Single motherhood is just one of the moral and cultural issues that is being ignored by many of those speaking out against income inequality, according to a column by The New York Times.

Columnist David Brooks recently wrote about how complex cultural issues — like single motherhood and dropping out of high school — are lumped together to try and simplify economic inequality and the inability to move around the social ladder.

Single mothers and high school dropouts are “people stuck on the margins” of social mobility and can’t rise or move in the social structure, Brooks said. And those who are blaming the inability to move up the social ladder on low incomes are ignoring moral, social and cultural issues in the United States, he wrote.

“Low income is the outcome of these interrelated problems, but it is not the problem. To say it is the problem is to confuse cause and effect,” Brooks wrote. “To say it is the problem is to give yourself a pass from exploring the complex and morally fraught social and cultural roots of the problem. It is to give yourself permission to ignore the parts that are uncomfortable to talk about but that are really the inescapable core of the thing.”

Read Brooks’ full column on