Skip to comments.The social crisis of the working class
Posted on 04/13/2011 2:39:33 AM PDT by Scanian
The size of government threatens the American way of life as we know it. The solution is straightforward -- cut government. A vibrant grassroots movement insists that it happen, and Washington is lousy with rival plans for how to go about it.
The social threat to the American way of life is as dire, if not more so. But it is more insidious, and more complicated. No grassroots movement has mobilized against it, and no high-profile bipartisan commission is suggesting remedies. Yet it proceeds apace, all but ignored except in the lives of Americans.
Among those trying to sound the alarm is Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute, an author and a thinker who has a well-earned reputation for prescience and fearlessness. In a bracing lecture on "The State of White America," he notes that America has long had an exceptional civic culture. "That culture is unraveling," he warns. "America is coming apart at the seams. Not the seams of race or ethnicity, but of class."
Murray takes whites as his subject to avoid the question of whether racism is responsible for the problem he describes, namely the "emergence of classes that diverge on core behaviors and values."
Murray identifies what he calls the "founding virtues," such as marriage, industriousness and religiosity, which have always been considered the social basis of self-government. He looks at whites aged 30-49 and divides them into the top 20 percent socio-economically and the bottom 30 percent. The top tier is basically the upper middle class, the bottom the working class. He finds two worlds, increasingly separate and unequal.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
I’ve long considered Charles Murray to be a (capital ‘t’) Thinker in the Thomas Sowell class...
I surely hope that his latest work isn’t as glib and superficial as Rich Lowry tries to make it sound...
If the power of the Left can be broken, if we can return to a Limited Government, then we might hope also for a Christian revival in this country. It would do us a world of good, and fix many social ills.
Ronald Reagan famously said (quite some time ago), “Government is not the solution to problems, government IS the problem!”
He did his best to cut its size, bashed his shins against entrenched interests, and the behemoth has been growing ever since.
At this point, there’s not a whole lot anybody’s gonna do about it.
End of story.
In fact, we should create an enhanced version of FairTax that essentially has a total consumption tax rate of 28%, with 21.5% going to the Federal government and 6.5% going to the state at the point of sale for new-production goods and services. That way, not only do we eliminate the IRS, but also state income tax authorities all at the same time.
I’ve long thought that there are too many on our side who poo poo the social aspect of conservatism. They do this at their own peril. Perhaps, they do it because they feel that in their own lives they have failed to live up to these social standards. Who knows what the individual reasons are.
However, they like Ayn Rand understand the fiscal and economic reasons why conservative thought and practice have made this country what it is. However, without the social conservative aspect, they don’t understand why people willingly adhere to the conservative fiscal aspect. They miss the glue that holds this all together. As John Adams said, our constitution is made only for a moral and relgious people. Without a moral society, our great republic will not function the way it’s supposed to. We must fix the moral aspect as well as the fiscal one.
In my experience, those who denigrate social conservatism do so in order not to appear 'unsophisticated' by those whose good opinion they seek. Sometimes it's folks in an academic setting, or who want to seem more hip to younger folks. Sadly, it's sometimes in a Church setting, because, using Scripture as their basis, they think they are not supposed to 'judge' others. They don't think in terms of helping to guide others away from sinful choices, which, at it's base, is the reason for all of the social ills of this country.
I can tell you’re an optimist; I admire that. Good for you.