Monday, October 03, 2005

Charles Murray in Opinion Journal

Often I don't read blogs over the weekend, which means I miss interesting discussions. So, I missed one over at Ace's, and now it's simply too late to join in. Charles Murray wrote in the Wall Street Journal on Poverty, Katrina, the underclass, and illegitimacy:

The government hasn't a clue. Versions of every program being proposed in the aftermath of Katrina have been tried before and evaluated. We already know that the programs are mismatched with the characteristics of the underclass. Job training? Unemployment in the underclass is not caused by lack of jobs or of job skills, but by the inability to get up every morning and go to work. A homesteading act? The lack of home ownership is not caused by the inability to save money from meager earnings, but because the concept of thrift is alien. You name it, we've tried it. It doesn't work with the underclass.

Word. Never discussed in issues of poverty and employment is the taboo idea that the "underclass" often has a strong dislike of working. Of showing up on time. Of determining what is a legitimate reason for not going in to work (extremely sick child) versus a non-legitimate (friend was having a party.)

The meat of the article, though, addresses the single-parent crises in the black community. Ace's discussion turns more toward the promiscuity of society in general. It's ironic that the liberal mentality of free love has lead this major social problem, the onus of which is blamed on the conservatives and their lack of compassion. Round and round it goes.