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Maybe Some Men See Marriage as a Bad Deal

April 21, 2002

Thank goodness we have government-funded, ivory-tower intellectuals such as James Q. Wilson ("Scholar Examines the Decline of Marriage," April 10) to explain that young black men eschewing marriage "results from an unholy trinity of the legacy of the Enlightenment, slavery and an African family structure...." An ignorant soul such as myself might have thought that American families (largely nuclear until the introduction of welfare laws in the 1950s) and our work ethic were being torn apart by high income taxes (higher still for two-earner married couples), a 13% Social Security tax and a society where divorce papers are as close as the nearest office supply store. Not to mention a quick waltz through court, followed by child support and alimony laws guaranteeing freedom for the ex-wife and poverty income levels for all.

Silly me. I thought the reason many young men are loath to approach the altar is that they know a bad deal when they see one.

DAVID ARMBRUSTER

Oceanside

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