Charles Murray

Rakesh Bhandari bhandari at phoenix.Princeton.EDU
Wed Feb 3 07:17:23 PST 1999

>The idea is to challenge the oposition with accurate facts and superior
>logic and
>universally accepted human values. Demonizing the opposition does not
>serve our cause.

Henry, what are inaccurate facts and what are the universally accepted human values? And what is our cause--1,2,3 and more Schroeders?

As for Charles Murray, Mr Family Values here complains about the hooker look though already having admitted to have frequented the red light districts of Southeast Asia. He thinks only underclass wilding explains the demoralisation of our culture, not corporate crime or govt corruption/impeachment spectacle. He equates the busing of black children with the busing of the underclass as if blacks are inherently the underclass. He says he doesn't know how long welfare recipients remain on the rolls but still insists on insinuating they are outside of the working class (hence calling them under-class), instead of the most unstably employed section of it. Or that people often work off the books and use welfare as an income supplement. He says nothing about whether racism and the low educational attainment/functional illiteracy/SES generally of parents (apartheid ended little more than one generation ago after all) account for the high drop out rates of black youth from school and the job market. There is a whole literature on employer racism directed against young blacks--Chris Tilly's interviews with NYC employers are often cited.

The great statistician makes no effort to quantify exactly how much single mother families account for the "pathologies" he considers to be America's cancer--young people turning to prostitution, drug dealing or refusing to work at min wage for most of their adult lives or themselves birthing children out of wedlock.

It does not occur to him that single mother families may be enmeshed in broader family networks that provide the child with the best support that their collective means allow. He does not consider whether single mother families would not be a "liability" if there were family allowances, no gender discrimination in the labor market, public access to good child care. He does not even mention such policy initiatives even for the purpose of dismissing them. Of course he doesn't have to refute them in practical terms because the Democrats are not even proposing them.

He does not consider that the state's insistence on substituting such programs for a crack down on dead beat fathers may actually make poor men flee their families, leaving children without a father. He does not consider that AFDC as opposed to a universal income guarantee may encourage women to form families without husbands. It would be impossible for him to consider that AFDC may allow women to save themselves and their children from abusive men and should thus be increased for the sake of women and children. No, he wants to cut AFDC to force women to have to rely on men because he implies this must always be good for children. All in all, his real aim is to paint an ill defined underclass as the cancer of America to prepare the ground for chemo therapy.

The WSJ's willingness to give him so much of the editorial page suggests that real cancer has not yet been eliminated.


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