The belief that single motherhood is the preeminent
of poverty in America has become a bipartisan cliché. The welfare reform
enacted in 1996 was designed, among other things, to discourage single parenthood
and to promote marriage. Yet a look at the experiences and policies of other
nations suggests a more complex story behind the causes of and cure for poverty.
Evidence from Europe shows that the remedy is to increase the economic resources
available to low-income families -- through better-paying jobs that relieve
poverty directly and social supports that reconcile paid employment with