along with his wife Candy Carson, after the candidate spoke at a rally Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Welcome to the second piece of our #Heart2Heart series that will examine life’s complexities. Our aim is to bring to light the many experiences that affect our lives and how we can navigate them as best as possible.

Feel free to add your input and send us questions about issues you need guidance on. Whether it be love, relationships, health, wellness or career, we have got you covered.

Poverty is a big ticket item for politicians, as it is usually by this metric that voters measure how well their economic policies work. In the U.S., Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, says marriage is key for keeping from poverty.

Carson offered the following tips for staying out of poverty while visiting a local elementary school in Memphis, Tennessee: “Number one: finish high school,” Carson said.

“Number two: get married. Number three: wait until you get married to have children. Just those three things, and you’re two percent less likely to live in poverty.” Eighty percent of the students at the school he visited are considered low-income or economically disadvantaged.

The HUD secretary once suggested poverty was just a “state of mind” which he faced tremendous backlash for after purchasing a $31,000 office dining room set.

While many agree with Carson that marriage may be the panacea for poverty, others are adamant that poverty has nothing to do with poverty but rather, the absence of good jobs and falling wages.

Journalist, Melissa Boteach once wrote, “Two poor people getting married does not make anyone less poor. As my colleague, Shawn Fremstad explains in his issue brief, Partnered But Poor, “the vast majority of people in low-income families with children are in families headed by married or unmarried partners, as are most people in families with children that receive means-tested benefits. ”

Where do you stand on this issue?

Does marriage ward off poverty?

Is there a point to the argument that two poor people getting married does not make them less poor?

Is waiting to get married before having kids important to getting out of poverty?

Share your experiences so that we can all learn.


Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: April 17, 2018


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