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The new American divide
American Enterprise Institute ^ | January 23, 2012 | Charles Murray

Posted on 01/25/2012 8:44:30 PM PST by JerseyanExile

America is coming apart. For most of our nation's history, whatever the inequality in wealth between the richest and poorest citizens, we maintained a cultural equality known nowhere else in the world—for whites, anyway. "The more opulent citizens take great care not to stand aloof from the people," wrote Alexis de Tocqueville, the great chronicler of American democracy, in the 1830s. "On the contrary, they constantly keep on easy terms with the lower classes: They listen to them, they speak to them every day."

Americans love to see themselves this way. But there's a problem: It's not true anymore, and it has been progressively less true since the 1960s.

People are starting to notice the great divide. The tea party sees the aloofness in a political elite that thinks it knows best and orders the rest of America to fall in line. The Occupy movement sees it in an economic elite that lives in mansions and flies on private jets. Each is right about an aspect of the problem, but that problem is more pervasive than either political or economic inequality. What we now face is a problem of cultural inequality.

When Americans used to brag about "the American way of life"—a phrase still in common use in 1960—they were talking about a civic culture that swept an extremely large proportion of Americans of all classes into its embrace. It was a culture encompassing shared experiences of daily life and shared assumptions about central American values involving marriage, honesty, hard work and religiosity.

Over the past 50 years, that common civic culture has unraveled. We have developed a new upper class with advanced educations, often obtained at elite schools, sharing tastes and preferences that set them apart from mainstream America. At the same time, we have developed a new lower class, characterized not by poverty but by withdrawal from America's core cultural institutions. To illustrate just how wide the gap has grown between the new upper class and the new lower class, let me start with the broader upper-middle and working classes from which they are drawn, using two fictional neighborhoods that I hereby label Belmont (after an archetypal upper-middle-class suburb near Boston) and Fishtown (after a neighborhood in Philadelphia that has been home to the white working class since the Revolution).

To be assigned to Belmont, the people in the statistical nationwide databases on which I am drawing must have at least a bachelor's degree and work as a manager, physician, attorney, engineer, architect, scientist, college professor or content producer in the media. To be assigned to Fishtown, they must have no academic degree higher than a high-school diploma. If they work, it must be in a blue-collar job, a low-skill service job such as cashier, or a low-skill white-collar job such as mail clerk or receptionist.

People who qualify for my Belmont constitute about 20% of the white population of the U.S., ages 30 to 49. People who qualify for my Fishtown constitute about 30% of the white population of the U.S., ages 30 to 49.

I specify white, meaning non-Latino white, as a way of clarifying how broad and deep the cultural divisions in the U.S. have become. Cultural inequality is not grounded in race or ethnicity. I specify ages 30 to 49—what I call prime-age adults—to make it clear that these trends are not explained by changes in the ages of marriage or retirement.

In Belmont and Fishtown, here's what happened to America's common culture between 1960 and 2010. Marriage: In 1960, extremely high proportions of whites in both Belmont and Fishtown were married—94% in Belmont and 84% in Fishtown. In the 1970s, those percentages declined about equally in both places. Then came the great divergence. In Belmont, marriage stabilized during the mid-1980s, standing at 83% in 2010. In Fishtown, however, marriage continued to slide; as of 2010, a minority (just 48%) were married. The gap in marriage between Belmont and Fishtown grew to 35 percentage points, from just 10.

Single parenthood: Another aspect of marriage—the percentage of children born to unmarried women—showed just as great a divergence. Though politicians and media eminences are too frightened to say so, nonmarital births are problematic. On just about any measure of development you can think of, children who are born to unmarried women fare worse than the children of divorce and far worse than children raised in intact families. This unwelcome reality persists even after controlling for the income and education of the parents.

In 1960, just 2% of all white births were nonmarital. When we first started recording the education level of mothers in 1970, 6% of births to white women with no more than a high-school education—women, that is, with a Fishtown education—were out of wedlock. By 2008, 44% were nonmarital. Among the college-educated women of Belmont, less than 6% of all births were out of wedlock as of 2008, up from 1% in 1970.

Industriousness: The norms for work and women were revolutionized after 1960, but the norm for men putatively has remained the same: Healthy men are supposed to work. In practice, though, that norm has eroded everywhere. In Fishtown, the change has been drastic. (To avoid conflating this phenomenon with the latest recession, I use data collected in March 2008 as the end point for the trends.)

The primary indicator of the erosion of industriousness in the working class is the increase of prime-age males with no more than a high school education who say they are not available for work—they are "out of the labor force." That percentage went from a low of 3% in 1968 to 12% in 2008. Twelve percent may not sound like much until you think about the men we're talking about: in the prime of their working lives, their 30s and 40s, when, according to hallowed American tradition, every American man is working or looking for work. Almost one out of eight now aren't. Meanwhile, not much has changed among males with college educations. Only 3% were out of the labor force in 2008.

There's also been a notable change in the rates of less-than-full-time work. Of the men in Fishtown who had jobs, 10% worked fewer than 40 hours a week in 1960, a figure that grew to 20% by 2008. In Belmont, the number rose from 9% in 1960 to 12% in 2008.

Crime: The surge in crime that began in the mid-1960s and continued through the 1980s left Belmont almost untouched and ravaged Fishtown. From 1960 to 1995, the violent crime rate in Fishtown more than sextupled while remaining nearly flat in Belmont. The reductions in crime since the mid-1990s that have benefited the nation as a whole have been smaller in Fishtown, leaving it today with a violent crime rate that is still 4.7 times the 1960 rate.

Religiosity: Whatever your personal religious views, you need to realize that about half of American philanthropy, volunteering and associational memberships is directly church-related, and that religious Americans also account for much more nonreligious social capital than their secular neighbors. In that context, it is worrisome for the culture that the U.S. as a whole has become markedly more secular since 1960, and especially worrisome that Fishtown has become much more secular than Belmont. It runs against the prevailing narrative of secular elites versus a working class still clinging to religion, but the evidence from the General Social Survey, the most widely used database on American attitudes and values, does not leave much room for argument.

For example, suppose we define "de facto secular" as someone who either professes no religion at all or who attends a worship service no more than once a year. For the early GSS surveys conducted from 1972 to 1976, 29% of Belmont and 38% of Fishtown fell into that category. Over the next three decades, secularization did indeed grow in Belmont, from 29% in the 1970s to 40% in the GSS surveys taken from 2006 to 2010. But it grew even more in Fishtown, from 38% to 59%.

It can be said without hyperbole that these divergences put Belmont and Fishtown into different cultures. But it's not just the working class that's moved; the upper middle class has pulled away in its own fashion, too. If you were an executive living in Belmont in 1960, income inequality would have separated you from the construction worker in Fishtown, but remarkably little cultural inequality. You lived a more expensive life, but not a much different life. Your kitchen was bigger, but you didn't use it to prepare yogurt and muesli for breakfast. Your television screen was bigger, but you and the construction worker watched a lot of the same shows (you didn't have much choice). Your house might have had a den that the construction worker's lacked, but it had no StairMaster or lap pool, nor any gadget to monitor your percentage of body fat. You both drank Bud, Miller, Schlitz or Pabst, and the phrase "boutique beer" never crossed your lips. You probably both smoked. If you didn't, you did not glare contemptuously at people who did.

When you went on vacation, you both probably took the family to the seashore or on a fishing trip, and neither involved hotels with five stars. If you had ever vacationed outside the U.S. (and you probably hadn't), it was a one-time trip to Europe, where you saw eight cities in 14 days—not one of the two or three trips abroad you now take every year for business, conferences or eco-vacations in the cloud forests of Costa Rica.

You both lived in neighborhoods where the majority of people had only high-school diplomas—and that might well have included you. The people around you who did have college degrees had almost invariably gotten them at state universities or small religious colleges mostly peopled by students who were the first generation of their families to attend college. Except in academia, investment banking, a few foundations, the CIA and the State Department, you were unlikely to run into a graduate of Harvard, Princeton or Yale.

Even the income inequality that separated you from the construction worker was likely to be new to your adulthood. The odds are good that your parents had been in the working class or middle class, that their income had not been much different from the construction worker's, that they had lived in communities much like his, and that the texture of the construction worker's life was recognizable to you from your own childhood. Taken separately, the differences in lifestyle that now separate Belmont from Fishtown are not sinister, but those quirks of the upper-middle class that I mentioned—the yogurt and muesli and the rest—are part of a mosaic of distinctive practices that have developed in Belmont. These have to do with the food Belmonters eat, their drinking habits, the ages at which they marry and have children, the books they read (and their number), the television shows and movies they watch (and the hours spent on them), the humor they enjoy, the way they take care of their bodies, the way they decorate their homes, their leisure activities, their work environments and their child-raising practices. Together, they have engendered cultural separation.

It gets worse. A subset of Belmont consists of those who have risen to the top of American society. They run the country, meaning that they are responsible for the films and television shows you watch, the news you see and read, the fortunes of the nation's corporations and financial institutions, and the jurisprudence, legislation and regulations produced by government. They are the new upper class, even more detached from the lives of the great majority of Americans than the people of Belmont—not just socially but spatially as well. The members of this elite have increasingly sorted themselves into hyper-wealthy and hyper-elite ZIP Codes that I call the SuperZIPs.

In 1960, America already had the equivalent of SuperZIPs in the form of famously elite neighborhoods—places like the Upper East Side of New York, Philadelphia's Main Line, the North Shore of Chicago and Beverly Hills. But despite their prestige, the people in them weren't uniformly wealthy or even affluent. Across 14 of the most elite places to live in 1960, the median family income wasn't close to affluence. It was just $84,000 (in today's purchasing power). Only one in four adults in those elite communities had a college degree. By 2000, that diversity had dwindled. Median family income had doubled, to $163,000 in the same elite ZIP Codes. The percentage of adults with B.A.s rose to 67% from 26%. And it's not just that elite neighborhoods became more homogeneously affluent and highly educated—they also formed larger and larger clusters.

If you are invited to a dinner party by one of Washington's power elite, the odds are high that you will be going to a home in Georgetown, the rest of Northwest D.C., Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Potomac or McLean, comprising 13 adjacent ZIP Codes in all. If you rank all the ZIP Codes in the country on an index of education and income and group them by percentiles, you will find that 11 of these 13 D.C.-area ZIP Codes are in the 99th percentile and the other two in the 98th. Ten of them are in the top half of the 99th percentile.

Similarly large clusters of SuperZIPs can be found around New York City, Los Angeles, the San Francisco-San Jose corridor, Boston and a few of the nation's other largest cities. Because running major institutions in this country usually means living near one of these cities, it works out that the nation's power elite does in fact live in a world that is far more culturally rarefied and isolated than the world of the power elite in 1960. And the isolation is only going to get worse. Increasingly, the people who run the country were born into that world. Unlike the typical member of the elite in 1960, they have never known anything but the new upper-class culture. We are now seeing more and more third-generation members of the elite. Not even their grandparents have been able to give them a window into life in the rest of America.

Why have these new lower and upper classes emerged? For explaining the formation of the new lower class, the easy explanations from the left don't withstand scrutiny. It's not that white working class males can no longer make a "family wage" that enables them to marry. The average male employed in a working-class occupation earned as much in 2010 as he did in 1960. It's not that a bad job market led discouraged men to drop out of the labor force. Labor-force dropout increased just as fast during the boom years of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s as it did during bad years.

As I've argued in much of my previous work, I think that the reforms of the 1960s jump-started the deterioration. Changes in social policy during the 1960s made it economically more feasible to have a child without having a husband if you were a woman or to get along without a job if you were a man; safer to commit crimes without suffering consequences; and easier to let the government deal with problems in your community that you and your neighbors formerly had to take care of.

But, for practical purposes, understanding why the new lower class got started isn't especially important. Once the deterioration was under way, a self-reinforcing loop took hold as traditionally powerful social norms broke down. Because the process has become self-reinforcing, repealing the reforms of the 1960s (something that's not going to happen) would change the trends slowly at best. "If enough Americans look unblinkingly at the nature of the problem, they'll fix it.That's the American way." --Charles Murray

Meanwhile, the formation of the new upper class has been driven by forces that are nobody's fault and resist manipulation. The economic value of brains in the marketplace will continue to increase no matter what, and the most successful of each generation will tend to marry each other no matter what. As a result, the most successful Americans will continue to trend toward consolidation and isolation as a class. Changes in marginal tax rates on the wealthy won't make a difference. Increasing scholarships for working-class children won't make a difference.

The only thing that can make a difference is the recognition among Americans of all classes that a problem of cultural inequality exists and that something has to be done about it. That "something" has nothing to do with new government programs or regulations. Public policy has certainly affected the culture, unfortunately, but unintended consequences have been as grimly inevitable for conservative social engineering as for liberal social engineering.

The "something" that I have in mind has to be defined in terms of individual American families acting in their own interests and the interests of their children. Doing that in Fishtown requires support from outside. There remains a core of civic virtue and involvement in working-class America that could make headway against its problems if the people who are trying to do the right things get the reinforcement they need—not in the form of government assistance, but in validation of the values and standards they continue to uphold. The best thing that the new upper class can do to provide that reinforcement is to drop its condescending "nonjudgmentalism." Married, educated people who work hard and conscientiously raise their kids shouldn't hesitate to voice their disapproval of those who defy these norms. When it comes to marriage and the work ethic, the new upper class must start preaching what it practices.

Changing life in the SuperZIPs requires that members of the new upper class rethink their priorities. Here are some propositions that might guide them: Life sequestered from anybody not like yourself tends to be self-limiting. Places to live in which the people around you have no problems that need cooperative solutions tend to be sterile. America outside the enclaves of the new upper class is still a wonderful place, filled with smart, interesting, entertaining people. If you're not part of that America, you've stripped yourself of much of what makes being American special.

Such priorities can be expressed in any number of familiar decisions: the neighborhood where you buy your next home, the next school that you choose for your children, what you tell them about the value and virtues of physical labor and military service, whether you become an active member of a religious congregation (and what kind you choose) and whether you become involved in the life of your community at a more meaningful level than charity events.

Everyone in the new upper class has the monetary resources to make a wide variety of decisions that determine whether they engage themselves and their children in the rest of America or whether they isolate themselves from it. The only question is which they prefer to do.

That's it? But where's my five-point plan? We're supposed to trust that large numbers of parents will spontaneously, voluntarily make the right choice for the country by making the right choice for themselves and their children?

Yes, we are, but I don't think that's naive. I see too many signs that the trends I've described are already worrying a lot of people. If enough Americans look unblinkingly at the nature of the problem, they'll fix it. One family at a time. For their own sakes. That's the American way.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: class; newelite

1 posted on 01/25/2012 8:44:32 PM PST by JerseyanExile
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To: JerseyanExile
Great article that explains many of America's problems. At least until he get to the paragraph

Life sequestered from anybody not like yourself tends to be self-limiting. Places to live in which the people around you have no problems that need cooperative solutions tend to be sterile. America outside the enclaves of the new upper class is still a wonderful place, filled with smart, interesting, entertaining people. If you're not part of that America, you've stripped yourself of much of what makes being American special.

which is the obligatory nod to political correctness.

2 posted on 01/25/2012 9:17:40 PM PST by The people have spoken
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To: JerseyanExile
As I've argued in much of my previous work, I think that the reforms of the 1960s jump-started the deterioration. Changes in social policy during the 1960s made it economically more feasible to have a child without having a husband if you were a woman or to get along without a job if you were a man; safer to commit crimes without suffering consequences; and easier to let the government deal with problems in your community that you and your neighbors formerly had to take care of.

American liberalism from both parties is always feeding and supporting our weaknesses, all of us know the big city welfare stuff, but when my parents retired and moved to the country, my step dad learned that his pond (and/or?) fencing for the cattle was subsidized by the government, as anti-welfare people we had a huge laugh, but he accepted the money nonetheless.

I was surprised to learn during the 1970s how corporations were seduced by government.

From ghetto, to farm, to the Corporate suite, they suck us in and buy us.

3 posted on 01/25/2012 9:22:07 PM PST by ansel12 (Romney is unquestionably the weakest party front-runner in contemporary political history.)
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To: JerseyanExile

“Single parenthood: Another aspect of marriage—the percentage of children born to unmarried women—showed just as great a divergence. Though politicians and media eminences are too frightened to say so, nonmarital births are problematic. On just about any measure of development you can think of, children who are born to unmarried women fare worse than the children of divorce and far worse than children raised in intact families. This unwelcome reality persists even after controlling for the income and education of the parents.”

Which is the main problem; it’s not the increase of the poor, it’s the increase of the underclass. It’s not poor people losing jobs and income, it’s an underclass that has never worked and an underclass that doens’t WANT to better themsleves and become part of a healthy society and a part of a healthy society that will welcome them if they get and keep a job, end up following the law, and participate actively in the community. They don’t want to, they want to be unhappy, they want to be miserable, they want to be alienated and they are striking out at a community that wants to welcome them as long as they contribute and end up not wrecking other people’s lives. I wish the author would pay attention to the difference.


4 posted on 01/25/2012 9:23:49 PM PST by Niuhuru (The Internet is the digital AIDS; adapting and successfully destroying the MSM host.)
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To: ansel12

Lincoln set the stage.


5 posted on 01/25/2012 9:25:41 PM PST by 3boysdad (The very elect.)
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To: ansel12

In 1972 a church was established to turn it’s congregations away from anything white. Seems to have done a bang up job.


6 posted on 01/25/2012 9:26:27 PM PST by pacpam (action=consequence and applies in all cases - friend of victory)
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To: JerseyanExile
Though politicians and media eminences are too frightened to say so, nonmarital births are problematic...what an understatement - they arre probably the biggest problem leading to poverty, crime, and a deteriorating culture today......
7 posted on 01/25/2012 9:27:51 PM PST by Intolerant in NJ
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To: JerseyanExile

A lot of the so called new upper class is dominated by the entertainment industry with the billions they make and while financially they are upper class, their attitudes are quite different. Their perspectives are different and because of some sense that it is all about luck, they treat the ‘lessers’ of society like dirt do it because they have to make very clear how different they are from normal people. The way people make their money is how they treat people if and when they become successful. Actors treat people like dirt usually and people like Gates and Forbes and Ford and Carnegie aren’t tyrants because they understand that it’s hard work and appreciate people who show the same traits.


8 posted on 01/25/2012 9:29:32 PM PST by Niuhuru (The Internet is the digital AIDS; adapting and successfully destroying the MSM host.)
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To: 3boysdad

That is definately one thing that I have to agree with. He didn’t realize taht while slaves were good, there were also the bad types that were also freed. If Lincoln had seen the reality of the system, then I am sure that he would have understood a lot more than he did when he started that war.


9 posted on 01/25/2012 9:31:14 PM PST by Niuhuru (The Internet is the digital AIDS; adapting and successfully destroying the MSM host.)
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To: Intolerant in NJ

If not for this very problem, our soceity wouldn’t be as badly (and quickly) deteriorating as it is now. We would also have a much less stressed welfare system.


10 posted on 01/25/2012 9:35:36 PM PST by Niuhuru (The Internet is the digital AIDS; adapting and successfully destroying the MSM host.)
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To: The people have spoken

I don’t think there’s any political correctness there. Logically it has to be factual that there is creativity, intelligence and ability across all communities in America, and not just in Belmont. Thus, limiting yourself to only Belmont, limits yourself.

If the author was shooting for something politically correct then he would have said something about race, or women or homosexuals. He made clear, however, that he was talking about whites in both Belmont and Fishtown. That’s not politically correct.


11 posted on 01/25/2012 9:37:45 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: JerseyanExile
Ping for later
12 posted on 01/25/2012 9:44:32 PM PST by wintertime (I am a Constitutional Restorationist!!! Yes!)
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To: The people have spoken

I think that the reason so many of our leaders are useless rinos, is that successful people want to avoid, are the type to avoid, strife, disagreement, argument, they are the types that seek consensus to advance their small differences within polite limits.

Mostly that is just reality, many of the people here are in corporate life, offices, they know that there are certain limits to what that type of workplace will tolerate, can tolerate. Many blue collar workers, small business people, Contractors, became such, because they don’t fit in at the office, I admire people destined for great things, who strive to expose themselves to social and intellectual challenges.

It is interesting to see where Gingrich came from, Reagan came from, Palin came from.

While even the Bushes make an effort to fully give themselves to the military, and life, and even Texas, Romney does not for example, and regardless of the complaints, I think we all agree that the Bushes efforts probably help them.


13 posted on 01/25/2012 9:44:54 PM PST by ansel12 (Romney is unquestionably the weakest party front-runner in contemporary political history.)
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To: JerseyanExile
Feminism and the welfare state: A fatal combination for civilization

The Misandry Bubble

14 posted on 01/25/2012 9:45:56 PM PST by SlargTarg
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To: JerseyanExile

Yes, it’s definitely a different world today for those who remember growing up decades ago. For one thing, the TV wasn’t so full of smut and the kids could grow up more innocent.


15 posted on 01/25/2012 9:52:20 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: JerseyanExile

His new book is due I think Jan 31.

He has done a fine job describing what we all feel.

He got too much attention on race in The Bell Curve - so intentionally omitted it - so people could get his message.


16 posted on 01/25/2012 9:54:50 PM PST by Eldon Tyrell (question,.)
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To: Ciexyz
For one thing, the TV wasn’t so full of smut and the kids could grow up more innocent.

That is a fact.

In the past we hid things from our parents, and as parents, we hid things from our kids

The reality is that we strove to not do wrong at all, but if, or when we slipped up, we tried to conceal it, bury it, and move on, always fighting our worse impulses, and fighting to reinforce good among others, and in turn, they tried to reinforce and encourage goodness in us.

The culture wall was broken down, and now it is the worship of money that drives us, if there is a short term, but profitable return on fart jokes, or homosexuality, or cussing on a TV show for a writer, or Producer, then they get the money and run, and God knows that it is much easier writing than that old stuff, which must have been extremely demanding in talent and skill to produce.

17 posted on 01/25/2012 10:10:54 PM PST by ansel12 (Romney is unquestionably the weakest party front-runner in contemporary political history.)
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To: JerseyanExile
> The economic value of brains in the marketplace will continue to increase no matter what, and the most successful of each generation will tend to marry each other no matter what. As a result, the most successful Americans will continue to trend toward consolidation and isolation as a class.

And then the Morlocks will eat them. Yum! Brains!

18 posted on 01/25/2012 10:15:57 PM PST by Flatus I. Maximus (This Tagline for rent. Make me an offer.)
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To: JerseyanExile
America outside the enclaves of the new upper class is still a wonderful place, filled with smart, interesting, entertaining people. If you're not part of that America, you've stripped yourself of much of what makes being American special.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I was born and raised in Kensington, the Philadelphia neighborhood immediately to the north of Fishtown. My grandparents lived in Fishtown. In 1999, I worked in clinics at K&A and Hunting Park.

Only a flaming idiot would willing chose to live in any of the places that I mentioned above. I am glad, now, to be living more than 2,000 miles from those places. These neighborhoods are dangerous, course, rough, choked with debris, pockmarked with abandoned homes and buildings, and one must constantly be on guard and aware.

As many of you know I am constantly pushing for the end of compulsory godless and socialist-entitlement schooling. I doubt that our nation can survive another generation of it.

Conservatives, please see the urgency. We must shut down our nation's **godless*** soclialist-entitlement schools. We must see that every child in this nation has access to a **private** educational setting ( preferably not Prussian-style) that preaches Judeo Christian beliefs and upholds our nation's founding principles.

19 posted on 01/25/2012 10:20:55 PM PST by wintertime (I am a Constitutional Restorationist!!! Yes!)
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To: Niuhuru
I honestly think slavery was on the way out anyway. It was getting expensive to feed, clothe, and provide even a modicum of medical care for slaves, and if one died or got killed, the owner was out the investment.

OTOH, the new european immigrants would work cheap, do dangerous jobs, and if they got killed, just hire another. Sure, you paid them, but you either got that back through the company store, housing, etc., or they had to fend for their own sustenance using those wages.

The harsh reality was that the cheap immigrant labor was cheaper in the long run, especially when the downside of incorrigible slaves was factored in.

I think slavery would have died a natural death ere long, even without the war.

20 posted on 01/25/2012 10:56:35 PM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Smokin' Joe

It was; slaves were learning useful skills, more and more owners were freeing them, and more and more states were abolishing the system as time went on. If they had then taken on Eastern European immigrants as low paid labor, the entire system would have been gone and the system would have slowly been ended and blacks integrated as productive citizens, not forced to fend for themselves pretty much right away while adjusting to freedom. It would have also preseved Southern Culture and values and independence rather than smashing it with a bullet and shattering a process that was ending the system while not traumatizing the culture.

It’s the desire for cheap labor htat started this, as usual.


21 posted on 01/25/2012 11:14:26 PM PST by Niuhuru (The Internet is the digital AIDS; adapting and successfully destroying the MSM host.)
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To: JerseyanExile

The problem isn’t so much with rich/poor as it is with makers/takers (legal AND illegal).

There are too many people here doing absolutely nothing to help themselves or others and expecting everyone else to pay for everything they desire. They expect to be handed high paying jobs for no skills. They think they deserve everything for little or no work on their part. They think they show up on time for work and get a bonus for it.

There are people who are getting welfare that aren’t poor. They are at the grocery store buying far more expensive items in price and quantity than I can buy. No shame in handing over the debit card of other peoples’ money that are funding their alcohol, rich meats, junk food and soda. They expect and demand more. They believe they deserve it.

Then (for example in Wisconsin) we have many government workers, at all levels, that get great benefits, work security that nobody in the private sector has, that scream the world will end and it will be chaos if they have to pay a little more for their healthcare (no changes in the cadillac plans or coverage), and a tiny portion of their pensions (used to be 100% funded). WI govt workers earn about 50% more on average than average private sector WI workers. The average WI worker doesn’t have the awesome health plans they do, and they pay 20% of their hcare premiums, while the state workers now pay about 12%. They don’t have pensions but 401k’s. WI state workers had taxpayers paying 100% of their pensions, Governor Walker finally changed it so they pay a measly 5% of their pension, taxpayers still pay the other 95%. And for these small changes that resulted in no state worker layoffs, Walker is facing a recall (he will totally survive by the way). These losers believe they deserve it. They think they are entitled to it, and think they are doing worse than everyone else.

Makers vs takers. This is what’s bringing the country down. Not necessarily rich/poor. Government under Obama is fomenting it on purpose.


22 posted on 01/25/2012 11:32:48 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Smokin' Joe

It was on the way out.

The Industrial Revolution where machines could work faster and longer were going to overtake output of those areas just using human labor.

Problem is you can’t really start working to change the way people think about another human being (less than people) if you can still legally treat them that way. Unless they can admit they know they’re wrong, there’s really only one way to deal with people like that.


23 posted on 01/25/2012 11:37:26 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: JerseyanExile

Heh.. My daughter lives in Fishtown.


24 posted on 01/25/2012 11:38:00 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: JerseyanExile

Murray only fails to state the obvious - - America’s decline is inversely proportional to the growth of government and the socialist welfare state, which is the relentless work of selfish, corrupt Democrats and cowardly Republican enablers. Friggin’ duh.


25 posted on 01/25/2012 11:43:58 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Niuhuru

I don’t know how Gate’s treats people, but I have a friend that regularly goes to movies and he has seen Bill and his wife at the movie theater several times sitting in a row eating popcorn along with the rest of them.


26 posted on 01/25/2012 11:48:41 PM PST by 21twelve
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To: 21twelve

Impressive, isn’t it?

Goes to show that it’s nto just the amount, but where it comes from.


27 posted on 01/25/2012 11:57:45 PM PST by Niuhuru (The Internet is the digital AIDS; adapting and successfully destroying the MSM host.)
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To: Niuhuru; Smokin' Joe
My son just got done righting a term paper on why the South was justified in seceding. One of his arguments was that the slaves in many cases were treated better than the new immigrants. We'll see what sort of grade he gets!

I have told all my kids that I am proud of them that they find topics that go against the normal cultural grain, and that they hold their ground. I see the biggest divide with them and their peers in the liberal/conservative issues (we live in a very liberal area), and also the moral aspects of things.

But pretty cool when a friend asks “How come you don't swear?”

28 posted on 01/25/2012 11:58:40 PM PST by 21twelve
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To: Ciexyz

Yeah, kids could be kids.


29 posted on 01/25/2012 11:58:58 PM PST by Niuhuru (The Internet is the digital AIDS; adapting and successfully destroying the MSM host.)
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To: 21twelve

Congratulations.


30 posted on 01/25/2012 11:59:58 PM PST by Niuhuru (The Internet is the digital AIDS; adapting and successfully destroying the MSM host.)
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To: Niuhuru

I have a friend that works at Microsoft - multimillonare I imagine based on his position in the company and his nice home. But not to look or talk with him! We spent Christmas eve at our church helping with dinner for the homeless guys.

I think the other thing growing up years ago, my folks grew up during the Depression, they were very thrifty. When I was growing up I knew I was fortunate to live in a decent house in a decent neighborhood. But I didn’t know of the real hard struggles my folks had - or the huge success they had (until later). The idea of being thrifty was there all along, which kept things at an even pace.

My home was no different than those of my dad’s employees. (Well, except the one carpenter that lived on a lake!)


31 posted on 01/26/2012 12:08:59 AM PST by 21twelve
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To: 21twelve

You know, I think that this divide is largely self imposed by a lot of people and a huge part of this is in fact just that a lot of people are giving up. When a lto of American kids see a future of supporting the entire planet with their taxes and the stability of other countries with their lives and not having a family of their own (because they have ot put off having kids while others breed ‘em like rabbits and use welfare), why try?


32 posted on 01/26/2012 12:48:51 AM PST by Niuhuru (The Internet is the digital AIDS; adapting and successfully destroying the MSM host.)
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To: vladimir998

No question there is creativity outside of Belmont. What he seems to be suggesting, however, is that the folks of Belmont will want to send their kids to school in Fishtown so that they can experience the diversity of our culture. But even Obama sends his kids to an elite private school, so Murray is dreaming if he thinks that’s going to happen.


33 posted on 01/26/2012 2:30:22 AM PST by The people have spoken
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To: ansel12
"...The reality is that we strove to not do wrong at all, but if, or when we slipped up, we tried to conceal it, bury it, and move on, always fighting our worse impulses, and fighting to reinforce good among others, and in turn, they tried to reinforce and encourage goodness in us...."

This is something that goes right to the heart of liberalism and the left, and is why they are so evil and corrosive.

The cardinal sin to liberals is...oddly enough..Hypocrisy.

Their defense against being accused of hypocrisy is a bizzare combination of Rousseauian Moral Relativism coupled with a strain of Orwellian Doublethink. They believe that all behaviors are matters of personal choice regardless of consequence, and one type of behavior is equally as valid as another.

To put it another way, they don't have any values or standards. If you don't have values or standards, you can never be called to be held to them, and can never be accused of Hypocrisy.

Most conservatives understand the Christian concept of hate the sin, love the sinner. We know that people are not pefect, but we do think that standards should be there as, at the very minimum, a goal to strive for. If you don't reach those standards, you try to learn from the experience and learn to try again.

Liberals think that every kid is going to have sex no matter what is done or said, so there is no valid reason to discourage it. And if you can't bring yourself to discourage it, then there is no reason you should make them suffer for doing something they can't help doing anyway. It just occurred to me that liberals might even go so far as to supply safe areas for kids to have sex, so they wouldn't do it in the woods or in a dangerous building. (Perhaps they already have, and I have simply not noticed.)

Throughout this article, the effects of liberalism coming home to roost are first and foremost.

34 posted on 01/26/2012 3:49:10 AM PST by rlmorel ("A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Winston Churchill)
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To: The people have spoken

Actually I think what he is saying (from the whole article) is that everyone sent their kids to the local school sp you had a mixture of Belmont and Fishtown in the same building, and in the streets, and in civic organizations, etc.

I remember when I went to Catholic school many moons ago, and granted they were private diocesan schools, but not elitist ultra-expensive schools, we had kids whose parents never went to college (like me) and we had kids whose parents went to college and set up computer systems for entire countries. Even though we were overwhelmingly white, there was a real diversity of background there.


35 posted on 01/26/2012 5:27:53 AM PST by vladimir998
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To: Secret Agent Man
Unless they can admit they know they’re wrong, there’s really only one way to deal with people like that.

What? Take all their stuff at gunpoint, and burn the rest?

In a couple of decades, the law could have been changed without that.

As far as changing cultural attitudes go, the biggest difference is that in one area the population was more honest about its attitudes while the other was sanctimoniously hypocritical.

Maybe, 150 years after that, we are getting over that as a society--and maybe not.

Either way, the damage was done to the Republic, and the Federal Government became the one to routinely impose its will upon the States instead of the other way around. Now we see the result of that.

36 posted on 01/26/2012 5:59:59 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: 21twelve

Your son is right. It is pretty well known that slaves were not sent into the holds of tobacco ships being loaded: the hogsheads being loaded (Barrels 14 ft. long and ten ft. or more in diameter—the shipping containers of the day) could shift and crush someone, and the slaves represented an investment. It is no accident that dangerous jobs such as teamster, longshoreman, cop, and powder monkey (to name a few) ended up being taken by Irish and other immigrants—they were cheaper to replace.


37 posted on 01/26/2012 6:04:17 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: JerseyanExile

Bump for later read.


38 posted on 01/26/2012 6:57:23 AM PST by Inspectorette
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To: Smokin' Joe

Perhaps, but the split of the South was factored on more than just slavery. Maybe in time those things would have changed on their own over decades, but everyone lives in the here and now as well. If your family is not doing well and the economics are crushing you you’re going to deal with short-term things that can help you rather than long-term that can’t help you now when you need it.


39 posted on 01/26/2012 1:52:39 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Secret Agent Man
Perhaps, but the split of the South was factored on more than just slavery.

So very true. Slavery was a minor issue, really, albeit the future of the insititution was a factor of division.

The idea of freeing the slaves was a further economic sanction to be imposed on the states which had lower immigration rates and relied on the production of labor intensive crops for their economies.

While the South was industrializing, which would have meant the eventual end to the North's lock on much of the finished goods trade which relied on cheap (exploitatively so) southern raw materials, or their reliance on foreign sources affected by trade sanctions, that had not reached the critical mass where the South was not still reliant on outside markets for its produce.

While the the idea of the taking of economically vital property without compensation, and the prevention of that property from being marketable in the expanding Union while decreasing in value were drivers in the schism, other economic factors played a bigger role.

With homegrown industrialization, though, the need for cheap labor would have declined, and with that decline, manumission would have gained popularity. Without that industrialization, one region simply exploited another, and used the weight of law to do so, especially with droves of new faces skewing the voting base in the House.

In all likelihood, the transition may have been significantly smoother, with more complete cultural integration, had the South simply been allowed to develop its own industrial base.

40 posted on 01/26/2012 6:00:23 PM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Smokin' Joe

I really do not think Great Britain would have allowed the transition to go smoothly. Seeing that they were more than happy to back the South and were hoping a civil war would take the country down.


41 posted on 01/27/2012 9:50:57 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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