Ideally, every able-bodied person in society would contribute to the general welfare and common defense, but that just ain't happening. And any vision of making it happen is just as utopian as the left's rainbows and kittens fantasy of everyone getting everything for free. Were we to get our utopia, the truly needy would face absolutely no want. There would be so many makers that the safety net would function with perfection and so few takers that it would never be threatened with bankruptcy. It is fun to imagine such a world, but that world does not exist in reality.
The reality we face is far from either the right or left utopia. Heritage has recently updated its policy research on poverty and marriage. The correlation between family instability and poverty is breathtaking. It is not just poverty that is increased with the demise of marriage; civil society itself is put in jeopardy by this epidemic. As Heritage puts it:
Most poor children live in single-parent families. Seventy-one percent of poor families with children are headed by single parents, mostly single mothers. Compared to children raised in an intact family, children raised in single-parent homes are more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems; be physically abused; smoke, drink, and use drugs; be aggressive; engage in violent, delinquent, and criminal behavior; have poor school performance; and drop out of high school.
This is a recipe for creating imbalance between the makers and takers in society. We're not creating takers by circumstance alone; we're breeding them.
If the trend were to continue on its upward trajectory there would be no escaping a societal collapse. The question, however, is whether the trend will only continue to rise or if there is a stability point.
Are there enough people left who will marry before having children to prevent the utter devastation of our nation? If the ratio between wed and unwed births stabilizes, which side will prevail? Will there be enough makers to support not only themselves but also the takers? I know we won't achieve our utopia, but will civil society reproduce itself enough to fend off both the barbarians outside the gates and the hordes within?