Black Quality of Life

Commentary by Pete du Pont

Host intro: Today, Pete du Pont of the National Center for Policy Analysis reports some good news, even if some of it's buried.

A recent New York Times article reported an increase in black Americans' quality of life. The poverty rate's below 30 percent for the first time since the Census Bureau started tracking it. Black men's average life expectancy's up. Blacks were the only group whose inflation-adjusted median income had risen.

Then, farther down in the story, was news that conservative social policy was working.

Experts were perplexed by the fall in illegitimate births, which they said could only partially be explained by better economic conditions. But New Jersey authorities knew why. They credit the 1992 state law which denied increased cash benefits to women who continue to have children out of wedlock with lowering the illegitimate birth rate there. Delaware and Indiana instituted similar laws recently, and report similar success.

When the law limiting cash payments was being debated, liberals warned solemnly children would suffer, and that the potential loss of money wouldn't affect young women's behavior. In other words, according to liberal doctrine, enlightened self-interest was no match for careless behavior and/or raging hormones.

Well, score one for self-interest. And pass the same law at the federal level.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA, we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you tomorrow.

Host outro: Tomorrow, Pete du Pont has a review of judge Robert Bork's new book. He says it doesn't make for happy reading.