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Charles Murray On White America

America’s coming apart around money and morals, says Charles Murray. He’s sparked a great debate about why. We’ll hear it.

Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 (Random House)

Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 (Random House)

Libertarian lightning rod Charles Murray knows how to whip up a big American debate.  His last time out was with “The Bell Curve” and an argument that IQ was destiny and poor Americans were going down.  Stephen Jay Gould called it “anachronistic social Darwinism.”

This time, Murray says America has broken into two worlds, elites and underclass.  The underclass has lost the “founding virtues” of faith, family, work.  Elites are to blame.  Critics say let’s just get some jobs for people.  Some opportunity.

This hour, On Point: the debate over America coming apart.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Charles Murray, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, he’s the author of Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010. You can find an excerpt here.

Joan Walsh, editor-at-large at Salon.com. You can find her review of Coming Apart here.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal “The ideal of an ‘American way of life’ is fading as the working class falls further away from institutions like marriage and religion and the upper class becomes more isolated. Charles Murray on what’s cleaving America, and why.”

The New York Times “When Charles Murray and Richard J. Herrnstein’s book “The Bell Curve” appeared in 1994, it was denounced by social scientists, liberal pundits and a little-known Chicago civil-rights lawyer named Barack Obama, who in a commentary on NPR accused the authors of calculating that “white America is ready for a return to good old-fashioned racism as long as it’s artfully packaged.”

The New Republic “As Murray sees it, the working class has been hurt less by economic shifts that have made it hard for its members—particularly the male ones—to earn a good living than it has by a lamentable decline in industriousness and social values brought on by the upheavals of the 1960s. “

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  • Anonymous

    It is a pity that Stephan Jay Gould is not alive to take this book apart, just as he did the Bell Curve in 1994.

    The Bell Curve, with its claims and supposed documentation that race and class differences are largely cause by genetic factors and are therefore essentially immutable, contains no new arguments and presents no compelling data to support its anachronistic social Darwinism, so I can only conclude that its success in winning attention must reflect the depressing temper of our time—a historical moment of unprecedented ungenerosity, when a mood for slashing social programs can be powerfully abetted by an argument that beneficiaries cannot be helped, owing to inborn cognitive limits expressed as low IQ scores.

    Stephan Jay Gould

    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~chance/course/topics/curveball.html

    • Anonymous

      Actually, David Frum did just that in a five-part post at The Daily Beast a couple weeks ago. See:

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/02/07/charles-murray-book-review-part-2.html

      It is a quite deep take-down! I am disappointed that On Point did not have it in the reading list.

      • Anonymous

        I read that, but From and Murry have some personal history, which From mentions.
        I think Murry is what is wrong here, he’s not dealing with the reality of how things change.

        • Anonymous

          Frum says that he is not taking “revenge” for a further incident and gives an example to show his ability to ignore past “slights.”

          Also, Paul Krugman has gathered a lot of data that strongly backs Frum’s case. At Krugman’s blog:

          krugman.blogs.nytimes.com,

          see:

          Blaming the Victims of Inequality

          Wages and Values

          Jobs and Values

          A Strange Form of Social Collapse

          Different Slopes for Different Folks

  • Shaman

    I am a white guy. This book disgusted me.

    I emphatically disagreed with the premise AND the conclusion. First, it is the breathtaking speed of technological development and the extraordinary INDUSTRIOUSNESS of Americans that led to the loss of jobs here. 

    So jobs are gone partly BECAUSE of the record productivity – NOT FOR THE LACK OF IT! And NOT because whites have lost ‘their’ ethics (what a false dichotomy and conflation by the way!) but because most Americans of all races prefer cheap goods no matter what the consequences. 

    Second, when you speak of “the decline of America” there is much more to debate than your poorly chosen statistics. The fact that there was an election of a black American to the presidency is precisely a level of possibility that most other countries would consider a breathtaking strength. 

    Unseen in your narrow statistics are such things as the extraordinary new found sense many American minorities have about their future – that they are, for the first time, fully invested in America themselves and in their communities in new, urgent ways.

    And last, Whites benefit from all of these trends in more ways than any other group whether they LIKE IT OR NOT.

    America is getting better not worse. Stop whining about the reasons why and get on board.

     

    • still just cory

      You made some decent points, then completely lost me with your last two sentences. 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        We have a President that is different from EVERY one before!   After the regressions of the ‘W’ admin., THAT’S PROGRESS!

        • Modavations

          Bleat # 1
          Bush Did It

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Guppy got a goat smarter than Moda?

          • Anonymous

            Bush gave the economy the “coup de gras,” but the decline in economic equality began with Ronald Reagan and “supply-side” economics which was properly described by G.H.W.B as “VooDoo economics.” The incremental cuts in marginal tax rates for the top earners was a strong, though not the only, enabler of growing inequality.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Nice that you’re seeing the truth!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      ASTOUNDING INSIGHT! 
          MANY factors have made the differences that have given the U.S. the position that we enjoy.  The holding back of ‘minorities’, has been a factor that held back the U.S., from a more prominent position we could have had.
         The efforts used to hold back minorities and the poor, expended efforts into retro-gression, that could have been used to progress!

      • Modavations

        The Dems.have made a racket out of poverty.They create the dependency,THEN HAND OUT THE CHECK IN EXCHANGE for a vote.Claire McCaskill(?) was solicited through the mail for a free cell phone.It included a free 250 minutes per month.Here’s the gig,free housing,free money,free food,free health,free,free,free.Cost to the recipient?Vote Democrat.The modus operandi of the Dem. is keeping poor people poor.

        • Anonymous

          That line of reasoning is ridiculous. In the first place, poor people (and people receiving the benefits you describe) tend to vote LESS than more affluent people. Also, if you read the New York Times this past Sunday, you’d see that more affluent states, who receive fewer benefits, tend to vote Democratic more than the poorer states, who receive more benefits. 

          Secondly, people are poorer now; again, if you read anything, or listen to NPR, you’d know that the unemployment rate has gone up in recent years. I don’t know if you’ve ever been unemployed, but I have (luckily, I’ve had a job now for the past three years, but was laid off right before Christmas 2008) and I can tell you that people need to have unemployment insurance and other social welfare in order to survive. I didn’t receive unemployment in exchange for a vote; I simply got it because I’d paid into the system for years before being laid off. 

        • Just Thinking

          The modus operandi of both the republican and democrat party is to keep the masses poor – do you see any poor names in Congress?  The difference is only in how they go about doing it.  While they both send you to hell, it boils down to how comfortable the trip to hell is!

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Agreed! I don’t think we’re all good (or anyone for that matter) at dealing with rapid change in an increasingly transitory society.  Those who thrive in this environment come off as shiftless opportunists and takers – while the rest of us struggle to find our place beset by worry and unease. 

      We need for ALL sides to talk to one another – demand that we’re told the truth – insist that “We the People” are taken seriously – and understand each of us has a responsibly to make sure our government is responsible to us! 

  • U.S. Vet.

    White, Black, Brown or Asian, all of America is coming apart thanks to our elected officials who have sold our country out to wealthy special interests.

    • Zing

      Still too lengthy.  Just Say, “Bleat #2″.

    • Anonymous

      It is the elected officials, but they got elected by pandering to small segments of the electorate who DO vote. In other words, it is those voters who did not take the time to check out the candidates and vote against them.

      And the reason is ignorance on the issues and then letting the “there’s nothing I can do” cynicism turn themselves into couch potatoes. How many places of work have Rush Limbaugh broadcast to the workers?

      That leads to the second problem: the “elite Republicans” have been “pandering” to the fundamentalists and xenophobes and it has gotten away from them as Santorum soars to new heights (for him anyway). The need to throw “raw meat” has risen to such a level that just about everything a Republican says these days has little or no basis in fact.

      See:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/13/opinion/krugman-severe-conservative-syndrome.html?_r=3&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

      What is amazing is how disconnected from reality (even previous Tea Party reality) are the claims from Romney about Obama. These claims will not play with the independents and they will remember them come fall, even if Obama or “his” SuperPAC has to remind them.

    • Anonymous

      Asians as a whole are doing just fine.  I wonder why that is?

  • Peibiao1

    I havn’t read the book. 
    I’m white, upper- middle class and Catholic.  I’m familiar with Murry’s work.  He seems to imagine that a biological
    difference between people exists- those who “have it’ an d those who “don’t”.
    Those who have it tend to biologically be a bit more like me.  While this is all flattering, I hate to think
    about what would have come of me is my father didn’t have such marketable
    skills.  My mother was  (and still is) a sweet heart who holds down
    the home front, but what of those less fortunate? 

  • still just cory

    The American Enterprise Institute…  I don’t think I like the sound of that, unless it’s a bunch of guys who like building Star Trek models…

    • Anonymous

      The only member of that institution whose name cannot be placed on the hard right with a history of false claims is Norman Ornstein, a widely respected Congressional analyst.

  • still just cory

    Maybe this moral and cultural decay began when families could no longer afford to keep one parent at home for the process of child rearing.  This anomaly was due to an unsustainable post world war two bubble of American prosperity.  That bubble began to deflate about thirty years ago, and now we have entered the global rat race.  If we want to compete, we’ll need to adopt the best strategies of the third world.

    1.  Less materialism.  It is a waste of limited resources.

    2.  Extreme delayed gratification.  Work hard all your life with little reward so that your progeny might advance to the next level of social success.

    3.  Save money and become highly self reliant.  Produce some of your own food if you are able.

    4.  Have your children live with you for much longer for mutual economic advantage.  Have your parents move in with you when they become unable to live on their own.  A reasonable senior safety net seems less likely every day, and paying for nursing assistance violates some of the previously stated rules.  Plan on living with your children when you become enfeebled.

    And there you have it, some tips for navigating the new American reality.  If you were born in 1970 like me, and caught a glimpse of the old American paradigm, this really seems like a raw deal.  For those born substancially later, it might not even seem so bad. 

  • Rgaryc

    For
    over forty years we’ve paid taxes used to breed what’s about to become our own
    executioners and now we’re about to get what we paid for!

    It’s
    just like Nikita Khruchev screamed would happen as he pounded his shoe on the
    table at the UN during the Cuban missile crisis. He raged, “We will bury you
    and you will pay to breed your own executioners”!

    Since
    the supposed fall of the Soviet Union, we’ve taken in forty million former
    Soviets that are already here, ready to burry us when the predators we paid to
    breed are done exterminating the enemies of Israel and begin those chosen as
    scapegoats for resisting the insanity of taking sides in a religious war.

    It’s
    going to be just like what happened to the Jews in Nazi Germany who literally paid
    taxes used as government incentives like our food stamps and welfare- used for paying
      crazy,
    stupid, addicted dysfunctional people (including many that snuck into the
    country just for that purpose) used to breed the predator anal lusting Nazi’s
    that pushed six million men, women and children into gas chambers.

    German
    Jews literally paid to breed their own executioners- just like is about to
    happen here!

    Buy,
    buy Miss American pie!
     

    • Anonymous

      Dude, the middle class isn’t shrinking because of the poor of foreigners:
      members of the middle class are being displaced into poverty. The ultrawealthy, lily white vulture capitalists and speculators on Wall Street and corporations have the squeezed opportunity out
      of the American dream and left crumbs for everyone. They own the government now.

      The revolution began with demonizing the government: well guess what, the government is US. The coup is nearly over: Democracy in America is a ghost of what it was. illegal immigrants, regulations, taxes and the government are our enemies. This is exactly what folks like the Koch brothers want us to believe so that regulations are gutted and they are free to run even more profitable enterprises as they poison our air, food and water and run operations with no regard for the safety of their laborers or neighbors.

      Congressmen and Senators engage in legal graft and corruption in plain sight, but the Red Party has purposefully enraged the electorate to think that the government is the enemy and the root of all their problems.

      This is what corporations and the ultra-wealthy have systematically engaged in for 30 years: a brainwashing program. They choose their targets and blind their followers with with anger directed towards it.

      There will always be the rich and the poor, the quick and the dead, but
      here in America, we have a growing population of folks who have been
      brainwashed into thinking that the poor are the enemy and the rich are
      our friends. 

      If you don’t want to believe me, listen to Ronald Reagan’s architect of Trickledown economics in his own words
      http://www.truth-out.org/bill-moyers-where-right-went-wrong/1328974045

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Mister Charles Murray what are the cultures of white Americans?

    • Modavations

      Those with teeth and those without.

      • Ray in VT

        What about those in the middle?  Those with a few teeth?

        How do you know that the toothbrush was invented in (wherever you dislike)?

        If it was invented somewhere else it would have been called the teethbrush.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    I do not think it is a lack of industriousness or social values that is hurting the working class or even America as a whole. I think it is the fact that our identity as a nation is primarily based on the concept of the melting pot and that of unlimited opportunity. This sounds all well and good but, unfortunately for most of us opportunity is falling by the way side in lieu of corporate expedience and greed while the melting pot idea has left us with 330 million views on what it means to be American with very little to unite us beyond that. A return to the “golden age” of White America, the 1950s, is not the answer to this. We cannot turn back the clock on social change any more than we can make the Earth the center of the universe. No, what we need is a unifying goal, a theme, a national identity to bind us all together so that when things hit a wall we as Americans can have something transcending all other boundaries of race, creed, sex, orientation, or political party to unite us. A national idea, a belief. Without one, we end up an aimless, bickering mess. I cannot tell you what it is. No one single person can make that kind of decision for the rest of us. All any of us can do is get the conversation started. What unites us? What goals can we all agree on? Let what divides us be put aside, or at least discussed with civility and a willingness to agree to disagree. Do any of you really want all this devisive mess in our poltical process? Do you really want to be at each others throats half the time over trivial junk? Do you really want to go tit for tat on each and every single issue every step of the way? I do not think so. It is about time we all take a step back, take a deep breath, and focus on what unites us instead of what divides us. To borrow a time warn phrase, our challenges are great and the going hard but together, we can.

  • Mark-in-Eagle, Idaho

    One must ask one’s self, is the tree of humankind about to sprout a new branch? A branch of mankind composed of those more successful over those who are not. We may ponder the reasons for this all that we wish however, evolutionary forces occur without conscience. There is simply cause and effect as in good by Neanderthal hello Cro-Magnum. Is this simply evolution in slow motion happening before our eyes?

    • still just cory

      I think that branch has been with us since intesive agriculture and specialization.  Surplus turned into excess, and there ya go.

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        Sorry cory (re my retort above). This one simple — and profound. 

  • Gregg

    White America, black America. Red America, blue America. Rich America, poor America. Secular America, religious America. Capitalist America, Socialist America… and on and on.

    Do we really need more divisiveness?

    • still just cory

      I agree, Double G.  Let’s get rid of the rich Americans!  :)
       

      • Modavations

        As a laissez faire type I say lets get rid of the poor.Let’s make everyone affluent

        • Ray in VT

          But if everyone is affluent, then doesn’t that cease to have meaning?  If everyone’s a millionaire, then won’t a loaf of bread just cost $1,000 or something.

          Not an attack, just a query.

          • Modavations

            Raymundo,I want to lift everyone up,not dumb everyone down.And no,prices on everything are determined by the market

          • Ray in VT

            I know that you don’t think that they do, but I believe that that is what liberals also want to do.  I think that they are very few who actually think that they can benefit from poverty and misery.

            Concerning money, if everyone is affluent, and I take that to be “wealthy”, however you want to define that, won’t the baker be making a lot of money, as will the truck driver and the cashier, etc, which would drive up the prices at the retail end.

          • Modavations

            The road to hell is paved with good intentions.The left refuses to look at the results

          • Ray in VT

             But so is the road of sitting back and letting the free hand work it’s magic.  In the end I would rather put my faith in the ability of society to attempt to manage some of the harsher conditions that unregulated capitalism creates.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            The oil industry, and fuel prices prove you wrong!

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        Dumb remark – even if it were possible. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      EXCELLENT QUESTION!

    • mdb

      It’s easy to decry divisiveness when you’re in a privileged majority.

      • Gregg

        I love the privileged majority… whatever that is.

  • aj

    U.S. -military occupiers- in Afghanistan said on Monday they had …killed a group of CHILDREN in an air strike.
                                  _________
     
    Afghan officials showed gruesome photos of 8 DEAD BOYS, who HAD BEEN(past tense) between 6 and 14 yrs old. They were bombed TWICE! while herding sheep in heavy snow and lighting a fire to keep warm.
     
    “Where were the rights for these children who have been violated? Did they have rights or not? Did they have rights to live as part of the world community?” said Mohammad Safi, an MP sent by President Karzai to investigate.
     
    …the Kapisa attack, and another air strike that KILLED 7 CIVILIANS, had Afghans in both provinces demanding curbs on NATO operations…
     
    The UN said the number of CIVILIANS KILLED by U.S. weapons of mass destruction in the Afghan war had rose 9% in 2011. for the fifth year in a row

    Air strikes were the main reason behind civilian deaths.
     
    -The Globe and Mail

    ” Airstrikes have -not caused a huge number of civilian casualties- it is -important for everybody to understand that this thing is kept on a very tight leash.”

    -His Excellency Barry Hussein Obama Junior
    January 31, 2012

  • Anonymous

    Instead of paying high enough wages, the upper class focuses all of the blame on morality. 

    • Ellen Dibble

      What if the money in the tax breaks so vehemently supported by those on the top side of the safety net were paid directly and proportionately to those whose rate of pay has only sagged in the last half century, bypassing the government and all its favoring of this contributor or that?  Oh, wait medical bankruptcies and health insurance costs are a complicating factor on all sides, unequalizing all possibilities of evening things out.  

      • Anonymous

        One way to enforce company payment of livable wages might be to raise the (minimum) tax rate on companies whose CEO total compensation to average worker wage ratio exceeded, say 100, to 90%. Then the rich who convert salaries to various financial instruments to avoid taxes would have a lot of incentive not to do that. First off, the money available for dividend payments would shrink “severely.”

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      “Wedge” issues are bait for people who don’t have a clue about the complexities of economic forces swirling around them.  Make it simple, strike an emotional chord and frame it in the context of “us” verses “them” and you’ll get their vote.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You don’t expect the truth from , do you?

      • Modavations

        Bleat # 2
        The Greeeeeeeeeedy rich did it

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Moda’s goat agrees that the GREEDY rich did it!

  • Modavations

    Martha Coakley is on C-span as we speak.

    • Jasoturner

      She will be VP of the United States some day.

      • Modavations

        More clairvoyance.She got blown out of the water by Senator Brown.She let Tookie Amaral and his 80year old mum rot in jail forever.They were innocent,but she wanted scalps on her belt

        • Jasoturner

          Nostradamus was clairvoyant too…

          • Modavations

            Your opinion of the Amaral case is what?

          • Jasoturner

            Having not heard the evidence, I have no basis for forming an opinion.

  • aj

    Reverend Al Sharpton led a demonstration yesterday at Bronx district attorney’s office demanding a federal investigation and an indictment against an officer of Mayor Bloomberg’s NYPD who murdered 18 yr old Ramarley Graham. 

    “This code of silence must be broken, so we are prepared to do what is necessary to escalate the dialogue,” Sharpton said. “The city has to deal with this death.”

    Police officers spotted Graham on the street ADJUSTING HIS WAISTBAND!!! and assumed he had a gun!

    The UNARMED!!! teenager was shot dead by police in the apartment where he lived with his grandmother.

    -CBS New York

    • aj

      In 1970, FBI head J. Edgar Hoover labeled the Black Panther’s FREE Breakfast Program the “greatest threat to the internal security of the United States”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • mdb

    I wonder where white America would be without black America picking its cotton, yellow America building its railroads, and brown America harvesting its food. 

    • Newton Whale

      Its necks would be redder.

  • max

    From what I can see, this book seems to come *so* close to a Marxist description of class conflict but then decides that it’s a lack of productivity, marriage, and religiosity that makes things so rough. How about this: stable, well-paying jobs enable stable, happy families. The ridiculous conservative fetishism for all things 50s comes from a (still very idealized) time of relatively low wealth inequality and high union membership. 

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Rich ‘Job Creators’, that create jobs out of the U.S.!
       Tax-evaders, that put their money outside of the U.S.!
       Patent laws that now give corporations and the rich nearly complete dominion over the creativity of inventors.
       Patent laws that make small inventors a vanishing breed, by raising small-entity fees, giving rich, or corporate interests the ability to SMASH the small-entity inventor, in many ways!
       Increasing Corporate Welfare, that gives money to the rich, that could be constructively used elsewhere!
       Stupid resistance to ‘moral issues’, by those that have worse morals!
       Patent trolls that block progress, by deceptive means, for the purpose of intimidating new inventors into ‘protection money’ payments!
       Rich ‘Job Creators’, that have cut jobs!

    MOST of those that I listed are white!  Other whites, blacks, Asians, and all others, work for progress!

    • Modavations

      Bleat # 2…
      The GREEEEEEEEEEEEEDY Rich did it.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Moda agrees that the GREEDY rich did it!

        • Modavations

          The lefts dismantling of the nuclear family did it

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Your ‘chemicals’, that you brag about, kicked in?

  • aj

    Rest In Peace Whitney Houston.  “The Greatest Love”

    (photo of friends and family of Ramarley Graham.  Bronx,NY.)

  • Yar

    Charles Murray has confused cause and effect in his assessment of Fishtown.  Compare and contrast Coming Apart with Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and you will find the root cause of what Murray is calling a moral decline.   Fishtown in 2006 has similarities to the economic exploitation of Packertown in 1906.  Wage disparity between classes is not as strong an indicator as time disparity.  Working class families currently don’t have the time or energy to raise their children.  Time disparity puts stress on families, it effects marriage, sleep, diet, it encourages substance abuse as a means of coping or escape; simply put it gets hormones out of balance.  Time disparity is an insidious type of exploitation, it undermines creativity, family, and health.
    We preach a Golden Rule of Do into other as you would have them do to you, as trickle down morality, while practicing  do unto others before they do in you as trickle down exploitation. Which Murray shares from a libertarian perspective as “not my problem.” 

  • Jasoturner

    I am afraid Mr. Murray is a bit detached from the working world, holed up as he is in the AEI.  When I was young, you could make a good living as a press operator, graphic arts camera man, welder, assembler, machine tool operator, etc.  I knew many families that owned their own houses and sent their kids to college – a first for many.  Today, there is very little “low skilled” work that provides a living wage, and indeed, it seems like employers and corporations are out to squeeze every ounce of productivity out of people while paying them peanuts.  I am SO lucky I escaped the printing trades and got a degree when I did.  I think the odds of my pulling myself up today would be hugely less favorable.

    It is not a question of my ambition and talent being different today.  It is a question of opportunities being harder and harder to come by in this modern, cutthroat global economy.

  • aj

    (AP)-A group of clergy, including civil rights activist Al Sharpton, demanded Monday that the police department reveal the names of the officers who BROKE INTO A HOME! and killed an unarmed teenager.

    Youths in the black community “are being killed by the people who are supposed to protect them,” the Rev. Herbert Daughtry said. “A young man in his OWN HOME is BLOWN AWAY in the bathroom.”

    They entered after BREAKING DOWN A (locked)DOOR and confronting Graham in the bathroom. (without a warrant)

    Sharpton said: “This case is the case that will determine the future of this city.”

    It was third time in a week that police had fatally shot a suspect

    ———————-

    “I’m not concerned about the very poor” -Mitt Romney (estimated net worth is atleast $200,000,000, and payed a 14% federal tax rate in 2010.)

    ” I do not want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money. ” -Rick Santorum

    ” Obama has FAILED Blacks and the Poor. ” -Dr. Cornel West

  • U.S. Vet.

    Perhaps the new Global Minimum Tax that White House Economic Adviser, Gene Sperling, is advocating will make people forget about race and creed, because if it’s passed, we’ll all be together in the poorhouse.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gO5B1378P54&feature=g-logo&context=G2dd47a0FOAAAAAAAGAA

    • TFRX

      Even The Politico has done some actual journalism, rather than drinking the right-wing’s kool-aid:

      “He was referring to our proposal in the Blueprint for an American Built to Last that removes tax incentives for companies that ship jobs overseas,” a White House official said.

      Called the international minimum tax, the White House proposal aims “to eliminate tax incentives to ship jobs offshore by ensuring that all American companies pay a minimum tax on their overseas profits, preventing other countries from attracting American business through unusually low tax rates.” Essentially, it’s a domestic tax mechanism that would ensure American companies pay taxes on their overseas profits.

      http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/02/no-global-tax-wh-says-114403.html

  • Ellen Dibble

    I heard Murray a few days ago on Charlie Rose explaining that the essence of the “Coming Apart” situation was insularity, that the top doesn’t understand what the bottom is putting up with (so he makes sure his younger set of children go to school where there is integration of all sorts of people).  I saw a political cartoon making the same point last week; “Romney seals the hole in the safety net,” it says.  And little people are mending the leak that allows for communication, travel, exchange between those above this sort of glass ceiling or floor, and those below it.  This reminds me of Brzezinski’s assertions (from his new book, Strategic Vision, I think) that Americans are not informed enough about the world to be democratically useful.   Americans broadly supported the Iraq War, he said.  (Who was he listening to.)  And he says stringent sanctions will control the Iranian regime without drawing Iranian “nationalism into its fundamentalism” (its modern populace into its extremist leadership).  I am wondering if there is a sealed net between Iranian reality and us, just as between those for whom “free time” means the thoughts one has while washing one’s hair, versus the time one fills up with carpooling and commuting.  Again, the ones segregated from our awareness are sometimes segregated by the Media with their Grand Ideas about the Product-Buying public (people with time and money) and what turns them on.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    How do I get the ‘Automatic Updating’ back?  It disappeared a few days back.  Anyone else having to go to another ‘comment board’, and then come back, in order to update comments?

    • aj

      Great Question, I was wondering the same thing?

  • Thelma Jesselman

    Hello On Point -  do you know you’ve been dropped from SiriusXM Satellite Radio?  I am furious with the loss of service – please let me know what I can do.

    Thelma Jesselman

    • Ellen Dibble

      Have you tried clicking WBUR 90.9 up top on the header, and from the WBUR page, select Listen Live?  That seems to work still.

    • Alex Kingsbury

      Hello Thelma,
      Thanks for the note. We’re looking into this right away.
      Cheers,
      Alex Kingsbury

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Alex, could you explain the ‘Automatic Updating’ problem that aj, and I are  having?

  • aj

    Afghan officials showed gruesome photos of 8 DEAD BOYS, who HAD BEEN(past tense) between 6 and 14 yrs old. They were bombed TWICE! (by U.S. weapons of mass destruction) while herding sheep in heavy snow and lighting a fire to keep warm.
    - the Globe and Mail-

    Did you catch that?  8 CHILDREN blown to bits for Herding some God damn sheep people!  Courtesy of YOUR 1040 tax dollar.  On the issue of morals, shouldn’t there be a box to check onthe 1040 form, that indicates that your taxes not be used to incinerate little peasant boys and their fluffy white sheep…?

  • Modavations

    I live in Belmont,Ma..He’s on the right track,but should have used Newton,Ma,where I was raised.

  • nj

    I haven’t read the whole book, but based on excerpts and reviews i just read, don’t plan to.

    This appears to be a Libertarian’s attempt at rationalizing a fantasy view of the world by fabricating caricatures of socio-economic classes that contain bits of truthiness and ignoring any and all of the massive evidence to the contrary, then drawing silly conclusions that have nothing to do with the actual causes of the problems we face.

    It’s all Big Government’s fault, providing all those silly welfare programs, that’s caused the po’ folk to be lazy and shiftless, and to fall away from religion, not get married, and to descend into their wretched state.

    Puhleez…like the economic and tax policies of the last 40 years that stack the deck for the wealthy and corporate-connected have nothing to do with it.

    Here’s a more accurate explanation of what you need to know:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_1LfT1MvzI

    or, if you prefer…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v96P_AXzto&feature=related

    • aj

      Superb articulation. 

      From Billie 2 Whitney, them still waters run deep…
      But sound so sweet.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I heard Murray ending his interview with Charlie Rose by saying that the “meaning-making institutions” are less and less available to those on the under side of this “coming apart” he describes.  There are about five meaning-making institutions, and I’ve been trying to figure out how these are inaccessible to the bottom half, and why.  

    As I recall, they include family, faith, career, community.  Perhaps he included something like avocation, a commitment to something complementary to the rest of the meaning makers, but mainly family, faith, community, and career.  

    Yes, I’d look to the tax code for wrecking the family, the moral fiber, the rootedness in a local group, and a meaningful skill set that has a future.   (Family, faith, community, career) — But is that all it is?  Have we unhinged ourselves by supporting a totally consumerist world?  With values only on being sexy, cool, and on-top-of-the-world?

  • Roy Mac

    Oh, great.  And tomorrow’s show will feature another intelligent-design “scientist” arguing in favor of teaching more faith-based statistics courses?

    • TomK in Boston

      I’m sure Tom has more “creation scientists” in the pipeline, and it’s high time we heard from some climate science deniers. Yuck.

  • Anonymous

    The more things change, the more they stay the same… the pendulum has swung to the extreme right as the result of systematic campaign to unburden the wealthy of taxes and regulation: the end result is neo-feudalism: cost of living is slowly ratcheted up and wealth sharing (wages) are driven down as means to extract ever greater wealth from the population all the while trying to maintain a fine balance between maximum wealth production and crippling the population and infrastructure that facilitates that wealth production.

    Even now we witness the struggle of enraged fringe extremists jockeying to define what is truly Right, all the while failing to perceive that they are merely tools of neo-feudal lords who fuel their anger to divide us and enrich themselves.

    In the end, the privation of this long winter will drive the peasants to grab their pitchforks and unite against their suffrage. The pitchforks in this case will be smart phones and the gatherings will be organized in social networking sites.

    • aj

      A Pitchfork App? 

      #STORMING OF THE BASTILLE JULY 14 1789

  • Anonymous

    The old social values, particularly religion, are largely defunct.  The difference is that the “elites” have been able to replace them with more sustainable concepts of spirituality, service and thoughtful living.  The underclass, meanwhile, absorbs the primary toxins from a sick popular culture, via TV, internet, media, etc., and finds community no longer in virtue building custom but in degenerative habit. 

  • Anonymous

    I know they aren’t in the book, but blacks and hispanics have very high levels of church attendence so that isn’t a factor for upward mobility. 

    • Ellen Dibble

      What I heard from the interview on Charlie Rose was that the Murray theories are based on statistics, notably about divorce being far, far more prevalent among those with less income — since the assassination of JFK.  And children being born out of wedlock, ditto.  Very much so.  So it’s statistically based.  I don’t recall a church attendance comparison, but it’s possible that morality is better measured by other things than church attendance.

  • Ray in VT

    My boss sent me this link for a quiz based upon Mr. Murray’s book:

    http://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/story.php?title=how-thick-is-your-bubble

    It’s far from scientific, but it is interesting to do.

    • TFRX

      “Far from scientific, but interesting.”

      Isn’t that blurb on every book of Murray’s?

  • Ellen Dibble

    Someone posted something about white males needing better paying jobs in order to be marriageable, and David Brooks has said this same thing.  Oh, how sexist.  Females can bring home the bacon while males keep the home fires burning, so to speak.   But if  Murray says that, I hope someone will pounce.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Ellen, didn’t you know that females are the stronger gender?  Economic inequality is just one equalizer.  The societal norm of taking the husbands surname is another equalizer.  Men are hopeless without help.

  • aj

    MUST READ!
    MUST READ!

    Your moralistic network news hard at work.
    (courtesy counterpunch.org)

    Meanwhile, on another front, the networks are ready. A CounterPunch informant reports:
    “I was visiting ABCNews the other day to see a friend who works on graphics. When I went to his room, he showed me all the graphics he was making in anticipation of the Israeli attack on Iran; not just maps, but flight patterns, trajectories, and 3-d models of U.S. aircraft carrier fleets.“But what was most disturbing – was that ABC, and presumably other networks, have been rehearsing these scenarios for over 2 weeks, with newscasters and retired generals in front of maps talking about missiles and delivery systems, and at their newsdesks – the screens are emblazoned with “This is a Drill” to assure they don’t go out on air – (like War of the Worlds).“Then reports of counter-attacks by Hezballah in Lebanon with rockets on Israeli cities – it was mind-numbing. Very disturbing – when pre-visualization becomes real.”

    • aj

      #SICK AND TWISTED

    • Terry Tree Tree

      It will be publicized as ‘spontaneous’ response, when Israel attacks?

  • TomK in Boston

    Why does this show feature an endless string of pseudo intellectuals from far right institutions like AEI, the “Cato Institute” etc? They have nothing to say. I’m sick of hearing the endless repetition of their sophomoric theories, which amount to nothing more than camouflage for class warfare.

    Yes we’re coming apart, because of economics. Duh. The aim of Reagan voodoo economics is redistributing all the wealth to the top, and its working. Tax cuts at the top, corporate deregulation, union busting, phony free trade, “starve the beast”, we’ve adopted the whole righty class warfare agenda. Now when GDP rises it is not shared but goes to the top, and we’re heading rapidly toward oligarchy. Why would anyone be surprised that the former middle class is behaving like an “underclass”, when that is what it has become?

    Murray is earning his large paycheck by claiming that our decline is about something other than economics. That provides a smokescreen for the wealth grabbing by the elites who fund the AEI. Good boy, Charlie. Now go write something about how wealth diverted to the top by tax cuts trickles town.

    • Modavations

      Why are you so freaked out about differences of opinion.Open your mind,he may say something that makes sense.You’ve slammed the guy and the show is 2 minutes old

      • Ray in VT

        I agree.  You may not agree with what he has to say, and you may end up rejecting his findings, but at least take a look.  People should challenge their assumptions and beliefs.  It helps keep one honest, intellectually speaking.

        • nathan

          Well to be fair, this is easily one of the most discussed books in the blogs and Newspaper Oped columns in the last 2-3 weeks.

        • Modavations

          righteous

        • TomK in Boston

          Sure, for every real climate scientist let’s give equal time to a blogger who thinks it’s a liberal hoax, for every evolutionary biologist let’s have a “creation scientist” or some other shaman, and lets give plenty of time to endless repetition of the wonders of tax cuts and deregulation, ignoring the fact that 30 years of tax cuts and deregulation has done nothing but screw the middle class. Gotta keep an open mind. The world might be flat.

      • TFRX

        “Freaked out”?

        Why am I the only person on this thread who can’t divine someone else’s emotional state, vocal inflection, and non-verbal communication cues? Where do I get that smartphone app?

  • Ellen Dibble

    If democracy depends on “founding virtues,” as Murray states, and “religiosity” is one of them, and he sees this as  collapsing in the lower classes, I want to define that in a way meaningful in a scientific age.  I’d call is humility, the kind of devotion that is open-minded enough to say sometimes I do NOT know the answer; sometimes I am wrong.  It prays for truth, versus asserting it.
       Indeed, what has happened to that kind of devotion?  That kind of humility — not just among the poor, but also among the church-going rich.

    • Steve

      I have an app for that.

      I think devotion/humility takes years of tolerance with oneself and others - our culture very rarely values/allows time or reflection.

      Wisdom is an active pursuit, it can not be downloaded, bought or achieved through any shortcut I know of.

  • Dhhh

    Our churches are more like financial clubs which trade mainly among their members. So, members get paid to be members.

  • John in Amherst

    Fundamentalist religion of any stripe is incompatible w/ secular democracies.  When practicing one’s religion requires the imposition of the religion and its moral code on the rest of society, religious freedom is impossible.  As evangelical fundamentalist Christianity gains steam in America, conflict is becoming increasingly pervasive and unavoidable.  Unless these people back off their core value of converting others and imposing moral strictures upon the rest of the country, we are doomed.  This is the antithesis of what the founding fathers had in mind.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000196239983 Amanda Ferry

    The “end of America as we know it is gloomy”? Really? Because the America that he’s talking about — the America of the early 60s — had terrible institutionalized sexism and racism. Did Mr. Murray even consider that this extraordinary repression of well over half the population was what allowed for the extraordinary wonderfulness that he seems to believe was the birthright of every white American (as long as he was male, naturally)?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Well put, Lady!

    • TFRX

      I’d bet we can get Charles Murray to say “The ’60s: What a shrill, pointless decade.”

      (h/t Kent Brockman)

  • Ellen Dibble

    Since 1960 not only have we had the War on Poverty under Johnson, but also we’ve had mega shifts in women’s ability to control their reproductive lives.  It seems to me this has liberated them into the workforce in ways that meant marriage that only cohered because of financial dependence melted away.  And new ones based on financial support are far less likely to take place.
        So I’d say The Pill is as much a part of the shifts in moral and financial life as anything else.  If religions cannot keep up with this reality, then religions become irrelevant.  I think we see that.

  • Ellenaronson

    Why is NPR giving Murry a forum with his out of date, misguided extremist notions. He has no information to back up anything he says and basically just talks the no government liberatarian line. I’m a big public radio fan but this is ridiculous.

    • Anonymous

      My sentiments exactly. The Bell Curve is a shame and this is nothing new.

  • Joe from Jamaica Plain

    Oh great, another faux-intellectual conservative trying to harness the populist frustration with gross inequity of wealth and opportunity to advance his narrowly-defined agenda of reduced taxes, smaller government, and bootstrappy self-reliance.  Yawn. Tom, you can do better than this.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Intellect is measured by agreement with your position?

      • Joe from Jamaica Plain

        yes, greg.  that is precisely what i meant.  i’m so glad you’re here to serve as a sounding board.

  • Jorinda

    So some men have decided their time is worth more than the minimum wage. Maybe they’re staying home to care for kids or old folks while their wives work. People are finally  rebelling against the idea that we all should work at least 8 hours a day for the man. Having a person at home in the center of the family–man or woman–is what might really make a difference in the lives of the working poor.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    ‘Elites’ pay each other $ MILLION dollar BONE-USes, for bankrupting companies, eliminating blue-collar jobs, pensions, investments, families, and belief!

    • Modavations

      Bleat # 2
      The Greeeeeeeeeeeedy rich did it.
      This will be repeated 50 times by tonight

  • Newton Whale

    It can sometimes be a difficult call, Tom, deciding whether airing controversial views in order to critique them is better than ignoring racists in order to deprive them a forum from which to spread their intellectually dishonest hate.

    Today is not one of those days.

    Murray’s shoddy methods are amply described here:

    “Charles Murray’s Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 is an important book that will have large influence. It is unfortunately not a good book—but its lack of merit in no way detracts from its importance. If anything, the book’s flaws add to its power, by enhancing the book’s appeal to the audience for whom it is intended.”
     http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/02/06/charles-murray-book-review.html 

  • http://kitmitchell.com/ Kit Mitchell

    Oh boy! Coming apart? How divisive and defeatist of an attitude. The time spent to discuss this topic should be put towards efforts to affect social change.  Stop complaining and do something, do anything to help those who really need a caring hand.

  • Patrik

    It is extremely difficult to start a family on a working level wage today, a family is expensive.  With more people populating the planet, living longer, resources becoming scarcer and several jobs being replaced by automation, competition for a livable working wage has become damn near impossible.  Some people can have two or three jobs and still barely make do.

    • Patrik

      Its not about the income, its about the cost to live on that income, cmon, lol.

  • Atomicdesign

    This book represents the usual right wing playbook touting family values played against the hard fought battles of true equality for minorities. The GOP template fans the flames and widens the divide. Tired of it.

  • Chris

    Wall Street isn’t criminal and immoral according to Charles Murray. Americans know that is a lie.

    Nice try though CHarles. Shilling for the elite.

    • Modavations

      You mean Corzine,you mean Schumer,you mean Rubin,you mean……..?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        NONE in the GOP? 
            Crooks are crooks, and in BOTH parties?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    How does Murray address the marriage rates of Scandanavian countries?  There, marriage is a much less important act.

    • Modavations

      13 million whites,that’s how

  • Modavations

    In 1965 when LBJ replaced the daddy with the state we spiraled down

  • Dollar

    Please ask about him about the purchasing power of the dollar in the 1960′s vs now. The working man without a college degree in the 60′s could support a better quality of life because the dollar was “worth” more. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Economy is the answer to Murray’s book. The American people are divided because socia-economic status. When big retailers swallowed mom and pop’s store around the corner, when an old barber shop is replaced by Super Cuts $10.00 fashionable haircut. When going to college is no longer a necessity it is a survival without a guarantee of a high paying job. When gold is no longer just for the rich but also for the typical gang bangers on a street corner.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      When the people have to think twice to buy a value meal to fill that empty stomach or put the money towards a $3.59 a gallon of gas just to make it to work the next day. Life is full of choices but if you choose the right one you will still lose.

  • Anonymous

    Why is it that Mr. Murray wants to beat dead horses? What difference does he seek when he laments the evolutioof U.S. society and culture?

    • Just Thinking

      Because now we do it to ourselves!  The elite used to have to create a seperation, now we go and and create these separations ourselves.  For example, what stopped the rich factory owners from abusing the employees?  Employees creating unions – creating labor laws…Now corporations don’t have to cause that separation, look how we turn on each other because someone might get a little more than another worker.  So instead of making sure your company raises their employees standards you turn on the person who gets a few bucks more by saying that needs taken away.  All the 1% have to do now is stand back and let us destroy each other to the point we will be happy with any level of work and back to pointing our fingers -  literally – at those who can’t or won’t work and say it’s because they are lazy….

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Has every rich ‘elite’ male that has caused children, taken responsibility for those children, or just dumped the mother to fend for herself?

  • Ellen Dibble

    Look at a community with some anchor factories, and those jobs all go overseas.  The churches do what they can, but the marriages do not necessarily hold together any better than the community held together with its financial roots.  There are realities, roots that one spouse has but not the other, opportunities to hold body and soul together than one has but that would be ruinous to the other half of the family’s income.
        I’m waiting for some divorce lawyers or social workers with this class to call in and lay out some truths.

  • Chris

    The formation of the new criminal elite.

    That is what has changed Charles. There is no rule of law for them.

     

  • nj

    Wait, i need “religiosity” to be a full participant in civil society?!

    What utter rubbish!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You don’t desire to be a Child-Molesting, and Child-Abusing priest?   You don’t desire to support them?

      • Modavations

        Bleat # 3
        It’s the Pervert,homo,pedophile Priests that did it

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Glad you’re agreeing, Moda, that the pervert priests did it!

  • Terry Tree Tree

    She didn’t say her mission was to move up, because she and her husband were more concerned about true family values, instead of GREED, and social climbing?

    • Modavations

      Bleat # 2
      It’s the Greeeeeeeedy rich.The Greedy rich did it

      • Terry Tree Tree

        You’re right there, Moda!  The GREEDY rich did it!

  • Anonymous

    I can’t believe how condescending Murry is.
    He’s losing his argument with every time he opens his mouth.
    Pretty lame thesis, the US is going down the tubes because people are not getting married and don’t go to church, I have one word to Mr. Murry, well two, poppy cock.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      That can be one word.

    • Modavations

      too,is that similar to digging a whole????Or is it similar to Philipino?

  • Greg Stidsen

    Picking 1960 as the referrrence point for marriage is somewhat misleading as this was the year when marriage rates were the highest in U.S. history according to the Census Bureau.  For example, fewer people were married in 1890 than now.  Post WW II we had a more homogenous culture with a common war experience and a fast growing economy - perfect conditions for settling down and raising a family.

  • Kate

    I with the woman moving sideways would call back.  I don’t know if I agree with the author on much, but I would agree that she might be very happy moving sideways.  Tom, not everyone wants to “move up”.

  • Witterquick

    I have 3 sons all in their twenties.  None are making enough money to support themselves (all college graduates).  They all agree that they need enough income to support themselves before they can even consider marrying and supporting a wife and (maybe) children. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1439572620 Joe Lee

    America is coming apart at the seams, but Mr. Murray hasn’t gotten the root cause correct (which conveniently he says he avoided).

    People are guided by the environment around them, and that environment has been adversely affected by the set of “morals” that people like Mr. Murray states is the cure.

    Faith has been used as a stick to cause social strife by countering equality among groups along lines of race, gender, sexual orientation and religion.

    The accepted “traditional” notion of family has been frozen since the 20s and has been dragged kicking and screaming into an age where the environment is trying to fit the anachronistic working husband with a housewife and 2.5 kids picture as being the moral ideal.

    And work has been twisted in a way to say that wealth is the measure of a person’s worth. This has produced the “elites” that Mr. Murray talks about which works by his social definition but who doesn’t actually produce anything. How many of those “elites” directly produces anything that isn’t numbers that have been moved around? 

    Yes, our “morals” have been lost, but the ones that matter are not faith, family and work. The values we have lost are those around valuing our selves an others by the impact we make on those around us. We have lost that sense of thinking about what we can produce instead of what we are capable of acquiring and consuming.

  • Labrunner

    Smooth talking conservatives who want to attribute America’s failings to a lack of marriage make me extremely nervous.

  • JAMESDTHOMPSON

    All folks should watch the PBS special that came out this week, “Slavery By Any Other Name”.  Folks will be rightfully shocked to find out that the states and counties in the south and the titans of capitalism(white titans) were using essentially slave prison labor-(with some white slave laborers too)right up until the 1970s.  The fact of the matter is that true equality of opportunity did not reach the black or low income white community until the 1970s.  Even with the push back against the programs and laws that have opened up that opportunity the fact is that since the 1970s the economic and social gains made by the black, minority and pooe white communties has surpassed any economic and social gains forward in speed and forward progress than any tiem in history.

    Now we see the new right attacking child labor laws, the minimum wage, unions, unemployment benefits, payroll tax decreases for working people, education, medicare, medicaid and social security.  Hello!!!!!!!

  • Matt

    why does tom keep trying to paint this guest into a corner?

    • Just Thinking

      I think because the premise runs along the lines of the Puritan belief that the closer you are to God (here God being moral i.e., the more moralistic you are) the better you are.  That equates to the idea that if one is a failure it is solely because you are not moralistic. In other words, if your company closes and you don’t have and can’t find a job, you are unmoral.  If you were moralistic, you wouldn’t be unemployed period dot.  Now having said that, I am not going to go so far to say that I disagree with all of what he is saying, I just don’t think he’s looking at all the factors.  For example, if you are looking at morals, than one must look at rewards based on beliefs.  Clearly we see the cut your mother’s throat, it’s about me lining my pocket to hell with you…what the hell do you think this is, a communist country?; we should bow to the rich they are the ones who employ us attitudes getting rewarded than, clearly, one must define what morals are good. 

    • Mj_landers

      His job is to challenge the assertions made by the guest. If the guest knows what he’s talking about, he should have no problem defending his point of view – it’s not the guests opportunity to lecture – it’s a discussion debating the merit of the assertions.

  • nj

    Thank you, Joan for refuting this nonsense!

  • Anonymous

          “Is my boyfriend sleeping with both my sisters and my mom?” This is the graphic I saw on my television screen this morning after stumbling upon that piece of drek, the “Maury” show. This epitomizes what has gone wrong in this country over the last several decades and why we are mired in an inescapable downward spiral. The viewership of this kind of brain dead garbage says all we need to know about the state of intellectual discourse in this country. I’ve been around for a while. I think I’ve been a keen observer of national trends over the years, and what things have been important in many people’s lives. The zeitgeist of the nation has changed many times. Today it tends towards ignorance, intellectual laziness, and plain old stupidity. Sure, there are many Americans who keep themselves informed. We vote. We stay abreast of current events. We READ. But, for every one of us there are far more who understand nothing of world events, economic issues, or anything that requires thoughtfulness, attention to detail, or effort. Tomorrow, when you go to work, or school, or wherever you find yourselves, ask some random people to name the three branches of the Federal government of the United States of America. If you’re lucky enough to find some folks who can actually answer this daunting question, ask them to then describe the responsibilities of each branch. Ask them to name just two of the nine justices to the Supreme Court. Ask them when World War II was. Ask them what the Constitution is, when it was it written, and what is it’s purpose. Be prepared for the sad responses you’ll receive.                                                      In a country that values sports and stupid T.V. more than it values intellectual vigor and civic awareness, it’s folly to expect any useful understanding of the complicated and divisive issue of race. It’s folly to expect a useful understanding of anything. The populace of a nation IS that nation. When the populace becomes lazy and stupid, the nation becomes what it deserves to be.

  • Bgaidry

    You lost me at “White America”.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Many whites in the U.S., are NOT bigoted ‘elitists’.

  • Dave

    If the super-elite live in an insular bubble and have no experience with the rest of society, then how is Mitt Romney going to lead this country?   He is the perfect example of Murray’s critique.

  • Jtpaden

    It’s interesting that Mr. Murray says “he’s not worried” about the first-generation elites in those super zip codes. In my experience, it is the first-generation elites who have become divorced from the cultural norms in other segments of society. They have such a firm belief that they have arrived at their station in life via their own smarts and effort that they can’t conceive that others may not be able to follow the same path.

  • Anonymous

    The suggestion that the intelligent elite are in charge is an insult to intelligent people.

    Their is a huge distinction between intelligent elite and power elite. Case in point are the thought leaders of the Republican party. Their discourse on the national stage is anything but intelligent.

  • Erin in Iowa

    How does the author explain the falling overall crime rate?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      It sure has gone UP, in my area!  Drug-addicts steal from Volunteer Fire Departments and Volunteer Rescue Squads, and sell the equipment to junk dealers, and pawn shops!

      • TFRX

        That’s just your area, Terry.

        Overall, it’s down. And Sally Housecoat and Joe Lunchbucket will never know that because the first 10 minutes of every–every!–local news hour is about the stuff that “leads because it bleeds”.

        So when it’s a contest between the reality of crime rates, and the impression regular folk have of them, we can’t hold our breath and wait for Charles Murray to go against the headwind of “what everybody knows” because of their media consumption. Not in his worldview.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          I’m glad for everyone else, if their crime rate is down!

      • Modavations

        Bleat 4
        I’m a fireman,I’m a volunteer fireman.Look at me,look at me

  • JP

    It certainly doesn’t sound like your conservative guest will be voting for Mitt Romney!

    • Judy

      Mitt Romney is the poster child of the isolated second generation elite that he described.

  • Anonymous

    Margaret Powell’s memoir about being a maid that inspired Upstairs Downstairs shows this is is nothing new: 

    “I’ve found that employers were always greatly concerned with your moral welfare. They didn’t worry about the long hours you put in, the lack of freedom and the poor wages, so long as you worked hard and knew that God was in Heaven and that He’d arranged for it that you lived down below and laboured, and that they lived upstairs in comfort and luxury, that was all right with them.’’

    • Terry Tree Tree

      CONCISE!!

  • Ellen Dibble

    Not only did the Pill create new possibilities for women work-wise and marriage-wise, but the pre-1960 generations had learned togetherness (1) in fighting World War II and (2) in opposition to the Soviet Union.  
    The moral looseness that went along with Civil Rights and Women’s Rights (later rights for the disabled, other minorities) the other rights that were fought for in the 1960s can be seen as strengthening our moral fiber.  Although there is a lot of adjusting to do along the way. 

  • Eric

    You want the real cause for these failings? EDUCATION. The failure of the American education system has affected minorities for decades and now its failings are creeping upwards toward more affluent lower middle classes.

    • Just Thinking

      I agree but probably for different reasons.  I have never known of a teacher – current time – who goes into a classroom and gives only the white students information, the Asians only math, and the blacks and hispanics just sit in the corner twiddling their fingers.  I think every child in the classroom gets the information from the teacher.  I think the principals are only interested in data which says the students are passing.  Any teacher who has failing students gets pulled in and labelled “ineffective.”  Superintendents stack the data i.e., we took in 455 freshman and we graduated 455 4 years later – they don’t care if 445 are dumber than doorknobs, they only care that they have passed.  Parents think their wonderful children are getting a better education because their child’s transcripts read fundamentals of abstract algebra – but if they sat 10 minutes with their son/daughter they would find the child can’t even multiply numbers.  Just look at newspapers when grades are posted – 3 pages of honor roll names…give me a break.  Then you get to those people who call themselves our school committee members…where does their educational knowledge come from….  I agree it’s a broken system, but I also think the home life plays a VERY IMPORTANT ROLE!  :)

  • Mwilson

    Charles Murray says that getting the government out of private lives in the ‘answer to everything’? How glib can he be? And how absurd? I’d refer him to a long article in the Sunday NYT (an ‘elite’ publication, no doubt) that documents all the ways the working class devotees of goverment-hating Tea Party actually rely on the government. They need government support, take it, but resent it and the government that supplies it. This is an incoherent set of beliefs and principles. Would it be better if old people didn’t get Medicare? Would it better if people’s kids went hungry? They themselves don’t seem to know.

  • Yar

    Tom, The number of hours worked per week have gone up!
    For the working class.

  • Casey Carbonneau

    It’s the economy stupid. When you have to work full time (frequently with over time, sometimes with an additional job) just to support yourself and your family, you don’t have time and energy to participate in significant relationships, be they with a spouse, a child, a community, a school, whatever. Our personal lives have been sold for profit. Everything that Charles Murray says is deteriorating is traceable directly to Americans having to work more for less over the last 50 years.

  • Patrik

    Its about the cost to live on that wage, not just the wage itself, c’mon lol

  • BEEZ

    There’s a difference between being a college grad, and having parents who were also college grads, who may be wealthy.
    Your entire spectrum of life experiences is different, and your ability to build your own wealth is greatly enhanced and made much easier.
    Parents pay for school, parents help with down payment on a home, etc.
    Not only that but you are able to focus on what you want to do with your life, instead of struggling to get through school, or overcoming the obstacles of the environment one may have grown up in.
    Last generation a college-educated man could own a home, support a family, go to Disney every year while his wife stayed home. Now, some of us have to work 2 jobs with a wife, or husband, that works as well.
    So it’s much easier to focus on a wholeness and wellness way of life.
    Common (the musician) said it perfect:
    “While white folks focus on dogs and yoga/ my people on the low end…trying to get over”

  • Docww

    Tom:

    Your hostility to Charles Murray is palpable. Lossen up and listen–he has a lot of good things to say. I’ve lived through these changes and it is an issue. My wife is Greek and I spend a lot of time there–when the values of hard work and personal responsibility go by the wayside, so does the country.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1439572620 Joe Lee

    How can you properly understand problems without talking about causes?

    Mr. Murray makes less and less sense as he talks. I just can’t get over how one can make a case for how to fix something if he doesn’t talk about the causes.

  • Natureloverj37

    I wish Mr. Murry would stop interupting.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Religion has always been thrust into the moral argument of what makes us a great country. We’re told the Puritans are vaunted as morally upright and deeply religious.  But they had their own version of Vegas, a high out-of-wedlock birthrate, and a problem with deadbeat dads, so much so that they had a commission to track the dad’s down and make them pay. Look at the Salem Witch Trials. That was done in the name of religion but was more of a land and power grab. 

    It’s not much different today, with religious leaders preaching one thing and doing another. We’re supposed to aspire to this?

  • Rachel

    Tom I enjoy your show, but let Joan and Charles continue their debate– they both have outstanding perspectives and I don’t know who I agree with more!

  • Yar

    Compare Harvard and Yale to Berea College.  It is not IQ, it is opportunity.

  • Mj_landers

    Could this guy be any more condescending?

    • Chris

      He’s probably holding back for the show. 

    • NJ in VT

      That is what struck me: not only are his views racist and elitist, his manner is completely condescending and arrogant! What a waste of airtime. Why give someone like that the legitimacy of this forum? Very disappointing.

  • Cpaper91

    The problem is that people are not able to manage their money wisely. why? Too many temptations to spend it, too many expectations of what American life is supposed to look like…? the problem lies with how to dicipline yourself to survive. all the degrees in the world from ivy leage colleges will not asure you will be able to feed, clothe yourself, provide shelter and be good parents.  why invite a guest on just to pick him appart. let him talk and at least do not put words in his mouth.

  • http://inconvenientreason.blogspot.com/ Professor Nash

    Living in rural Appalachia, I tend to agree that there is a disconnect between the lives of elites and the poor. Here there is a large seperation and the lives of those worse off seem skewed. However I dont feel though the disconnect nessecarially comes from a loss of values but more I believe a reliance on generational welfare mixed with a lack of employment opportunites, and massive undereducation. Couple that with a rampant drug problem and it is no wonder there seems to be two Americas. The difference from the past though is instead of racial lines we are now divided through economic lines.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Cognitive elites sorting themselves into the top level.  Let anyone work in certain jobs that generally deteriorate, through air breathed, water drunk, the person’s health, in an environment where the kind of intellectual battle that sharpens the IQ does not take place daily, hourly… and you get people with lowish IQ’s without the kind of health system that is fighting to do anything about it.
         The “benefits” of health insurance have vastly contributed to severing people, battering family attachments, and diminishing the ability of those at the bottom to get where they can deploy their God-given potential.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    In the early 60′s, when Murray starts his correlation, wife, and children were considered ‘property’ of the man, to do with as he saw fit!
       Marriage was a way to obtain ‘property’, to abuse!

    • Heaviest Cat

      good point ,Terry. and it’s no accident on murray’s part.

    • Modavations

      Bleat # 2 
      The Greeeeeeeeeeedy rich did it

  • Muriel

    I do not believe that the country is falling apart because of a lack of moral values.  It is not because you are poor, divorced single with children, agnostic or atheistic or other non-traditional condition that you have no moral values.  I believe that there are many married, religious people whose moral values are very questionable (one example currently very visible is Newt Gingrich to just use one example).  I happen to be married, with 3 children and agnostic and I have a great deal of moral values and I volunteer and a lot of my friends are also agnostic and they similarly volunteer and care about other people.
    The problem is that most people do not earn a decent living that would allow them to pay for housing, food, and education.  So indeed if your salary is at mimimum wage and you happen to divorce you will have a very hard time economically not because you do not have moral values but because you do not make enough money.

    • RickC

      Yes, absolutely

  • Sam

    All I know is that 6 years ago I started at my current job and now I am making 3K more than when I started.

    I have a child now. Single mom. Paying more in rent, day care expenses, car payment, life insurance, 401K, etc. I have a lot less disposable income now than 6 years ago and I am feeling the squeeze.

  • http://twitter.com/saradonn Sara Donn

    I don’t know why people continue to give Charles Murray any space. My dear, he’s an ass.

  • BEEZ

    Is this guy serious? Talking about social dynamics but not even taking into consideration what the effects of social dynamics have on “success”?!

  • Ellen Dibble

    The brains at the top have almost UnDone our country.  The value of common sense and experience as every jury impanelment points out, are what our nation relies on.
        There are various kinds of smart.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    My parents never wanted to get rich, they just wanted to be able to afford a decent house, make a decent living, and hoped that it would be better for my sister and I.  They passed that onto my sister and I, but it’s harder and harder to do that when you see the haves wanting to keep more and we’re the ones paying for it.

  • Margaret from Omaha, NE

    It is appropriate Charles Murray wrote about White America because their is a subtext through conversation.Strong religion and ethics with in the Hispanic and Black communities. Wealth at the top is also integrating. Moving out of poverty into a middsle class are “minorities” Oh and IQ’s is so obvious. In America as more families become mixed.
    When you restrict conversation to White America you scream the racist fears of White Americans becoming a true minority.

  • guest

    Charles’ view is similar to me to the ones prior to the French revolutions. I think it is a very dangerous one.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Is Murray in favor of pre-Kindergarten (as David Brooks is), which allows women more flexibility in terms of their own jobs, and allows earlier blending of classes within the preschools?

  • Chris

    Charles, here’s a little clue for you.

    The elites are not going to be able to isolate themselves from the angry, angry masses much longer.

    Time to get fair in this country now or it’s going to get very uncomfortable for the elites.

  • Katz & Katz

    Another “well financed White Guy’s ” ramblings.  You are misinformed.  So why not take some of the profits of your book and donate them to habitat for Humanity to help a working class family get into a home???  Mr. Murray do you actually believe that median wages have not been falling since the mid 1970s????  The facts are in the numbers Mr. Murray.  Maybe you should go back to the cave/ivory tower you came out of.  Go get him Ms. Walsh.
    Your ideas are shameful, divisive and lies.  Maybe you are just really not aware of what is really going on.  We need to come together.  People with these types of ideas and concepts are what is destroying the social fabric of this great nation.

  • Elihu

    It’s all in the verb tense…

    Certainly IQ, economic and other indicators have been somewhat deterministic. Certainly people can do better with suitable social supports.

    To quote the title of an excellent book, Today Is Not Like Yesterday. And tomorrow need not be like today. Take the current state as diagnosis, not prognosis, and do what needs doing to change it.

  • Judy

    The biggest conflict I see in his argument is that his libertarian philosophy is in direct conflict with improving educational opportunities for everyone.  The elite are not concerned with the decline of our public schools when they have private school alternatives.  He recognizes that the better educated are better positioned moving forward, but we are ignoring the educational needs of those at the lower half of the economic ladder.

  • Yar

    Fix the programs don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
    Doing nothing ends with the brains on the end of a stick. I don’t want my head on a pike.

  • Philip

    sounds like the Republicans in COngress ….dont do anything I’ll watch and see what happens.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1439572620 Joe Lee

    Correlation does not equate causation. Again Mr. Murray is claiming to ignore the cause yet he decides to draw conclusions from an assumed cause.

    Ms. Walsh is correct. If we all agree that intelligence is a problem, then let’s work on it. 

    Mr. Murray, if you don’t believe in any of the solutions, are you just going to give up? What about that virtue of industriousness? I would think you would want to keep trying to find a way to fix it instead of just sitting back and watching from the sidelines.

  • Suz C

    Murray is a skillful gadfly.  Feathers were ruffled like mad when Bell Curve came out, more are ruffling now.  Question is:  what will we do about this?

  • JAMESDTHOMPSON

    Dr. Murray says he doesn’t have any solutions that are currently politically going to happen.  Could he please share what his solutions are, politically practicle currently or not.  Or does he fear, to use the words of Mitt Romney, that his solutions are too “sever” a form of solution?

  • John Kendall

    I’ve heard a number of conclusory statements from Mr. Murray about crime as an indicator of economic progress.  This completely ignores the efforts of intelligent, predictive policing.  Several studies have shown an absence of correlation between crime and economic circumstances and drug use.  Your guest presents an outdated paternalistic stereotype when he uses crime statistics to say anything about economic circumstances.

  • Chris

    Keep dreaming Charles that the elites will be up on the hill enjoying their stolen wealth. We are coming over the wall. 

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    I don’t hear any posits on why there’s so many single parent families?  In the 19030′s my grandma did the unthinkable and left  my grandpa because he was abusive, and she wasn’t about to bring her kids into that kind of home.  So is it just the disregard for tradition, or is it people realizing that staying with a person that’s abusive (or a substance abuser, etc) is a bad idea? 

    • Just Thinking

      I think there are many factors.  Women used to be beholden to their husbands.  If a woman left, where would she go, how would she support herself.  As the ability of women to take care of themselves became available they, in turn, no longer had to stay in relationships that they otherwise would have had to.  As a result of economic freedoms, came the idea that one no longer needs a man to support them so what do they need a man for?  Companionship was the answer.  The idea of choosing a mate based upon the premise of “soul mate” came into being.  Unfortunately, someone who is your soul mate at the age of 20 is rarely your soul mate at the age of 27 – high divorce rates.  That in turn equated to: if I am going to just end up in divorce anyway, why get married to begin with? 

      Having babies out of wedlock is a whole different story…my baby’s daddy, my baby’s daddy, my other baby’s daddy!  That is socio-economic and here, I would probably be in agreement with the author!

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

         Kids do better when they have both parents, but the parents have to be involved with the kids. They can’t be involved with substances, or self-involved, or workaholics. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    When a Bunker Hill College graduate has a chance more to survive in the real world compared to a Harvard graduate who refuse to flip burgers at Mickey D’s in order to survive or to be independent from parents.

    • BEEZ

      huh?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        My friend is a Harvard graduate and my other friend is Charlestown boy. the latter makes more money and the other the former lives with parents. is that answer your Ha?

        • Anonymous

          Your first comment was hard to understand do yo how you worded it and sentence structure.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            No I don’t think so. compared to your comment “above” mine was more readable.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t know.  I found the syntax in your original post to be a bit confusing as well.

          • Modavations

            Thew guys Philipino.How’s your French,how’s your Spanish.I understand you Fax and I understand you all the time

          • Ray in VT

             I think that I’ve read that before.  My French is good enough to get by in Quebec, but mostly my Spanish comes from Dora and Diego (I have small kids).  I wasn’t knocking the guy, I just agreed that his comment was a bit linguistically awkward.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            Mod is talking about me. if your smart you can decipher Grammar.

          • Ray in VT

             That’s true, but the phrasing was still wonky.  Again, I’m not trashing you.

          • Modavations

            It’s his second language Raymondo

          • Anonymous

            I guess you mean that he is Filipino.  Or should it be written thus: The man is a Filipino.
            I hope your French is better than your English.

            Either way the condescension is pretty trite.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Your ‘chemicals’ mixing with your heavy metals past?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            it is hard to understand if you don’t wish to understand.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think it was that.  I think that your point could have been phrased better.  I’m not knocking you or your point, I’m just saying.

          • Anonymous

            I was trying to show you that when you write a bad sentence it’s hard to read.
            I corrected it. Maybe you should try to do the same thing.

            One antidote does not make a case study.

        • Guest

          Yeah. What is your point. You didn’t finish it..

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

       I’ll say it again – Instead of only attending “freshmen orientation”, before anything, all incoming members of Congress should have to work for minimum wage at some dead-end job and try to support their family. Let’s see them pay for housing, utilities, food, gas in the car, insurance, and throw in something like busted pipes, the car dying, a trip to the ER/Doctors for an “emergency”.  Then let’s see how they vote. 

      This shouldn’t be a red or blue, slum or snob-knob, issue. This should be a American issue.

  • Heaviest Cat

    I’ve never seen anyone exploit religion “morals” and class disparities in sevice to economic elites the way Charles Murray has done. He’s obviously racist in his thinking and gender biased twoard white males in structuring his models.It was his cronies on Wa;;st that blew up our economy, not any lack of “work ehtic” on “industriousness” on the part of average citizens.I’m a;so disappointed that Tom’s reading list didn’t go beyond the corporate media to include,say, the Nation or THe Progressive, just to name two.

  • Anonymous

     Murry is a neo-conservative mouth piece for the ultra-right-wing American Enterprise Institute. Nothing more to say.

    • Chris

      The Right Wing think tanks buy his books to make it look like anyone cares about the crap in between the cover.

      • TFRX

        I haven’t seen the NYT best seller list lately. Are Murray’s works aren’t bulk purchased, therefore do they get the “special needs star”?

  • guest

    I just turned off my radio.  Charles Murray knows nothing about American economic history and the history of the working class. 

    • Modavations

      He’s a Harvard and Yale man I believe

      • Just Thinking

        And your point Modavations?  Is that to say because someone goes to Yale and/or Harvard they are in the know?  I know many people who have attended ivy leagues and can’t punch their way out of a wet paper sack! 

        But having said that, I wouldn’t say Murray doesn’t know about American economic history – he just picks his starting date to make a comparison which gives him the outcome that supports his belief…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    They said in order to survive it is not how much IQ you got it is how much emotional intelligence you can handle.

  • Anonymous

    I found Charles Murray very interesting and his subject right ‘on point’ regarding the Occupy Wall Street movement. Joan Walsh lost me. She obviously is anti-Libertarian as she harped on causes saying “how do you change things without government.” And unfortunately it seemed Tom took “her side.”

    • Anonymous

      I’m lost on what you’re saying. I find Libertarianism to be based on the notion that people can make it without government. As if without any the US would be better off.
      Do you drive on the interstate system? It was built by the government.
      We don’t live on islands and if I took anything away from Murry it was how misguided he is.

      • TFRX

        Might I suggest a “fixed that for you”:

        I find Libertarianism to be based on the notion that people can make it without government (after 75 years of their ancestors’ collecting Social Security and 45 years of parents’ being on Medicare).

        Easier to think one did it all themselves when Gramps isn’t living in Dickensian poverty in an iron lung in the back bedroom.

        • Modavations

          Belgium hasn’t had a govt for two years.No one even notices

          • TFRX

            Moda-bot has replaced Moda-troll. How nice.

          • Modavations

            Pg.53 of the dictionary of Leftist Gooble de Gook,reads Troll….
            A device,similar to Political Correctness,used by fascists to silence contrary views.A Fascist technique of intimidation.

          • TFRX

            Another Godwin Losers’ Gambit from you?

            Whocoodanode?

          • Anonymous

            No, what you do is more in line with the fascist intimidation techniques. 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Moda whines about name-calling?

          • Anonymous

            In parliamentary systems like that of Belgium or the United Kingdom, the existing ministers remain in office when Parliament is dissolved in anticipation of an election. In the event that the elections are inconclusive, the ministers continue to perform their functions. They can’t undertake controversial new initiatives, because they don’t have a parliamentary majority to approve it, but they can accomplish administrative tasks. The Belgian federal government has a fairly limited portfolio by European standards, dealing mainly with defense, foreign relations, social security, and the judiciary.
            Beneath the federal government, there are three regional governments—one for Dutch-speaking Flanders, one for francophone Wallonia, and one for Brussels, which is linguistically integrated. They handle day-to-day responsibilities like transportation, the environment, and local economic projects. Working alongside them are the so-called community governments, which govern the members of their own linguistic groups both in their home region and in bilingual Brussels. * The French community government, for example, is responsible for administering francophone education, no matter where in the country the school might be. These subnational governments have continued to operate as usual.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Would you miss a nail sticking through your shoe, irritating your foot, if it was removed, for two years?

          • Modavations

            I don’t read anything over a paragraph.My pals in Antwerp laugh about the lack of Govt.It’s a big joke in Europe.

          • Anonymous

             I don’t read anything over a paragraph.

            Figures, how cares about your friends in Antwerp, I suspect like you they are not paying attention nor reading much. 

            By the way, Belgium is a tiny country and your comments about their political problems have no baring on the US.

          • Modavations

            Who,Whole,Tension up son you’re sweating

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Guppy, Moda, goat, with ‘chemical’ background and overload of heavy metals, that he has told us all about, will be confused beyond belief, with these facts?

          • Robert Long View

            We have government laws about lead paint?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Now, yes!  60 years ago?
              It’s HIS brag, repeated several times, NOT mine!

      • Modavations

        Taxes taken from citizens produced the Hiways.You’ve confused the chicken and egg

        • Anonymous

          No you’re the one who is confused. The taxes were used to help the citizens and states. I doubt that you could build your own highway. Sp lets unpack your statement. You’re saying that there should be no taxes. OK if so then how do we grow as a nation without infrastructure? Government can build large projects such as the Hoover dam and the interstate highway system. If it was left up to corporations do you really think that work would have been done? If so why was it not before?
          If the private sector is so good at creating jobs how come they are not doing so now?
          They are sitting on vast amounts of cash and are not doing much.

          • Modavations

            Back in the cave,Mr Wrong side ,the Alpha Male ruled.One day after the hunt,he was feeling lazy.He said to one of the lesser males,carry my kill and I’ll throw you a T-Bone.Thus the birth of govt..

          • Anonymous

            Sounds like you watched the Flintstones to much.

          • Modavations

            In Mexico a few of my mates call me Freddy Picapiedra.If you need a translation pissant,you’re on your own

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Moda whines about name-calling?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Moda whines about name-calling?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Somalia effectively has NO government!  Guppy and you moving?

    • Modavations

      She’s a Dem.Rump swab.She and Eugene R.have cots in the back of the MSNBC studios

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IBAPVTH222H2GW3LG7RVD46JHY L Dudani

    Divisive, racist, condescending Bunk:
    Why didnt he write a book on poverty? Genetic determinism , racial supremacism,
     …thats the problem with Mr. Murrays study of the white working class.
    The basic premise is bunk! The basic idea is racist. Why is it when black and latino
    and native american issues around income disparities have been ignored..suddenly a
    study of white working class income disparity suddenly gets attention!?
     How about  interviewing an author whose book addresses the real issues of racism, poverty
    with a focus on solutions  addressing the systemic racism,
     educational opportunities , childhood nutrition programs, jobs offering a living
    wage ,reskilling displaced workers, fortifying unions, and insuring healthcare for all. These are
    the strategies that will uplift people .

  • Anonymous

    Murray’s observations make the following conclusion obvious. The poor are a drag on society.  The final and most effective solution is mandatory mass sterilization. 

    • Ray in VT

      That was a part of the conclusion of the social darwinism and pseudo-scientific movements in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  I think that the state of North Carolina just recently settled financially with people whom the state forcibly sterilized back in the 1950s-1970s.

      As abhorrent as such a path may be, some will conclude that that is the way to go.  Thankfully, or at least hopefully, those views are held by relatively few.

      • Anonymous

        I find that when arguing against libertarian and conservative positions, direct counter argument is useless. Perhaps it might be more effective to start out from a position of agreement accept the given premises and then take them to their logical conclusion. 

      • Anonymous

        The one thing I know from growing up in the 60s is that my mother DID NOT have to work. We lived a pretty idyllic suburban existence, wanted for nothing, 3 children were given a private education and all of this was possible on one income.

        The problem with the poor is not that they are lazy. The problem with the poor is that they are not stupid. Those born in the US and who observe the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, are not desperate enough to do ANY job, under ANY conditions, at what ever wage the market will permit. The goal of conservatives is to make people desperate enough for this to change.

         

        • Robert Long View

          Builds character too, ie: conservative desire to starve government by unfunding… .

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      The Catholic churxh will be against your mass sterilizarion idea.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        They want MORE VICTIMS for priests?

        • Modavations

          Bleat # 3
          The Pervert,Homo,Pedolphile Priests did it

          • Terry Tree Tree

            And they continue to do it?

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    Judy I like what you say. I would like to add on two issues that Mr. Murray avoided. He claims that the decline of unions jobs was replaced by equivalent wage jobs or the workers wouldn’t be working them. Wrong, wrong, wrong. The wages , benefits and other ancillaries are not even close to equivalent. The former union jobs included defined benfit pension plans similar to the ones Romney and “Bane” Capital raided as a means to finance part of their takeovers.  One such takeover cost the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PGBC) $32,000,000.00  Bane and Romney walked away with nearly $300,000,000.00 on that one.  The new jobs have nothing or a paltry 401-k. Not even close comparison wise. Mr Murray also played the John McCain trick from when he was running for President and claimed to have a “solution” to end the war in Iraq or catch Osama, but was unwilling to reveal it until he was elected. We never heard from him on that. Hopefully this is Mr. Murrays last hurrah and he will be retiring soon because his thinking is old, tired and pasty white.  

    • Anonymous

       “unions jobs was replaced by equivalent wage jobs”

      Speaking of which, my spouse works for the Post Office for 20 years, he belongs to a union. He said, the newly hired workers work the same hours, they get paid less, and with no real benefits.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    I am the 99%. The movement is not dead it will revive to show the world how the American middle class and the poor will be heard again. The homeless that I see everyday at Pine Street Inn, The Hispanics selling flowers on the streets of Somerville and 
    Route 16. We are the 99%.When the colored middle class are discriminated with higher mortgages payments compared to the majority. We are the 99%! When the American people bailed out the American banks but the American middle class cannot even borrow money to pay off some of our debts. We are the 99%.  We need laws to prevent the banks from getting away with Greed and prosecute the people who caused the American Great Recession.We are the 99%.  The Government cannot even extend the payroll tax for another year to save American families a few almighty dollars. We are the 99%

  • emal

    Charles Murray is stating the problem that isolation breeds failure for some and success for others. We are socially engaged at a very superficial level.  The answers may lie in our history not in our anger. What made us engage as a country?  Not another war, I hope. Now we have a “Professional” army , so no skin in that game.    

  • Modavations

    Mr Murray,in my opinion you’re a chump.You are not only racist,but Classcist.We left Eng to get away from that stuff.All humans come from the Olduvai(?) Gorge.Leaky and Lucy the Australopithecus(1.4million years ago),Starting around 100,000 years ago the great migrations began.The Zulus moved south the rest moved into the middle east.After a hiatus some went north to Europe(honkys) and the rest headed East(Mongolians).Around 19,000 years ago the Mongolians crossed the land bridge into the Americas.The point is were all the same.

    • Ray in VT

      I don’t know.  I heard that people and dinosaurs lived together 6,000 or so years ago

      http://creationmuseum.org/

      Check it out if you want a bit of a laugh.

      • Modavations

        My father owned an Ad.Agency and is a painter(hot!!!),my father in law is a Nuke Professor at,I’m a gemologist….Us Mannings are a bit more cerebral.Did you know the Professor from Johnson?Small world

        • Ray in VT

          My dad was a farmer, but I got the hell out of that as soon as I could because I didn’t want to milk cows every day for the rest of my life.

          I just thought that the Creation Museum was funny, but more in a sad way.  I do know Offie, actually.  As soon as they said his first name and his town I knew who it was.  That’s one of the things about living in small towns.  You either know everyone or you think that you should.  I love it.

          • Modavations

            Cows scare me.I’m a city kid

          • Ray in VT

            They’re not so bad.  They’re big and dumb and smelly, but some are okay.  My wife really hates how they’ll come over to the fence en masse and stare at you.  They’re generally pretty stupid, but they’re also curious about strangers.

            I hated farming as a kid.  I don’t care for it as a lifestyle or profession.  That’s why I got me a white collar job during the week, but I still work at my brother’s place on the weekend.  It’s better than going to the gym to stay in shape.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Lots of advantages to a farm environment!

  • Modavations

    Mr Murry I am a world traveler.I party country Mexicans,I party with rich Chilangos.I partry with the Wallas of Jaipur and the gem merchants in Chemwala market,I party with Zulus,I party with Xhosas,I party with the Dutch and Eng.Diamond Dealers in Joburg.I party with hookers in Bangkok and rich ferang.The point is people are people all over the world and I have a frigging ball with all of them.

    • Anonymous

      What?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        He said he likes to party with different races and he can get along with all of them. Because he is Modavations.

        • Modavations

          Not just different races,but more importantly, rich and poor

      • Modavations

        Here to pick your daily fight “Wrong Side”

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          Remember if we’re in high school you will be beaten up every day after school. a block from your house.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Moda whines about name-calling?

  • Modavations

    Why do you pick out Whites.The Welfare State passes it’s parthologies to all.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CRTBVXTQSOPGLVECV6HA3NYJZA MoniqueDC

      Read the book “Slavery by another name” and you (if you can open your mind) will find a different perspective.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    In the absence of sound oversight, responsible businesses are forced to compete against unscrupulous and underhanded businesses, who are unencumbered by any restrictions on activities that might harm the environment, or take advantage of middle-class families, or threaten to bring down the entire financial system.

  • Modavations

    What do you mean there are no solutions.Here’s a few.End Welfare slowly.It took 50 years to do it’s unspeakable damage and will take time to rebalance.Instead of marriage penalties,establish financial incentives to keep parents together.Afford all poor the school voucher.Have your kids at 21,graduate high school,marry.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Guppy and you ever step into the REAL world?

    • Kufam

      If we give vouchers, the private elite schools will simply increase their costs to parents.  Some private schools will pop up and take some students from poor areas with parents that are more committed to their child’s education or more financially able to transport their child.  The remaining students in poor neighborhoods will have less money for their education and lower standards for the quality of their education.  How will they be able to compete?  Isn’t our democratic and capitalist society about opportunities for success to anyone willing to work hard?  A child with average or above average intellegence will not be able to come from this environment and compete on a level playing field.

      • Modavations

        One out of three black kids is in prison,parole,or probation.Why?Broken families and abysmal schools.You make excuses and the kids die.Americans had the worst scores ever, in all seven regimens.The ossification of the public school is because of the lack of competition.You can go to a parochial school in the Boston area for 6,000.00-$8,000.00 per annum.We spend $13,000.00 per student in the public schools.In Steve Jobs’ book he said  SATS headed south with the advent of the Dept.of Education.He went on to say the more powerful the Teachers Union got,the lower the SATs.Boston opens more and more Charters every year(I’m agin ‘em as the Unions are still involved)and the Teacher’s Unions fight them every step of the way.
        Buy the way Pell Grants are vouchers and you can use them at Notre Dame

  • Modavations

    A good education is the greatest of  equalizers.

    • Tina

      It should be!!!  But, I’ve heard reports on NPR about how few people of color with terrific educations (i.e., good schools AND high achievement by the students while there) are able to get really terrific jobs compared to White students with lesser educations and achievements.  And, these statistics are adjusted (however they do it) for the percent of the population that the various groups represent.  

  • Anonymous

    What is most disappointing about this segment is  the lack of having a trained sociologist to discuss Murray’s methods.  It is no coincidence that Murray comes out of political science.  The conclusions he draws from “data” doesn’t say what he thinks they said or say-esp. the data sets he uses from the past.  You can’t draw those conclusions and claim causality.

    • Justa Lawyer

      I think the failing in Murray’s writing is his ignorance of some of the classical economic thinking of Malthus and the worries in the early industrial age of overproduction of goods, leading to decline in demand for “labor”.  Are we not troubled by continued industrialization, now enabled by robots, custom microchips and nano tech that renders more and more of work automated?   The challenge is to keep everyone busy in things besides leveraged finance, but that is where the money is and will remain.  Also, inherited wealth explains much of the Ivies’ continued hegemony. 

  • Dee

    It must all come apart as it does not represents working people 

    The money class has been promoting its own wealth at the ex- pense of working families for too long…(See the URL ) And the GOP has been helping them along by upholding the rights of this privileged corporate welfare class –who buy their way out of financial regulations and pollution standards.(see URL) . 

    And according to Ralph Nader and Robert Fein at a recent Harvard Law forum –we are now living in a police state 
    and this must be rejected also…

    So by all measures –it must all come apart and be rejected 
    as it no longer represents “…We the people…” Dee  

    The Great Consolidation, NYT 
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/17/opinion/17douthat.html

    Regulatory under kill, WSJ, Arthur Levitt,Jr. 
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120605716375753327.html

    Businesses in the US bracing for new emission rules…NYT
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/26/business/energy-environment/26emissions.html

    Ralph Nader & Robert Fein At Harvard Law School 
    http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/2012/02/10_nader-fein-americas-lawless-empire.html

  • Anonymous

    On Point used to be much better. It seems that the show had academics and serious thinkers and topics.  It has now become more popular and common and more like Diane Rehm or Neil Cohnen.  Anyone else notice this? why not have an academic to discuss Murray ? disappointing

    • jb366

      To debate Murray or instead of Murray?

    • Anonymous

      I’m afaid they are resorting to the maxim that “Sensationalism Sells”. 

  • Anonymous

    Can’t do anything about the Problems.?  Did your guest just say that?  Please ask about the “Great Compression” 1938-1945? Wow the Middle Class is Born. Lets do it again. A Solution that has already been shown to work

    • TomK in Boston

      LOL, can’t do anything. How about ditching voodoo economics and returning to the strongly progressive tax structure that prevailed when the middle class was moving up every year? That wd be a giant first step, and would take nothing but the stroke of a pen. As you say DaneBug, we don’t need a new solution. We had one that worked great, we were fooled into giving it up, all we have to do is return to sanity.

      • Anonymous

        I agree.  The years of the 50′s and 60′s saw the biggest rise of the Middle Class (which is being lost today).  The reason was because of low unemployment and employment at union wages (car companies, etc.) and not retail wages like today.  It also taxed the wealthy a fair amount before the wealthy were given their tax bonuses.  We aren’t looking to raise the taxes of the wealthy, but only to bring it back to what it used to be before their big breaks.  Give the Middle Class a break rather than the wealthy.

  • alice

    both of my parents had high school & college degrees & so do I & all practicing catholics, I married a man from blue collar background, but he achieved a college degree by swimming on scholarship through college.  We owned 5 convenience stores, but have had to sell them one by one as big box stores have swept through Wa state. We have one left now and are doing fine, but we have had to be LESS INVOLVED in our kids schools, church because we’ve had to work harder to get ahead. Have you LOOKED AT THE RISE OF COLLEGE TUITIONS lately??  

    • Anonymous

      Welcome to the first generation that is looking at the prospect that the next generation will not be as well off as their parents.

      • Robert Long View

        Definitely need to practice birth control… .

    • Tina

      I’m sure there are many, many reasons for increases in college tuitions, but one reason I never hear mentioned is this:  a lot of the colleges — around here, anyway —  bought major amounts of new property just when real estate was at its historically most expensive!  Then, they built on those properties when construction costs were super high.  Now, the schools are settled into paying back and paying interest on all of that.  Remember when every college just “had to have” gourmet restaurant-style cafeterias, and spa-like gyms to “compete” for the best students?!  Well, the cost of providing all that came to roost a while ago, and yet lately the schools have really had to ramp up their purchases of computer equipment, even in departments that didn’t rely on digital technology in the past.  I understand art schools the best, so I’ll just give one example.  Ceramics departments didn’t used to have computer equipment; now it is needed for those who use the equipment creatively!  The range of ceramics work has expanded, so the educational value is definitely there, but the costs have skyrocketed, and computer equipment MUST be kept up to date in educational settings.  Thanks!

  • Omnist

    Murray is the neo-eugenicist
    who, after arguing that lower average black IQ is biological (the Jensen
    thesis), has gone on to disguise his agenda behind the ‘cognitive
    elitism’ argument that too many students who cannot benefit by higher
    education attend college. Of course, this was engineered by the ‘Bell
    Curve Paradigm’ imposed by the regime of industrialized standardization
    of schooling and testing. Add in the Chronicle of Higher Education
    article on how poorly colleges and universities perform at ‘education’: http://chronicle.com/article/Academically-Adrift-The/130743/.
    One might suspect a conspiracy of sorts. It’s how, years ago, I
    explained persistent ‘failure’ in schools: by performing social
    stratification in place of education, society sorts people into its
    ‘occupational’ class structure, including ‘unemployment’, while
    maintaining a ‘myth of meritocracy’ while displacing the demand for
    lower-skilled labor through export of jobs. When we then shifted
    revenue from taxing the wealthy, we decoupled social responsibility for
    the less-skilled to be employed in agricultural labor. Go back 40 years
    to see what Gov. Reagan did in California under workfare – which
    already had a two-tier labor force back then (see Ramparts magazine).
    Then go look up the writing of Tom Hayden in the Boston Phoenix around
    about that same period, when he identified the emerging new political
    and wealth polarization of Yankees (old money ‘rust belt’) and Cowboys
    (new money ‘missile crescent’ – from California to Florida). All this
    can be directly traced through the history of social policy and
    sociology going back to Spencer, Terman, et al. Meanwhile, the
    Minnesota Twins Study etc. produces the allegedly ‘scientific’ fodder
    for the earlier Murray thesis of a ‘cognitive elite’ that just happens
    to be disproportionately minority (ignoring the question of ‘causality’
    lost in the legerdemain of ‘correlation’ – which the Minnosota Twins
    Study actually manipulates and misrepresents). Throw in a little
    virulence from J. Philippe Rushton and let simmer in the background
    while Murray goes mainstream with something more deceptively ‘benign’.

  • Two jobs in Vermont

    Tom, I love your show but I was so incensed by this condescending prig and his obvious Republican/Conservative agenda I had to turn it off or blow a gasket! The reason I dont go to church an Sunday anymore is because I have to work on Sunday! The rich ( and moral? Newt? ) dont worry about me, when things get really bad here they will leave and spend thier socked away riches in Switzerland or the Caymans where they’ve hidden it, they will abandon ‘thier’ country because it’s not about America for them. 

    • Mmaaaxx

       Really? A Republican/Convervative agenda? You must have been listening to your own personal show ;) Murry is not a republican…he’s a Libertarian (at least he says he is)!

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

         A Libertarian school is a field.  “Libertarian” is just another way of saying “plutocracy”.  If you can afford it, you get to do what you want, such as sending your kids to private school, having access to private medical care. 

        • Anonymous

          And the vulnerables be damned.  (You forgot that part of the Libertarian platform.)

      • Robert Long View

        Murray is the same as Ron Paul, go figger… .  Run Ron, Run!

    • jb366

      I believe Socrates was the first to state that an argument could be refuted by stating that it was causing one to “blow a gasket.”  I commend you for finding time to master logic while working two jobs!

  • Kufam

    Education is the new civil rights issue of our time.  We cannot expect the “cream to rise to the top” if we have students in elite private and elite public schools with college educated parent volunteers and parents providing their students with tutors and other supports. How can students that have not been given proper food, private preschool, and after-school support compete with the elite students?  Baby boomers benefited from social supports, including education funding.  We need to invest in education to give equal opportunities for all students.  If we continute the current trends in education funding, we will ultimately eliminate the middle class. 

    • TomK in Boston

      The “Compact” of the University of California expressed a vision of superb, nearly free, public higher education. For many years that vision was realized, and it’s the main reason why so much of our tech economy is in CA.

      The “Compact” is now to keep taxes low, and to hell with the University. It didn’t just happen, we chose it.

      • Conscious9676

         The Compact was broken by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan. That’s the period around 1973 that Joan Walsh referred to, which began ‘America undone.’

  • TomK

    Education is better funded now than at any time in our history. That’s the point – even though we spend more on social programs than at any time in our history, all it seems to be doing is creating a permanent underclass that no longer has a decent work ethic. 

    • TomK in Boston

      Hey, another tomK!

      State universities have gone from 80-90% state funded to under 10% in some cases. Ultra high quality public higher ed that used to be almost free has rapidly rising tuition, due to budget cuts. One if the great institutions in the world, where email and biotech were developed, is imploding before our eyes. Some great funding, huh?
      At the elementary level, schools are being asked to compensate for parents who have been driven out of the middle class by reaganomics. That’s why our schools are more expensive than those in countries not ravaged by class warfare.

      • Modavations

        end welfare,reestablish the nuclear family and it all falls into place.Govt.makes a terrible daddy

        • Anonymous

          This is ludicrous.  You can only say what you said if you are going to pay the real Daddies of the nuclear family enough to support a family, and provide enough jobs at that level.  Don’t you think?

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

       But why do the top schools get the most money?  Seems to me that money should be spent evenly per student. But some trust fund baby in Staten Island is getting more of my tax dollars for his gleaming walls school than the schools in my own county where the people have a much lower income, higher tax rate, and have to cut programs. 

      Show me the fairness?

    • Brandstadisbad

      The problem is not $ but ideas.  Just look at how many high school students don’t know who simple US history or even who the president is.

    • Anonymous

      You can’t accuse the underclass of not having a decent work ethic if you can’t provide them work opportunities.  The problem is the lack of jobs – not the lack of effort of individuals.

    • Amramsey07

      bull shit!! u eat

  • TCKIII

    There has been a definite change in work ethic. I have spent 35 years working hard and working smart in order to try and make something for myself. I have been fairly successful and now enjoy a nice home, cars a boat and have some leisure time. At one point in time, I would have been respected, now I feel reviled by those who believe they should have what I have without having to put in the time and effort to achieve the same.

    My background is of a lower middle class family, schools that pale in comparison to those of today and a work ethic that said you wouldn’t even think of coming in late or taking a sick day. There was no feeling that anyone, let alone the Government, owed you anything at all. You rolled up your shirt sleeves and did for yourself.

    Theodore Roosevelt, considered a very liberal president in his own day and age, said, “The first responsibility of a good citizen is to pull his own weight.”  This is what we’ve lost – every lack is somebody’s else’s fault. A good living is supposed to be given rather than earned. Apart from the aged or infirm, we must return to demanding more personal responsibility from the citizenry. No one owes you anything and another person’s wealth did not create your poverty. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Another person’s wealth did not create your poverty?
        Not even if the other person’s wealth, came by using bogus ‘financial instruments’, that my pension was invested in?
        Not even if the other person got their wealth by leverage-buying the company that I worked for, and ruining it, my job, my pension, and my investment?

      • Tina

        Please say this over and over, again and again, wherever and whenever you hear the Lies the Republican candidates are putting out there, or when you hear someone mimicking those candidates.  Your statement is so clear; yet it has so much depth.  I’m truly sorry that our wretched system has done this, to you (if you are not being factual, but rhetorical) or, to anyone else.

    • Anonymous

      I grew up in abject poverty.  I worked hard and didn’t get my BA till I was 29.  Then I got an MBA and then a CPA.  I have risen in the ranks to a comfortable lifestyle.  Until September last year when Raytheon laid me off (along with 100 others) three years before retiring.  What happens to me now will have nothing to do with how hard I have worked.  When corporate America does not care about individuals, the individuals should not care about their employers.  But our society of have-nots is getting bigger and bigger because of corporate decisions – not individual efforts or lack of them.

  • Anonymous

    The evolution of the computer and internet communication has ushered in the new age of a Knowledge based economy that is replacing the manufacturing based economy upon which our social institutions have been built. This transformation is disrupting the norms which propogated the specialization of skills the are increasing obsolete. As each social instituion/silo is threatened by transparency their proprietary practices are being guarded and defended in the interest of survival. Society evolves at a much slower pace than technology which renders the established institutions unable or unwilling to redefine their roles.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Manufacture the computers, and maintain the internet, WITHOUT a manufacturing base, and service personnel?

  • Modavations

    Last week California banned Football and Frisbee on beaches.Next year the Left will propose the NFL be banned.Stand up Free men.They’re setting up the PUTSCH

    • Matkakot

      When the public no longer regulates itself regarding civilized, acceptable and considerate behavior it is up to the government to intervene.

      • Modavations

        Friggin Freezbies on a beach.Banning Light Bulbs.Stand up Free Men,they’re planning a PUTSCH

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Wake up and smell the mercury vapor, Moda.   Your precious, inefficient, retro, incandescent light bulbs are NOT banned!  That was announced over a month ago!
            Quit your whining about that! 
            You’ll come up with more to whine about?

  • Bob

    Tom Ashcroft.  Your guest Charles Murray shows that in America, we do indeed have a pluralistic society, God Bless US.  Your guest Joan Walsh shows that there are people of intellect who can speak the truth, calmly, embarrassingly, and clearly, who can cut through all the smoke and mirrors of statistics.  The guests and the callers all reinforce the beauty of America: diversity of opinion.  My only comment: if you have a marriage between a man and a woman and there are children; and everything is chosen by the expectation and hope of having a good income, money enough to provide for the essentials and education and recreation; and then the manufacturing jobs disappear, (to Japan in the ’70s and ’80s; and now to China; it is not difficult to predict that over 50 percent of those marriages will dissolve if the breadwinner loses his job.  There is no moral basis to this statistic.  Just, if you will: human nature.  And there are the 49 or so percent of couples who stay married, through thick and thin: God bless them too!  I can only add in objection to Mr. Murray using the term “White” in the subtitle of his book, that in the near future Blacks and Latinos will become the majority of registered voters: people of color will continue to rule America.  And let us not forget: money does create power. It always has.  Well look at FaceBook’s Mark Z: how much was he worth before he entered Harvard? And now?  Tom: keep up the great work. Your shows are always electric and educational.

    • Bob

      correcting the word: “embarrassingly” was originally intended as “embrasingly” as in “caring” so I reposted and used the word “passionately” proving once again that one should never rely on your spell check without active checking the checker!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      While you’re correcting things, it’s Ashbrook?

    • Heaviest Cat

      Bob. You credit Murray with showing us that we have a “pluralistic society” Huh? The guy is a racist who favors the eliote white upperclasses and corporations. GHis si your idea of “pluralism”?

  • Bob

    Tom Ashcroft.  Your guest Charles Murray shows that in America, we do indeed have a pluralistic society, God Bless US.  Your guest Joan Walsh shows that there are people of intellect who can speak the truth, calmly, passionately and clearly, who can cut through all the smoke and mirrors of statistics.  The guests and the callers all reinforce the beauty of America: diversity of opinion.  My only comment: if you have a marriage between a man and a woman and there are children; and everything is chosen by the expectation and hope of having a good income, money enough to provide for the essentials and education and recreation; and then the manufacturing jobs disappear, (to Japan in the ’70s and ’80s; and now to China; it is not difficult to predict that over 50 percent of those marriages will dissolve if the breadwinner loses his job.  There is no moral basis to this statistic.  Just, if you will: human nature.  And there are the 49 or so percent of couples who stay married, through thick and thin: God bless them too!  I can only add in objection to Mr. Murray using the term “White” in the subtitle of his book, that in the near future Blacks and Latinos will become the majority of registered voters: people of color will continue to rule America.  And let us not forget: money does create power. It always has.  Well look at FaceBook’s Mark Z: how much was he worth before he entered Harvard? And now?  Tom: keep up the great work. Your shows are always electric and educational.

  • Karin

    Fascinating conversation. Regardless of whether I agree with everything Murray says I am thankful to hear this conversation.  Finally we are getting to the heart of the discord that is tearing our country apart. 

    I know I am part of the cultural elite. I feel bad about it. My husband and I have often laughed about the homogeneous zip codes we have lived in our entire adult lives. And we have also made moves to live less isolated. But even when living in a diverse neighborhood I find I am going to more elite neighborhoods to shop, send my kids to school, go to church. Etc. I cannot seem to help it. Right now we live in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago but do much of our living in nearby Evanston.

    One of the most eye opening experiences of my life in this regard occurred during the 2008 Election.  I was at a cocktail party in Ann Arbor, where my husband was completing his graduate work.  My husband and I both come from white working class mid-western backgrounds (and both were the first in our families to go to college). This party occurred days after Palin was nominated for the vice-presidency and it became apparent that the majority our peers in Ann Arbor, most of whom were Ivy League Educated, had no idea why Palin resonated with so many people.  The very same night we learned that most of the people at that party had been to the same beach in India. The same majority of the same group had never set foot inside a Walmart. 

    Perhaps a year “abroad” in Nebraska, Kansas, or Iowa should be a requirement of an Ivy League Education?

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

      I’m sure Morgan Spurlock can set you and all your friends up with min wage jobs at McD’s, Wally World, housekeeping at motels… 

      Try it on your own, Karin.  Invite a friend.

       Look up Wendell Potter’s story about how he went from being a VP at Cygna Insurance to working to help the impoverished and working class people because he literally took a weekend drive and found hard working people by the thousands standing in line for hours at a medical safari for free health care.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Thank you for this mini-expose’.

    • Tina

      Karin!  What an interesting post!  Thank you!

  • Me

    Genetic superiority doesn’t wish to tolerate genetic inferiority anymore! If your smart, you survive! If your not, you don’t!

    • http://www.maryjones.us tlachtga

       Well, *I* certainly want someone who can’t tell the difference between “your” and “you’re” determining who survives based on intelligence.

    • Brandstadisbad

      That is amazingly what the early american progressives said back in their day also!

  • Mmaaaxx

    Wow, that was aggressive to the “guest!” Sure, I don’t like Murry’s manner either, but his points are not eugenics, and the book did not seem to be about any Libertarian points, but they made certain to attack him on that! I’m glad Tom brings on contoversial guests, but I wish they could have gotten more into some of the deeper issues instead of dismissing them as “determinism!” (especial considering that I am a philosophical determanist…)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TOGXHILJGUGCEJQVSGICYW3UTQ Surfer Girl

    Not the 1st time Tom put the smackdown on genetic “influence.”

    Afraid of genes? Don’t discuss it on your show.

    Hard Science v. Soft Science. Softies: Ashbrook, Murray, Walsh
    Where was the scientific perspective?

    Unbalanced. Unfocused. Fluffy.

  • Anonymous

           The constant whining of the many who love to cite the “99″ percent silliness becomes more tiresome with each passing day. The notion that determined people with a high level of self respect and a solid work ethic cannot improve their circumstances is an insult to the millions who have done that very thing. The claim that forces other than themselves are to blame for the stasis in many peoples lives is, in most cases, ridiculous.                                                                         I’m a fifty five year old, unemployed truck driver. I have no more than a high school education. Yet, I’ve been surviving very comfortably during my seven months of unemployment, without any severance or unemployment benefits. I can do this because somewhere around the age of thirty five I decided to teach myself the principles of sound investing. I spent the time necessary to learn about asset allocation, risk exposure, diversification, and rational expectation. I made a nice little bundle investing a tiny, weekly amount .  There’s nothing I did that could not have been done by anyone willing to do the work. There lies the problem. Too many Americans are unwilling to make the effort to improve their lot while claiming that some other force is holding them down.  Well, if just ONE person, a truck driver perhaps, from the ranks of the “99″ improves his economic situation through hard work and self determination, then anyone can do it, and claims to the contrary become moot.

    • Modavations

      Right on dude.The problem with the Welfare State is it turns once proud men into sniveling eunuchs

      • TFRX

        Go out to all those unemployed white right-wingers and tell them that to their faces.

        “Hey, you know that UI? The stuff you paid for, which keeps you from having to sell your wedding band to pay the rent? You’re a pussy for taking it, you wimp.”

        I dare you to put your money where large flapping yap is.

        • Modavations

          Temper,temper my eunuched,Meterosexual man

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Moda whines about name-calling?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CRTBVXTQSOPGLVECV6HA3NYJZA MoniqueDC

        while the lack of responsible “proud men” turn families into poverty when they abandon them, divorce them, refuse to pay child support.  

    • TFRX

      Spare us the Horation Alger anec-data.

      Too many Americans are unwilling to make the effort to improve their lot while claiming that some other force is holding them down.

      Are you conflating every one of them with someone who is lazy? Really? All those people who are making less than they were a decade ago is lacking some moral fortitude or
      willpower or effort? Every single one of them?

      Economic mobility has declined markedly since you entered the workforce. Stories like yours are fewer and trying to attache “moral hazard” to it is just doing our economic overlords’ jobs for them.

      • Anonymous

         Are any of them lazy? Are any of them shiftless bums? To listen to the “99″, one must believe all American workers are hard working, industrious individuals. Excuse me. I must laugh now.

        • TFRX

          Check your privilege. And come back when your 7 mos unemployment hits the median

          unemployment length during this business cycle. Or talk to a 99er–someone who has exhausted the 99 weeks of UI while spending 40 hours a week looking for a job. Any point telling you that unemployment insurance has been extended when unemployment rates were this high every time since WWII. Every. Single. Time?

          And don’t forget (if you’re gonna bother with math) that American workers’ productivity is up over the last ~30 years. Try finding someone who had what was, to our grandparents, a fulltime salaried “40 hour job”. That person is now working 55-60 hours with no OT. Or talk to an hourly employee at a chain store who, magically, gets all their OT scrubbed off the timecard.

          You’re off the rails here. Dn’t try to moralize this crap for the poor and middle classes. Don’t try extrapolating one incident to everyone. And as a truck driver, you need people and companies to be able to afford stuff or else you have nothing to drive back and forth. When your customers run out of money, don’t come whining to us.

          • Anonymous

               Now try answering my question.

          • Modavations

            Ah ,the open minded,tolerant left.

          • TFRX

            Since 99% of any group cannot have one defining feature, let’s narrow it down: Unemployment and underemployment is a problem at this point in the business cycle, no?

            Let’s pick a number–some say 4% is “full employment”, for our purposes that will suffice.

            You’re saying that everyone between that 4% and the current 8-point-something is just a lazy, slovenly, greedy, wants it all-handed-to-them on a plate loser? And all those underemployed people who are also looking for “real”jobs concurrently, hoping they can get away with scrubbing their crap part-time job from the resume during an interview, what’s their moral failing?

            Oh, and if you’re gonna bother: The problem with the recovery now is not enough demand.

    • Anonymous

      So the system should give back that TARP money?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CRTBVXTQSOPGLVECV6HA3NYJZA MoniqueDC

        Yeah they should.   Banks are making record profits….  pay the taxpayers back…   By the way, I found it illustrative that there were fewer by far complaints about bailing out the suits (the bankers) but outrage at bailing out the car industry.      Values on display there, I think.

      • Anonymous

             Yes.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      YOU’RE unemployed!
         Unless your ‘investments’ are paying off well enough, you’ll need to go back to work?
         With your attitude, WHY are YOU unemployed?
         You could be hauling longer runs, for LESS pay?
         If your ‘investments’ pay well enough, you’re NOT unemployed, you’re retired!
      EVERYONE can do this?  Some can, some cannot, for many reasons.

      • Zing

        Bleat #2

      • Anonymous

           I’m unemployed because my boss was a jerk, for whom I could no longer work. I also have some medical issues which are taking longer to resolve than I had hoped. But, believe me, I’d like nothing more than to go back to work. And yes, nothing I have done with regard to money is rocket science. If I can do it, anyone can. Blaming “Big Money” because we don’t want to do the leg work is childish. 

        • Guest

          So someone was holding you down?
          Good for you that you learned about investing- and the timing was right for your investments to pay off. What about those who lost their investments in the thievery of the recession? I guess you’re fortunate to have good timing.
          We should teach financial responsibility and investing in HS! Teach kids about credit, etc.

          • Anonymous

             You’re right about teaching finance and investing at an early age. Why this hasn’t been a part of our educational system for years is puzzling. But your assertion that my success was due to good timing is dead wrong. My investing success was due to the effort I put into learning HOW to invest, in good times and in bad times. Most of the people who lost large sums of money did so precisely because they thought they could realize large returns without bothering to learn anything. A simple, cursory study of “Investing For Dummies” could have saved countless Americans billions of dollars in lost wealth. Who stopped them from educating themselves? Wall Street? Big Business? All those greedy rich folks? No. They stopped themselves and then decided to blame someone else for their ignorance.

        • TFRX

          Do you even qualify for UI?

          I’m not looking for specifics about you, but just to open this up into the different kinds of truck-driving for money.

          When I worked in a warehouse, for example, I was an employee, and we had employees drive trucks to our dock. We also had owner-operators drive other trucks to our dock. I don’t know how UI works for owner-operators.

        • TFRX

          I also have some medical issues which are taking longer to resolve than I had hoped.

          I hope that COBRA isn’t your best healthcare option, cos I’ve been there. Not a good place to be.

          Nothing I have done with regard to money is rocket science. If I can do it, anyone can.

          One needs the money to invest. Many not-rich people are more hard-working, productive, and proficient than ever, and have yet to see their wages go up since the beginning–the start!–of the 5-year Bush expansion in the last decade.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CRTBVXTQSOPGLVECV6HA3NYJZA MoniqueDC

      Feet, you are living in the past.  Look at the flattened graph that represents the average earnings for the middle class.  Virtually flat over the last 3 decades.   Irrespective of educational attainment, etc.    Benefits are disappearing from corporate work unless you are in the executive suite.     You espouse the philosophy of “the exception” and then  apply it to the general population.  
      You are spouting corporate propaganda, not facts.   I’m sure it is more comfortable for you to beleive in your mythology than to believe in the documented trends in the US. 

      • Anonymous

             I find it dismaying to see the full extent of liberal America’s disdain for human potential. The knee-jerk assertion by so many of you that we’re all simply pawns in a corrupt system, bereft of any ability to forge our own futures, is sad indeed. The fact that you might consider my experience to be the “exception” validates my point better than I did myself. Please explain to me how a truck driver with no more than a high school education, upon realizing that something needed to be done to secure his financial future can have done so, but the rest of the “99″ are powerless to effect change. Am I a genius? Is everyone else stupid? Lazy? Please tell me what part of my personal story is a myth, and then tell me why no one else can do the same.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    I was greatly amused how Murray kept having to refine and redefine, and re-quantifying things any time his position was challenged.  “No, it wasn’t that. I mean this” – type of thing.

    I believe that his suppositions and conclusion were all drawn from the same rectal repository that many of the talking heads on the right get theirs from. 

    • Still Here

      He kept having to repeat it because dumb and dumber couldn’t get it.  I hate to think where your head is/has been but it is clearly oxygen-deprived.

      • Ray in VT

        Excellent contribution to the discussion.

      • Heaviest Cat

        it wasn’t repetition it was qualifying on top of qualifying his racist rhetoric.

  • jb366

    Tom comes off sounding like a whiny child in denial after being told that Santa does not exist.  He refuses to address Murray’s thesis and instead relies on useless anecdotes and his irrelevant hopes for America.  I suppose I don’t expect Ashbrook to treat a libertarian with any intellectual respect, but kudos to Murray for putting up a good fight. 

    Oh and Tom, I feel so sorry that you grew up in an underprivileged ethnic group.  The Swedes truly have it hard in this country. 

    • Aajer

      Is it “Tom”  or “Ashbrook”? Pick one and stick with it.

      Mr. Ashbrook did an admirable job managing an interview
      with an author who had obviously missed taking his meds.

      • Still Here

        You’re missing a bucket as well.

      • Roy Mac

        Well, actually’ No:  today was one of Tom’s worst performances in managing a conversation.  But he’s usually an A+ performer, so we’ll endure…

  • Wendyjo66

    I was late to the program with Charles Murray this morning so not able to respond to his overall message, but definitely struck by some of his comments regarding IQ. I did not hear any explanation of the variability in how individuals do in life which is NOT a direct correlation to IQ. It is imperative to also measure “adaptive functioning” as part of an IQ assessments – that is perhaps one of the ways to determine the moxy, drive, self-respect, work ethic, adaptability, etc that can be more or less in the individual separate from level of measured intelligence. Self sufficiency is learned, not innate. 

    • Anonymous

      No social scientist worth his salt puts any credence in IQ tests any more.  With the advent of Multiple Intelligences, plus the inanity of taking one number for math, and one number for language and combining them to anything meaningful has made the whole concept obsolete.  The only people who resort to IQ tests are people who are out to prove their prejudices.

  • 2jobsinVermont

    I have always worked for my living, have a college degree and I do not envy anyone else’s hard-earned wealth. I envy their power to influence Congress/Supreme Court, influence elections, and create a bubble of security for themselves while they blithely play havoc with an entire country’s economy! 

    • Zing

      #2

    • Listener

      +1! Exactly. This is the problem – that hard work and good living end up being overwhelmed by stratified ‘elite’ power and wealth concentration. This is what Occupy is saying, this is what the President means by effectively declaring a doctrine of fairness in the SotU address- fairness in education, opportunity, mobility, etc.

      As I listened, I could hear Mitt Romney in his voice, the same tone of voice, the same callous, out of touch arguments…

    • jay

      What you are describing is an oligarchy–where the rich control the decisions and outcome of government through their power and influence of those controlling the government. They then use the revolving door to buy their government cronies and integrate them into their corporate world, while then, sending out their corporate-bots to run for government positions. This was Mussolini’s form of government prior to the second war. 

      • Anonymous

        Sorry to correct you, but it’s called a plutocracy when wealth is the controlling factor. An oligarchy is when a small number of people control the government. As in say Syria or Saudi Arabia.

        One can have a combination of both, however.
        In my opinion we are living in a plutocracy. 

  • Still Here

    Tom, you really are a schmuck.  Shiela was looking for a decent living, not extreme wealth.  Your silly laughing and comment that “even the ears work differently” betray again your slanted view.

    • Michele

      The caller clearly stated that she wanted a life where she could improve her lot in life and her children could do even better.  Your comments betray your “slant” – Mr. Ashbrook did not state that she wished for “extreme wealth”. One can earn a “decent living” and improve their economic status without wishing for extreme wealth.  Murray denied that Sheila even wished to improve her economic status which was the thrust of her entire phone call!

      BTW what has happened to politeness and common courtesy in postings?  Name calling is entirely inappropriate.

      • Anonymous

        Funny that you should ask.  Tom Ashbrook is getting ready to host a panel on “Civility in America”.  (smile)

  • Crux101

    Has anyone looked at the rate of incarceration and the effect on black families?

    • Modavations

      There are no black families.90% of ghetto births are out of wedlock.The Govt.makes a terrible daddy

      • Guest

        You hit the nail on the head.  Back in the 1950′s and even the 1960′s the percentage of black births out of wedlock were almost the same as the white statistic.  The real question is what has changed since then?  

        I would say the government has made it easier to have kids out of wedlock and the media has made it socially acceptable.

        • Anonymous

          Have you considered that the reason for the out-of-wedlock rate of blacks could be because of the high unemployment rate of black males?  If black males don’t have a job, they are not likely to get married.  That’s quite well known.  Maybe we should be doing more to see that they can get jobs.

      • Great Dad

        EXCUSE YOU? Ghetto Births? F**k you

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Consider that Moda brags about ingesting lead, mercury, and cigaret smoke in his childhood, and ‘chemicals’?

          • Modavations

            I see the cocktails have done their magic..Are you swinging from the rafters at the Union Hall.You had a good one back there,something like Moda’s goat,he eats mercury,shoots up lead,ingests whole cigarettes(not cigaretts,not Sick Indians) and is a big Doody.What a pathetic lady you’ve become.That’s why your wife left.You became more of a hysterical woman then she

        • nj

          Moda-bot is the resident, self-important, delusional, ignorant troll. He has some serious issues.

        • Modavations

          The out of wedlock birthrate in the general black population is 70%.You guys need daddies not friggin welfare.Believe me son,welfare is killing the white guy too.Listen to Cosby,listen to Farrakan(?),turn your back on the Dems.who think you’re inferior and need their paternalism

          • Heaviest Cat

            Hey Moda lay your anti-welfare trip on the big corporations who either get govt, subsidies or tax breaks that the average citizen,yet exhort the rest of us to “pullourselves up by our bootstraps”

      • Terry Tree Tree

        A mother and her children are family!  A father and his children are family!  Children raising their siblings are family!
           No black families that fit these family models?

        • Modavations

          No they’re not my hysterical woman.They’re fodder for the pathologies of the Dem.Welfare State.A family is a mother and father.Why do you think your kids are bound for failure.No mother and a hysterical man-woman father,who probably molested them like the Pervert Priests did to you

    • Carolyn

      What about the rate of incarceration for the white underclass and the effect on their families? 

  • Modavations

    Happy Valentines all.I’m off to a steamy(I hope)rendezvous

    • Zing

      Bleat #5

    • Ray in VT

      No offense, but gross!  But also good luck. What the heck, it is a holiday and all.

    • nj

      Poor woman. Is there some way to warn her?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1107334003 Brendan Cyr

    I’m frankly dismayed and upset that people even acknowledge the work of Charles Murray at this point.  He is a fraud who lied regarding the results of his academic work.  If On Point is going to discuss social scientists (even dishonest ones) you should give coverage to people doing ground-breaking work.  Profile people like William Julius Wilson, David Graeber, Immanuel Wallenstein, or Michelle Alexander.  There are important social scientists who don’t get any press.

  • Zing

    Just give white America permission to hunt the Burmese python into extinction by offering $5 per skin…problem solved in 6 months…we’ve done it before.

    You’re welcome.

  • Moiracee

    No more air time for this creepy guy, get over the white people already!

  • Markus

    There’s some things you can’t talk about no matter how true. Hi IQ parents having Hi IQ kids, unions for progressives and abortion for the religious folks.Probably dozens of others. Too bad, as not being able to even talk about these factors objectively, makes progress hard.  We really are prisoners of our emotions and biases.

  • Anonymous

    It was striking that, at the end of the show, Mr. Murray states that he thinks the U.S. will become more like Europe (I think meaning more stratified socio-economically) or more like Latin America. That suggests he has failed to read recent studies that indicate that there is now MORE social mobility in Europe than in the U.S. 

  • http://twitter.com/onanov Donald Baxter

    Joan Walsh shreds Murray nicely.  Thanks.

  • Guest

    I don’t think ON POINT would have a show featuring David Irving and the pros and cons of Holocaust denial. Why is an avowed anti-Black racist, whose scientific illiteracy was exposed long ago by geneticist RC Lewontin and others, somehow in a different category? We can claim to be for free debate, but everyone knows that there are limits. This show, like everyone else who is bothering to take his views as worthy of examination and debate, is helping Mr. Murray to sell his book and spread his poisonous prejudices. 

    Somehow hating African Americans is still okay in America, as long as you polish up your argument and claim to be against the supposedly “insulting” paternalism of the welfare state. 

  • Ashleyyoshida

    It struck me as Mr. Murray was talking about IQ that his “smoker’s voice” has bothered me since the beginning of the show.  I wonder if indeed he does smoke cigarettes, where he sees himself in this spectrum and if he is a smoker, how he justifies his smoking unless he’s a poor black man.

  • TomK in Boston

    Family values follow the economy. When daddy has a good job and respect, instead of being a serf for the corporate aristocrats, families are strong. When a worker is in a union and can negotiate his/her terms, and the CEO makes 40x his wages instead of 400x or 1000x, families are strong.

    OUR PROBLEM IS REAGANOMICS

    This show is jumping the shark in terms of the credibility given to righty wingnuts. I think it’s the disease of false equivalence, where eg in climate science coal-industry funded bloggers are given equal time with the world’s academies of science.

    Hey Tom, how about a nice, fair, even handed discussion with one panelist arguing that Obama is a Kenyan Mau Mau Socialist, and the other arguing that he is not.

  • romeobravo

    The on-air discussion seemed to focus largely on refuting observed data. Or, put another way, shooting the messenger. The data is clear: the economic and social systems that seem to suggest a correlation between societal strength and individual potential have eroded in this country. Mr. Murray doesn’t seem to think it’s his job to propose solutions. Perhaps it’s not. Is he a politician or a social scientist? A leader or a journalist? Yes, his numbers are grim. But arguing with them doesn’t paint us a brighter future. We got here and will continue on this path because policy makers at all levels have made and continue to make decisions that make it impossible for average Joes and Josephines to earn an honest and respectable living. Not everyone can swing college. Not everyone should. There should be honor in and support for pursuing blue collar careers. When our policy makers — from Wall Street to Washington — presided over the exportation of our jobs to Asia, they sent the honor of work, the value of sweat, and much of the decency of the American spirit with those jobs. A person doesn’t need a spouse and a church to be good. But a person, a good person, needs something to love, something to hope for and something to do. America will be great for a long, long time. It’s our goodness that’s at risk, largely because we outsourced the hardworking soul of our nation. Bring back our jobs and the honor of a hard day’s work for everyone willing to work, and we are legion, and we will be good again.

    • TomK in Boston

      Right, and that job exporting is part and parcel of Reaganomics. Since “the market always finds the best solution”, it would be wrong to try to keep our jobs. That’s the evil poison that spews from the right, and always gets lots of airtime on this show.  

      • Modavations

        Into the future son!!!Reagan is old news.Bush derangement syndrome is the current rage

    • Anonymous

      While I stand with you in bemoaning corporate America’s abdication of good corporate citizenship, we must always remember our own complicity in the loss of so many jobs to other parts of the world. One thing America loves is good stuff cheap. It’s why we all, collectively, put the countries small retailers out of business. No one forced us to give our business to Wal-Mart, or Barnes and Noble, or Best Buy. We decided that saving those bucks was more important than a thriving, downtown business district. The manufacturing jobs that supply these big box retailers are gone for good. If corporate America tried to do the right thing and bring these jobs back to this country, we’d immediately start complaining about the increased prices we’d have to pay for goods, increases that would be necessary to cover the increased payroll and production costs. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe people would be willing to pay more in order to bring good jobs back to this country. Maybe, but not likely. 

      • Ray in VT

        Very well said, and I do think, unfortunately, that you’re pretty right on.  I’m conscious of the fact that many of the products that are produced locally often cost a bit more, and if the budget isn’t too tight that week or month, then I try to do what I consider to be the right thing, and buy local.  I think that we collectively have lost sight of the fact that if we do want things to continue to be produced locally, then sometimes we have to pay a bit more for it.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Many of us, that DO pay more, for union-Made-in-U.S.A., find it EXTREMELY  hard, to find these products! 
          Remember Wal-Mart’s “Bring it Home, to the U.S.A.!” ad campaign?  When MOST of the products in their stores were made elsewhere?
           I believe that other retailers CAN compete, if the big boxes didn’t get no-tax deals, etc…, that give them an unfair advantage, in addition to volume, and selection!

      • Jjjakester

        It wasn’t the fault of the small downtown business that was the problem. Because of small downtown businesses in many communities, there was still product competition. But, with Wal-Mart and the other BigBox stores, they were so strong and powerful that they controlled the cost of manufacturing and the supply-chain. It was our own society that allowed this domination by BigBox predators. They are no different than Bank of America, Citi, or Goldman Sachs, which are the BigBox of finance, which controls the supply-chain of Federal Reserve and government cash.

      • Pagemail

        Keeping prices low by exploiting non-unionized labor overseas was a way for our rich ruling class here in the US to hide the fact that they were stripping profit out of our economy and giving it to each other (as bonuses and perqs) rather than sharing it with the workers who created that profit by raising wages and benefits. They fooled us into feeling rich because we could “afford” cheap crap from Asia and Mexico sold in Wal-Mart, although in fact wage-earners’ purchasing power has been parked or dropping for a decade at least.

        Meanwhile, executives and bankers walked away with the real value of workers’ labor, which they now spend on things like private submarines (no, really!), lavish homes in other countries, and hiring the level of personal service that the rest of us can’t even find at our gas stations any more. 

        We fell for it, got into debt to enable our delusion that we working people were “rich”, and are now stuck with the bill to pay for the collapse that our slimeball financial “elites” have forced on the rest of us. There’s no escape, now that the reactionary Right has gained control of the Supreme Court and put government up for grabs by the highest bidders (normal voters obviously excluded, since we’re all poor now — the Big Boys have all the money and are legally free to use it to buy complete control of government). Eisenhower was right; we were smug and comfortable, but he was right.  In those days, not all Republicans were complacent snobs and Robber Barons.I can’t escape the suspicion that a majority of Americans are just too dumb for democracy, so we’re losing it — to the likes of the Koch brothers and their billions. When the rich rob them blind, American workers turn on other American workers who’ve managed (til now) to hang onto the protections that unions have maintained for them, instead of demanding taxation of the insatiable rich to get the wealth produced by workers back into the national economy again through a government program to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and properly financing our educational system, to give us a *chance*, at least, of competing with the up-and-comers of the developing world.  

  • Mkamp

    Why start in 1960? Church affiliation in the US was way up in the 50s and 60s from its pre-war levels or levels at any previous time in US history. Second, the white men Murray discusses were huge benefactors of a major government transfer of wealth to MEN, namely the GI bill.

    • Rbosborn

      1960 had the census that Murray could use as a base line for his statistics.

  • Listener

    This topic I feel was better handled in the book ‘The Twilight of American Culture’ by Morris Berman. It was similar observations and similar pessimism, but with some actual solutions instead of innuendo, hidden agenda and pandering to the base.

  • GUEST

    That was the most entertaining ON POINT ever. That is all that politics and sociology are anymore. No one in this discussion is actually attempting to do anything (Murray says it explicitly: “If all of us were forbidden from talking about what got us into this mess… I think there would be a really interesting conversation”) — they are writers, reviewers, and talk show hosts. It’s just entertainment, and to confuse it with productive research and action is a mistake. It IS an interesting conversation. It is NOT actually proving, solving, doing, motivating, or even inciting anything. It’s reality TV. Like the Republican Primaries (any election). The time for problem solving is behind us. All we can do is get a good seat and watch (listen) the wreck. And, yes, have interesting conversations along the way. I get all heated about this stuff, too. Then I go to bed, go to work, and then misremember it when trying to have an interesting conversation at dinner. Anyone else think they might do the same?

  • Ashleyyoshida

    I am a forty-two year old white woman.  I am the daughter of a single, working mother who completed her college degree when I was seven years old.  My story is one of an American with a hard-working single mother desperate not to let her children fall through the cracks.  I grew up in N.W. Washington, D.C.  For the first part of my childhood I lived in the ghetto, Mount Pleasant. The second part of my childhood was spent in the more affluent neighborhoods of Woodley Park, Friendship Heights, Georgetown, and Chevy Chase.  I went to public schools; Deal Junior high school, Wilson, Duke Ellington… and private schools; The Washington Waldorf School, and Sandy Springs Friends School in Olney, Md.  After living in New York and Los Angeles I settled for fifteen years in a small town in Mexico.  I now live in Japan.  I have been married for eight years, have two young children, and work as an English teacher. I just couldn’t get comfortable in the United States.  It was too hard.  I had to work too hard to keep my head above water, was plagued by the fear of becoming homeless, and having been molested, flashed at, held up at gunpoint in a movie theatre, and the victim of a house robbery (all before the age of eight) lived in almost constant fear.  I was also constantly affronted with Wonderbra billboards, HOOTERS, and movies like “Pretty Woman”.  The nineties Cinderella story that let all young women know that “If you are sexy, you might catch a rich man and be saved.”
     The inequality in Mexico is terrible, oppressive, violent and criminal.  There is no upward mobility.  If you are born poor, you will stay poor. If you are poor, you are subject to violence, malnutrition, poor health care, exploitation, and other indignities too numerous to list.  (It may be interesting to note here that most poor Mexicans are devout Catholics). It has also been my observation that they adhere to a more traditional and wholesome way of life compared to Americans.  This, to the extent they can considering the lack of opportunities, a violent drug war, hopelessness among the youth and rampant corruption.  My experience in Washington, D.C. wasn’t that much different.  In fact, I found Mexico to be less oppressive in some ways because at least the inequality was out in the open.  Poor Mexicans don’t have to suffer the additional burden of shame that poor Americans do.  The shame that comes from the overbearing falsehood that “The American Dream” is attainable by anyone who is smart enough and/or works hard enough.  The idea that if you aren’t making it, it’s your own fault.  I have been marginally rich and I have been poor. I’ve had and still do have a lot of rich friends. There is PLENTY of bad judgement, bad morals and bad behavior in the upper classes.  They may hide it better, but IT IS THERE.  I would even go so far as to say that it is the dominant culture.  I have noticed a decline in culture and morals in the U.S during my lifetime, but think that it stems from media, not income, race or class.  The first amendment rights that pornographers pushed for and won opened the floodgates to a tsunami of the lowliest garbage a culture is capable of putting out.  Children are influenced by what they see, read and hear (Duh).   I read once that letting your child watch T.V. is like leaving them alone with the most dangerous, violent and immoral predator.   I also heard recently (On NPR) that at Yale?  During freshman hazing one Fraternity was holding up signs and chanting “No means Yes, Yes means anal.”  WTF?  Having been raped on two college campuses (the first time as a fourteen year old virgin) I’m not actually that surprised.  There is a tendency among young victims to try to be “tougher”.  I, who consider  myself to be a shy, sensitive person got a tattoo and became a stripper at twenty because I felt that I “had to get tougher” in order to survive.  That was the prevailing thought of my peers in nineteen eighty-seven, eighty-eight, ninety…  At that time I didn’t even realize there were other societies.  I didn’t know how much power governments had to affect quality of life for individuals.  All I knew was that in my world, the only assets I had that were valued at all seemed to be a pretty face and a young body.  Twenty-years later, I see that I hit the nail right on the head with that assessment.  Luckily, I didn’t stay a stripper for long, and the tattoo I chose was one of Matisse’s Blue Nudes, that while rendered badly, isn’t as embarrassing today as would be the split skulls with worms coming out of them, iron crosses, and other punk tattoos favored by my friends (Most of whom were from upper class families incidentally).  The point I would like to make in all of this is that finally, I found a country where I can have a decent quality of life without being a millionaire, and it’s such a relief.  I don’t have to marry a jerk just because he’s rich, or throw my values out the window so I can live in a neighborhood with trees where I might not get raped.  I don’t have to work myself to death or neglect my children just to keep my head above water.  I know I won’t fall through the cracks here, because THERE ARE NO CRACKS.  Japan takes care of it’s people to the best of it’s ability.  The reason no one in Japan is freaked out about the terrible economy here is that everyone is living “just fine thank-you”.  They are also living within their means.  There isn’t the constant pressure to consume, upgrade, look rich, look like you are doing better than you are that there was the last time I lived in America.  Houses are starting to look dated, you see some old cars on the road, a lot of people ride bikes, there isn’t the ostentatious consumption of the early nineties (which is an improvement), but that’s about it.  People have saved their money, so while they might not be rich, they aren’t standing on the edge of a precipice either.  Life goes on.  The values here are health, community, education, nutrition, respect for nature.  Crime is low. Almost every family has a vegetable garden.  Most people live very well without making money their priority.  I am so grateful that after all I have been through I have found a decent place to raise my children.  I completely agree with  what the the seventy-four year old black  professor said.  It IS about culture.  culture.

    • nj

      Great narrative, thanks. 

      A two-word suggestion, though. Paragraph breaks. Just sayin’…

      • Ashleyyoshida

         Thank-you nj.  I know, it’s a terrible habit.  My mother tells me all the time.  Thank-you for slogging through.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          I, too, enjoyed the narrative.  I hope you take nj as constructive criticism, to help you overcome your self-admitted bad habit.

          • Ashleyyoshida

             Thanks nj, Tina and Terry Tree Tree for your kind comments. 

      • Tina

        sometimes the comments part of the website won’t let the paragraphs breaks stay in place.

    • Tina

      Thanks for your great, thoughtful piece!

  • Tyson

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    It was rather amusing to hear the kinds of things that are typically said about blacks (my people) now being directed at middle and lower income whites, albeit with far more consideration and grace.  While Mr. Murray is an unconfessed racist and white supremacist, I can at least admire his candor; long gone are the days when men could look each other in the eye and tell friend from foe.  There were quite a few befuddled folks calling in hoping to glean from their most celebrated hero-writer of the BellCurve some semblance of light at the end of the tunnel only to have those hopes dashed by the dry summation of a tired and smug intellectual now being paid to gun down his own kind.

  • Adrian

    It was dissapoiting to see how Tom Ashbrook attacked data and his guest with labels (determinism) and anecdotal narratives (my Swedish grandfather). I thought the point was to have a conversation not play “can you believe it?”

  • Aromano3456

    This flood of whines, this flailing and wringing at the national scale has to stop. If people think these are bad times they have no clue what bad times are. Go back 100 years or to Bangladesh to find out what being poor means. None of the people whining in this country knows what life without electricity or automatic clothes washing machinesis is like. A lot of things could be better but please keep things in a little perspective.

    • Ashleyyoshida

       I have lived without electricity or a washing machine. I have also seen India’s poverty up-close.  I am surprised that you would romanticize it.  We don’t aspire to the poverty of Bangladesh  one hundred years ago.  We are trying to better the society we have now.  The United States is suffering from a spiritual and moral malaise brought about by greed and ignorance.  Just having food on you plate is not enough.  I would urge you to look at countries like Finland, Sweden and Japan as examples of what quality of life can be and not just over your shoulder at the extreme poverty of another time. 

      • Tina

        I’ve never been to Japan, but I often write in about the quality of life in the Scandinavian countries.  I find it so interesting that so many of our major “talking heads” do not ever seem to study the economies and cultures of these countries; instead, they look at an aspect of both, say, health care, in places where they KNOW that the system has problems, like England or even Canada.  Then, they throw their hands up and say, see, there is nothing to be done!  I thought we were the great, inventive country. If we were, we would study and analyze what WORKS in this world and make it our own, or improve the broken parts of any system we think is almost close enough to emulate.  

    • Heaviest Cat

      Your sanctimonius posturing either betrays you as indifferent or blind to what many Americans are going through.

  • Voxpop45387

    It started when “Single Mom” became a job title and a career move.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Didn’t it take guys to make that decision for them?

    • Ashleyyoshida

       Can you explain how becoming a single mom is a career move?  Or rather how being abandoned by the father of your children is a career move?  It IS a job title, and a heavy one at that.  Are you a parent?  Do you work?  Do you know the definition of career?

  • Janice200

    I was surprised and disappointed about the slide to the ‘high IQ’ discussion. I think it is well known that high IQ is not an automatic ticket to grand success.  

  • Anonymous

    Joan Walsh to counterbalance?  Ugh, not only is she insufferable to listen to, but this is an incredibly uninspired and heat-producing choice given that David Frum, a fellow conservative savaging Murray’s book in a multi-part review on his website was available (at least in theory) to discuss the problems of the book.  This would have been an incredibly illuminating discussion of social class and economics from a a conservative perspective.  Instead, it’s just more left-right wars.  Disappointing.  Perhaps you can find another reason to have Frum on and start off by asking him about the Murray book.

    Liberal, long-time On Point listener, btw.  Constructive criticism.

    • Brett

      Yeah, it was a bit too much of a “point-counterpoint” in my opinion. Having Frum debate Murray would have been cool. I am a liberal, but I have a lot of respect for Frum. 

      • Modavations

        Bro.B who would ever have guessed you were a Liberal

      • Heaviest Cat

        Are you kidding? NPR already narrows the debate far too often. I would like to hear mroe counterpoint from left wing socialists.

    • Modavations

      Joan and Eugene R.have cots in the back of the MSNBC studio.I like Morning Joe, but in the evening it’s nothing but hate speech,in my opinion.Joan is a main culprit

  • Jeanne

    I grew up in an area of the very wealthy and to suggest that their “religiosity” gives them morals is just plain wrong.  They are plenty immoral, even the ones I saw who go to church.  They just keep it hidden. 

    Their marriages probably held together back then because the women, one, had no choice because they weren’t as educated or compensated for their work; or, two, they just liked the money and were willing to put up with bad behavior to stay wealthy. 

    Not everyone was like that, but plenty were. 

  • Cjwilson3

    God bless Joan Walsh.  She would be a great addition to Friday’s Week in the News. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Brown/1227104716 Tim Brown

    I wish they had had a statistician on to point out the Mac Truck sized holes in his reasoning and the myriad confounding variables that just leap out at you when you read this book. No mention of the effects of globalization on the prospects for low education male workers and how that effects their marriage and career prospects in this show?

    No one calling Murray out on the fact that health care and education costs have far outpaced inflation making a zero net gain in income since 1960 actually a net reduction in purchasing power?

    Come on now. I wish they had gone with a better guest to explain how this is clearly an attempt to do a bait and switch with serious science for championing libertarianism. He clearly started with an idea of what sort of political philosophy is “right,” cherry picked his data to support his preconceptions, and ignored obvious confounds and makes huge leaps in complex systems from correlation to causation all the while using politically and morally charged words like “work ethic,” across his work. Someone really should have ripped him on how this is a polemic, not even remotely an academic work. Instead it devolved into another left vs right mud slinging.

    I do lol @ how all this guy’s written responses and interviews always make him sound so hurt, like he’s just presenting data and trying the best he can to draw logical conclusions like the scientist he pretends to be when in fact his books would never pass peer review.

  • Realism

    “Even our ears working differently.” That’s classic, Tom. Charles Murray is tone-deaf. He doesn’t understand the difference between causality and effect. Reminiscent of how he and his pals at AEI were predicting how Iraqis would greet us with flowers. Out of touch with reality. 

  • WW_ph15

    I wonder if people who see their wages and benefits cut lose their enthusiasm for work. We hear that the extremely wealthy ‘would stop working if they had to pay more in taxes’. Where’s the incentive for the middle class and the poor? If you have a college degree and make $12. an hour will you ever pay off those loans?

  • Osullivan

    couple of things that this brought to mind:

    1.  In Malcolm Gladwells “Outliers” he effectively dispels the idea of that educated rich people with higher IQs will produce progeny with higher IQs that go on to great things. This was the Terman test which utterly failed. The idea that intelligence/success/fitness is genetic and pre-determined is a myth now completely disproved. 

    2. Marriage is in decline but maybe it’s also a good thing. It’s not like marriage has been a string human instinct forever. On the contrary in fact. Marriage almost became policy post WWII and as we have seen the divorce rate sky-rocketed in the US not long after. Why??? 

    Maybe the decline in marriage began with the development of the pill which occurred 1959. Many say that this breakthrough provoked the liberation of women from from the marital prison (as it was for many at the time) and into the workforce, into the arts and policy making arenas – to use their talent and intelligence as they saw fit. The Pill may not have “destroyed” marriage but simply reframed it as an institution of equality and not one where women were required to be subservient to husband, children and church. Is this a negative thing? It sounded like Mr Murray is almost misty eyed for days pre-1959. 

  • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

    I don’t care for the racial element in this discussion, but I have to admit that I enjoyed hearing Charles Murray point out that  government intervention is not a good way to address real social change. As usual, Tom Ashbrook was apoplectic when confronted by this point of view so alien to statists on the Left and Right.

    • Heaviest Cat

      you forget one thing we ARE the govt. of the people by the people… youknow the rest. so I feel govt, is the best way if we act as a community. do you think the “magic hand of the market” is going to bring social change? The market only sees us as passive consumers,not thinking citizens.

      • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

        I didn’t forget that the government is made up of people, but that’s wholly irrelevant to my point that government is an inefficient and undesirable way to achieve social change. Did you forget that democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner? I don’t want that kind of government thank you very much.

        As for what brings social change – I guess you forgot that Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement weren’t government-funded. In fact, they fought against the cruel governments in the South to achieve lasting progress. The suffragettes waged a similar battle in the 1920s. Real change is when society adapts to new realities voluntarily and when the old retrograde generation fades away. I don’t know if I’d call that the “invisible hand of the market”, which typically refers to the manner in which various independent actors end up working together voluntarily to produce extraordinarily complex results without central coordination, simply due to their seeking a profit.

        • Heaviest Cat

          Two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner sounds doesn’t tell the whole story. that’s why govt. must enforce protection of minority rights against the “tyranny of the majority” when necessary. But you’re right History shows that people had to fight for any rights they may enjoy, they were not bestowed upon us by wise old fathers. but it is because of MLK and the movt. that governmnet now enforces laws that protect the civil rights of all citizens. far from perfect yes, and the struggle continues. yet if more American citizens would turn off American Idol long enough to read up a bit on current events that stuggle would be further along.

          • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

            I’m all for the protection of minority rights, and the smallest and most important minority is the individual. Unfortunately the government has become a tool used by the majority to infringe on individual rights in far too many cases. It’s also worth noting that the Constitution protects individual rights – not collective ones. Thank you for the interesting conversation.

      • Tina

        And right now, due to market forces and profit motives, some major prescription drugs are not being manufactured to the detriment of thousands of individuals with major illnesses.  I am among that group of patients, and so I am having to take a less effective medication which is also much harder on my body because the rx manufacturers feel they can’t make enough profit making a drug which COULD be considered, along with the others in this situation, a Miracle of Science and Human Intelligence!

        • Heaviest Cat

          Tina, sorryabout your situation which only proves to me the flaws of a market system. In a democracy profit should not be the incentive to manfucture prescriptions that people in your situation may need. Good luck.

          • Pastor Roy Manning

            To me it’s a question of balance. Leaders with amoral conduct who are in a quest for absolute power are far more dangerious than a amoral company seeking profit. Both are wrong, both need moral guidance. Unfortunately, the majority who could give good moral guidance are left wing and think that government is god. Balance is what is needed. There is historical evidence that every couple of hundred years there is chaos, then adjustment, and then for a season there is balance. Lord help us find balance.

  • direwolf

    About
    10 years ago, I was transferred by my employer from a large urban area to a
    small “blue collar” town that had suffered from the “pull
    out” of its largest employer. I was expecting a town of family oriented,
    church going folk. Instead I found Charles Murray’s Ground Zero. A pattern of
    “serial marriages”, out of wedlock children, hard drugs and men who
    seemed to work intermittently. It was a lot like an urban ghetto with two big
    differences: 1) there was virtually no significant crime, particularly violent
    crime and 2) Welfare type programs played no role in people’s lives. There was
    never any doubt in my mind that the cause of these problems boiled down to the
    lack of good jobs.

    Murray
    seems to feel that there is “sickness in the culture” that results in
    men not seeking out what ever low-paying job they can find and “doing
    their best” to be good fathers, good husbands good citizens. Somehow, he
    blames it all on the “60’s” and the “cultural elites” who, for whatever reason
    fail to impart their own stable marriage, church-going life style to their “less
    educated” neighbors.  Total BS.  

  • annoymous

    Tom, every time you get these intellectual (dishonest) hacks on your show, you act like a girly man behind the mic without asking serious, followup questions to these guest, and questioning their honestly. I for once, I have study Charles Murray work and his involvement with the American Enterprise Institute. I can tell you that he is a idiot, a liar, and downright elitist. In fact, he doesn’t know squat what is really going on in the real world. For example, it is proven before that he doesn’t care about black people; his book, “the bell curve,” back in the 1990s, recognizes Murray as a snobby racist who compare Blacks to their IQ’s in society. More importantly however, Murray decried like many other elites in this country that too many people are going to college and the educational system has been wasted, even though the U.S. Census data since 2010 points out that only twenty six to thirty percent of the American population has a Liberal Arts degree, and those numbers never changed since 1970.

    Personally Tom, I find your guest laughable when it comes to approaching complex social problems in America from a Conservative point of view. This like saying Clint Eastwood should be thrown under the bus by the Republican elites for making a Super Bowl halftime TV that fawns over the auto companies in Detroit, even though Eastwood himself is an outspoken Hollywood libertarian and a rich guy.

  • delmar

    Loved the show. It hit on alot of the real problems in this country today. You can sum everything talked about in the show in one statement. “A millionare hollywood actor is not going to look for a mate that works in a retail store”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BFQXCXGPUGOMRNOVK4TDWOTC2A jason

    I think that Tom handled Murray perfectly. Just because he didn’t go all rabid dog — ala O’Reilly — doesn’t mean that he didn’t hold down the logic line. It’s difficult to handle a guest whose lines of thinking are so convoluted and specious at best…
    Mr. Murray’s analysis gives us nothing new — in fact it only helps to drum up false arguments. Why is he so adamantly opposed to looking at the causes? I think that rather than having a genuine concern for our society, Mr. Murray is flaunting a load of very suspect “empirical data” in the hopes of staying relevant. 
    I am thankful for Joan in staying civil and laying out carefully-crafted analysis. 

  • Carolyn

    Joan Walsh’s last comment was spot-on.  Poor underprivlieged whites had better realize that they are regarded as stupid, depraved, and morally bankrupt in the eyes of the white elite just as poor blacks are.   Their pale skin does NOT make them part of the elite.  It is time for the poor of all races to put away racial animus and unite to bring about a society that cares for the poor and provides opportunity for them to move into the middle class. 

  • Roymerritt19

    I think Mr. Murray should have called his book “My Struggle” or better yet “Mein Kampf” ala Adolf Hitler.  His answer to the problem from here on out may be to send those he deems inferior into gas chambers just as Herr Hitler decided to do.  Only in Murray’s nation he would eliminate even those who are won’t to follow his ideals, most specifically the brainless Tea Party types who are saluting their own demise when they show up at rallies to push hatred of the left and a black president.  Our culture has been debased, on that I will agree, but one only has to look at the social elites and the corporations for making it so.  After all who owns all the entertainment companies who push much of this garbage onto our airwaves?  It has been this group also who have demoralized white America equating them with the darker races whom they so vehemently hate and lie about.  His talk of a lack of religiosity I find quite humorous considering that churches, specifically all these Mega churches with any number of hucksters standing in their pulpits clamoring for more contributions from the great unwashed and adherence to their Medieval concepts as if they weren’t the blatant charlatans we all know them to be.  These places are hate factories for the ignorant and the elite as well, only you’d never catch Murray or any of his ilk in one no doubt because they most assuredly consider those who attend such institutions as brainless fools only fit to be tools of his crowd.  Greed is what has been behind the impending destruction of the United States and anyone who claims to have an over the top Intelligence Quota as Murray does knows this to be true or are inflating their supposed smarts.  Murray is just a newer version of an old ideal.  He is a Nazi plain and simple and we all know how they end up. At the end of a rope.           

  • Lindyhop

    After being raised in a lower middle class family I stayed middle class while my sister married “money” Almost every aspect of our upbringing seems to have been erased from her memory and she has lost total touch with how I and mine live.  She has less education than I, does not work and can claim no advantage over me except Money yet condecends to me .  It’s brainwashing at its finest, once they enter the world of money they can’t go back so they must parrot the beliefs and roles of the moneyed society in which they live or be cast out.  Until this country taxes them back into place and evens the playing field for all of us nothing will change.  It’s the same brainwashing that takes places in the churches they too feel they are the only people with values and everyone should live according to their beliefs.  It’s all about the club you’re a member of.  Only courageous people will stand up for what’s right even if it goes against the “party” line. You’d be hard pressed to find courageous people in any social band these days.  

  • Slipstream

    I think Murray is a very interesting thinker who has a smooth and articulate presentation and some important points to make.  His head to head confrontation with Walsh, an equally articulate liberal, made for very interesting listening.  I suppose Murray wants me to read his book, and I might have to in order to understand what he was getting at, but it seemed to be along the lines of the following:  Things are getting worse, society is coming unglued, it may be the result of economics, and it is definitely the result of poor morals.  Race may have something to do with it, but more importantly stupid people beget stupid people and brainy people beget brainy people (I know that is not always so) and they have begun to pull away from the rest of us.  The government can try to help, but they will just screw things up further, and there probably won’t be any bootstraps to pull yourself up with, but if there were, they would be your best bet.  I am not sure I agree with this bleak picture he seems to be painting here.  I agree that things have not been getting better in the USA, but there have to be some ways that things can be improved.

  • Jane Hamilton

    In 1960′s and 70′s middle class families had 1 bathroom, shared bedrooms for kids,  no or 1 TV, no cable, no internet, 1 phone for everyone. So yes a working class family could make a living wage.
    Along with industry (not the welfare mentality of today), religiosity and honesty and appreciation of marriage Murray left out another major reason for America coming apart which is MATERIALISM and greed

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