I am going to take the writer to task just a bit... not a lot... I am not going to beat the snot out of him or strip the bark off of him... after all, he is trying...
As a practical matter, we can’t solve educational problems, health care costs, government spending or economic competitiveness so long as a chunk of our population is locked in an underclass. Historically, “underclass” has often been considered to be a euphemism for race, but increasingly it includes elements of the white working class as well.
Actually, you can solve all of those things even if 20% of your population is struggling... provided that a nation does not criminalize things like drug use... but so far, so good even if not entirely true.
That’s the backdrop for the uproar over Charles Murray’s latest book, “Coming Apart.” Murray critically examines family breakdown among working-class whites and the decline in what he sees as traditional values of diligence.Not finished with the book yet, but boy is this an understatement.
Liberals have mostly denounced the book, and I, too, disagree with important parts of it. But he’s right to highlight social dimensions of the crisis among low-skilled white workers.
Seems the book's author has correctly identified the cause and effect of Liberal interference with the family and the individual via the government and the New York Times writer takes exception? Wow! Now there's a surprise.
My touchstone is my beloved hometown of Yamhill, Ore., population about 925 on a good day. We Americans think of our rural American heartland as a lovely pastoral backdrop, but these days some marginally employed white families in places like Yamhill seem to be replicating the pathologies that have devastated many African-American families over the last generation or two.Holy Smokes! And Hallelujah, to boot!! If you have read any of my stuff I have pointed out over and over... there are really only 2 outcomes (with varying degrees of intensity) to the Black/White race card: Black America is in bad shape: 90 % of black children will need food assistance from the government in their life times, 70%+ are born out of wedlock (a nice way of saying they are born and raised in a fatherless home), 1 in 7 black men are convicted felons... I'll spare you the rest of the data... So here's the deal:
Either Black America's values and sensibilities change positively... or the values and sensibilities of the poor and working class members of other groups will change negatively. Is that really so hard to accept? The New York Times is using the term "pathologies" to describe what is going on in African-American homes, for pete's sake!
One scourge has been drug abuse. In rural America, it’s not heroin but methamphetamine; it has shattered lives in Yamhill and left many with criminal records that make it harder to find good jobs. With parents in jail, kids are raised on the fly.I have been living in rural America 50% of the year for the past 6 years. One long walk thru the local Walmart tells the score; Rural America is a disaster area. People do not look well here, when I compare them to my neighbors in New York City and Palm Beach County (Fl). Tattoos of tears on their faces and flames on their necks, the ravages of smoking and crysstal meth on their teeth, body weight so out of control that many have difficulty navigating the curb in front of Walmart and whose only wardrobe option is those stretchy pants worn in an effort to contain yards of loose flesh - and those stretchy pants are holding on for dear life. (The USDA has its share of blame here... but that's for another post).
Then there’s the eclipse of traditional family patterns. Among white American women with only a high school education, 44 percent of births are out of wedlock, up from 6 percent in 1970, according to Murray.And there it is. Between the Feminist attack on marriage and the welfare attack on the family/father any one with a set of eyeballs can see which way the tide is flowing.
Liberals sometimes feel that it is narrow-minded to favor traditional marriage. Over time, my reporting on poverty has led me to disagree: Solid marriages have a huge beneficial impact on the lives of the poor (more so than in the lives of the middle class, who have more cushion when things go wrong).What??!! Solid marriage and family life is more beneficial to poor people than the middle class? I won't even go into the definitions... Solid marriages and families have a "huge beneficial impact" on everyone.
One study of low-income delinquent young men in Boston found that one of the factors that had the greatest impact in turning them away from crime was marrying women they cared about. As Steven Pinker notes in his recent book, “The Better Angels of Our Nature”: “The idea that young men are civilized by women and marriage may seem as corny as Kansas in August, but it has become a commonplace of modern criminology.”Thanks for the study, dude... but I don't think that one is much of a mystery... and marriage's civilizing effect on young men goes far beyond criminology... income, savings, net worth, ability to feed, care, and educate the children... I could fill pages here.
In 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan released a famous report warning of a crisis in African-American family structures, and many liberals at the time accused him of something close to racism. In retrospect, Moynihan was right to sound the alarms.
Today, I fear we’re facing a crisis in which a chunk of working-class America risks being calcified into an underclass, marked by drugs, despair, family decline, high incarceration rates and a diminishing role of jobs and education as escalators of upward mobility. We need a national conversation about these dimensions of poverty, and maybe Murray can help trigger it. I fear that liberals are too quick to think of inequality as basically about taxes. Yes, our tax system is a disgrace, but poverty is so much deeper and more complex than that.Liberals back in '65 were so incensed with Moynihan's report that many pointedly told him to wipe himself with it... unfortunately, their intellectual offspring are alive and well... and just as wrong. The problem with the underclass is because of tax unfairness? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA!
Sorry. That got away from me. HERE COMES THE KICKER:
Where Murray is profoundly wrong, I think, is to blame liberal social policies for the pathologies he examines. Yes, I’ve seen disability programs encourage some people to drop out of the labor force. But there were far greater forces at work, such as the decline in good union jobs.Murray is profoundly wrong in pointing out the 100% correlation between those Liberal policies and the "pathologies" of the African American community? No, correlation does not imply causation... but we have enough evidence to draw a firm conclusion here. The problem is that the Left absolutely refuses to have their policies measured... and that which is not measured is not managed... and if it is not managed, then we are merely wasting money and making things worse. But it makes Liberals feel better... so we got that going for us.
There aren’t ideal solutions, but some evidence suggests that we need more social policy, not less. Early childhood education can support kids being raised by struggling single parents. Treating drug offenders is far cheaper than incarcerating them.Can you imagine this? "Hey, we have failed miserably... what we need is to do more of what has f***ed everything up." Is that amazing? These people love "studies" as long as the study confirms what they want. When it does not, the answer is "we just didn't do enough". Any wonder about the state of the American Body Politic?
So let’s get real. A crisis is developing in the white working class, a byproduct of growing income inequality in America. The pathologies are achingly real. But the solution isn’t finger-wagging, or averting our eyes — but opportunity.This is simply stunning in its FOSness. Yes, we should get real. We need to understand that it was Liberal policies that destroyed the African-American family, that those policies (with help from the Feminist attack on marriage) are now spreading those "pathologies" to working class and poor whites, as well as our hispanics and asian communities. Nice job, folks. Simply outstanding.
How do you people sleep at night?