"Marriage is the foundation of a successful society," proclaimed the Clinton-era welfare reform bill. Since then, national and state governments have spent nearly a billion dollars on programs designed to encourage poor and low-income Americans to get married and to remain married. But do any of these initiatives achieve their stated goals? To find out, listen to our interview with Jennifer Randles
, author of Proposing Prosperity?: Marriage Education Policy and Inequality in America
(Columbia University Press
, 2016), who knows first-hand what happens in such programs, bringing important new insight into evaluating claims that there is a "success sequence" that will bring people out of poverty.
Stephen Pimpare is Senior Lecturer in the Politics & Society Program and Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. He is the author of
The New Victorians (New Press, 2004),
A People's History of Poverty in America (New Press, 2008), winner of the Michael Harrington Award, and
Ghettos, Tramps and Welfare Queens: Down and Out on the Silver Screen (Oxford University Press, 2017).