249 of 291 people found the following review helpful
Challenging argument on a critical theme,
This review is from: Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 (Hardcover)
Charles Murray has never been one to shy away from a volatile subject. As a result, he has been able to make startling arguments on topics that are rather taboo in the modern intellectual climate. With the Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (A Free Press Paperbacks Book), he argued that intelligence, which is partly innate, is more important to social success than socioeconomic status. In Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950, he ranks the cultural value of different civilizations and assesses the west as by far the greatest. It's clear from his work that Murray does not suffer from delusion--he is no quack. And the content of his arguments is engaging for anyone who is open-minded and willing to consider arguments from new perspectives.
Here, Murray explains that white America has grown increasingly divided along class lines. There is a clear moral case being made here. The lower class is falling into illegitimacy, crime, and poverty while the upper class is excelling in education, career, and family. The main cause is simple: primarily, a devaluation of white middle class values brought on by increased intervention by the government. This intervention takes the form of welfare support, in which the government gives incentive for people to break apart families and avoid work. Meanwhile, the upper class is left alone to prosper in its highly technical fields.
This argument will challenge the reader, whether you agree with the central premise or not. At the very least, it is worth an in-depth discussion. Reflect upon it with regard to George Gilder's Men and Marriageargument, and Eric Robert Morse's argument in Juggernaut: Why the System Crushes the Only People Who Can Save It.
Definitely a five-star book for the provocative ideas alone.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 17, 2012 10:41:00 PM PST
K. Gleason says:
Posted on May 26, 2012 12:34:20 AM PDT
The author does not have a clue about the fundamentals of economics as evidenced by his claim that the standard of living and economic advancement opportunities since the 1960's for the lower and middle classes, have risen at the same rate as the upper middle class and the rich. The contrary is obviously to any intelligent person.
"Money makes the world go round." Fair economic opportunity for all makes for a better society by contributing to family harmony and economic and social freedom for all.
The primary causes for the impoverishment of the working class and the moral degradation of most Americans, regardless of economic class are: The state of hopelessness and lack of economic opportunity due to job destruction caused by so called "free trade", the government's encouragement of immigration of the world's poor to compete for the declining number of jobs to match economic expansion and the outrageous inflation of paper money to feed the useless and criminal military-industrial complex for the government's trumped up war on non-existent foreign terrorism. My reading of history tell me that these mistaken policies will lead to revolution and the end of America as we know it. Both the poor and the elite will suffer or they may not survive.
No need to read the book, it is pure adulterated bull manure.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2012 10:06:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 31, 2012 10:07:09 AM PST
Gee Hellabored, why don't you wrtie a book as you seem to be so impressed with yourself. I am sure that would be better than reading one...
Posted on Feb 8, 2013 7:32:14 PM PST
" devaluation of white middle class values brought on by increased intervention by the government."
ridiculous. The growing inequality started precisely in the late 70s and 80s, with Reaganism and globalization.
It is correlated with a DECREASING 'government intervention', not increasing
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