Published: Sunday, Dec. 30 2012 12:00 a.m. MST
Being an editor hardly makes someone a good sociologist. Why single
out the poor? They have less than the rich, why does that make them the focus of
your rant on the demise of "social glue" ?That a poor woman
doesn't feel like she has to stay with an abusive husband is bad? And if
you can watch an episode of Beverly Hill --- and think they are moral is
bewildering. You need to rethink what glue looks like.
This is all true, but we still need to look at guns and gun culture as part of
This is an interesting start to a conversation that cannot fruitfully be encased
in a short editorial. Perhaps I need to read the book mentioned so as to better
understand the data behind the proposed civic fraying mentioned. Somehow,
combining this editorial with the perennial Christmas favorite Its a Wonderful
Life, makes me wonder whether we have seen a decrease in community in favor of
more efficient though ultimately less effective approaches towards caring for
one another. Lest this be seen as a purely political statement, I wonder about
this also in terms of the religious and not-for-profit communities that care for
us as well.
"We've moved far beyond that in many ways. In "Coming Apart,"
Charles Murray writes that the values that once kept lower-income white families
together — and buttressed America's prosperity — are
dissolving, leaking from low-income America and concentrating in upscale
America, where divorce has dropped and out-of-wedlock births are rare."On thing that even many conservatives pointed out about Charles
Murray's book is that he completely ignored all of the economic changes of
the past forty years. Back then a male high school graduate could easily find a
job that would support a family and buy a house, so that's exactly what
they did. That's no longer possible so they don't. Bring back decent
working-class jobs and I think many of our social problems would decrease
“The glue that holds us together is what scholars call social capital. It
fosters families and the voluntary networks that make communities work through
cooperation rather than compulsion.”The reasons we glue
ourselves together is for safety, security and progress. Unfortunately these
are counter productive to private enterprise commercial business. Business
would prefer people to be unorganized, uneducated and unprotected. It goes back to the jungle where the prey animals lived in herds for safety
and the predatory animals strategy was to separate individuals to weaken their
defense. If we would enhance the benefits of civilization we
should strengthen the bonds of the group and resist the efforts of the
commercial predators to separate and weaken us. The propaganda that
glorifies independence and self reliance often goes too far and denies us the
security of the group. We want to be individually free but we should realize
that strength for our quest for survival depends on greater strength than we
have alone. The other thing is, we need to use our brain. We need
to think about the things people tell us and seek to understand the truth.
I really question the statement that "the values that once kept lower-income
white families together — and buttressed America's prosperity —
are dissolving, leaking from low-income America and concentrating in upscale
America, where divorce has dropped and out-of-wedlock births are rare."Looking at upscale America -- at least as far upscale as Hollywood might
be -- all I seem to see is countless celebrities flaunting their immorality.
Just checking out at the grocery store is a disgusting ordeal where we are
surrounded by racks of tabloid garbage screaming about the latest great bit of
celebrity fame and disgusting behavior.Even the wealthy among us who
are not in Hollywood seem to be allowing their morals to decay rapidly. Who are the real rocks of American society? May I submit that the
middle class who are currently becoming an endangered species just might be the
real foundation of America?
Lawlessness has a tendency to go with poverty only because there is either no
legal infrastructure or the infrastructure doesn't serve the poor well. Our
own legal system is terrible if you are poor. Try settling a dispute legally
with a $10 and hour job and $500 an hour lawyers.In every case a
formal legal system does not work for the poor they make their own justice
system and refuse to work with the formal system as much as they can. Steven
Pinker is a real eye opener if you read his books.
This editorial is terribly written. When I first started it I thought it was a
letter to the editor, and then half way through it was so bad that I looked to
see who had written it, and I was surprised to see that it was from an editor of
a newspaper. Mr. McClanahan, your high school english teacher would
have given you a D-.
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