New unemployment numbers are out, with contradictory results that do little to allay concerns about the impending fiscal cliff.

University of North Carolina student James Braid takes a look at the America’s current economic environment, focusing on the traditional family structure as being the best pathway to financial security.

The rewards for high performers who can take advantage of the interconnected global economy have never been greater. It’s nothing new to remark that foreign competition has exerted relentless downward pressure on the earnings of low skill workers. What is new is that these forces appear to have reached the low and middle quartiles of the middle class.

This troubling trend exists alongside the decline of another American institution: the nuclear family. Daniel Patrick Moynihan sounded the alarm on the disintegration of the black family in the 1970s, but today the white illegitimacy rate is higher now than the black rate was then. More than half of births to women under 30 now occur to unmarried women. Liberals, perhaps with an eye towards statistics that suggest married people are more likely to vote Republican, have responded to this crisis with, at best, studied unconcern, and at worst active acclaim.

Braid concludes:

Having the woman in the home enables the male to focus exclusively on maximizing his earning power. Why the male? Childbearing and childcare are time-consuming enterprises that damage women’s ability to compete with childless women and men for high-paying jobs. Studies show that mothers in the workforce earn less than childless women, who in turn earn less than men. Dawn Porter, founder of Trilogy Films and an ex-television executive had this to say during an interview with NPR: “If you look at the time when young women are having children, it is a very sensitive time in their careers. It is when they’re in their late 20s, 30s, that’s the time when the employers are really looking to who are our superstars, right? Who are we going to bet the farm on?” …

And the proof is in the pudding. Charles Murray showed in Coming Apart that elite earners are better educated, more civically involved, more churchgoing, and most of all, more married. Liberal publications can wax enthusiastically about the “end of men,” “manning up,” and the legitimacy (pun intended) of single motherhood. But the fact is that their readership consists of people who are members of traditional, nuclear families. In some regions of the country, a stay-at-home mom has become a status symbol, an emblem of financial success in upper middle class families. I would suggest that the relationship is very much the other way round, that a mother in the home is a necessary ingredient for economic achievement.