What Poor People Need Is More Marriage, Religion & Bitchy Disdain

Illustration for article titled What Poor People Need Is More Marriage, Religion & Bitchy Disdain

Despite the millions of magnetic car stickers that demanded Americans Stand United, the opposite's happening. The wealthy highbrow elite are moving culturally further and further from their Cheeto dust huffing, sexy mudflap buying dirt-folk, and the cultural class divide's only going to widen. That is, unless we college educated snobs start acting more disappointed with poor people. Why didn't anyone think of using shame before?!


Another failure-proof model of cultural reengineering from the pages of the Wall Street Journal, or, as I like to call it, The White Middle Manager's Going Concern. This time, Charles Murray tackles the growing gap between a cultural upperclass and a cultural lower class among white Americans by examining the white canyon that's keeping America from being great.

Murray argues that income inequality isn't to blame for the cultural divide; rather that poor white people are "withdraw(ing) from America's core cultural institutions" at higher rates. What's he mean by this? Marriage and church. Also, they're lazy— sorry, they "lack industriousness."

Like every person who thinks that everything would be fixed with some church sanctioned monogamous dicking, he blames cultural divide resulting from the decline in marriage and increase in general slatternly nonparticipation of the Poors on the most cursed of decades, the 1960's.

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

Damn it, feminism. Allowing women the ability to not have to depend on a man for support. Ruining everything.

Never mind the fact that the actual gap in marriage rates between wealth whites and poor whites didn't start to widen dramatically until the 1980's. Or the fact that the growing cultural gap could be due to a growing gap in income between the wealthy and poor. Nope, this Fancy Beer/Old Milwaukee chasm is all due to all that shit the liberals demanded during the Decade When Everything Went Wrong.


So what does Murray propose as a fix for The Great White Rift? First, that rich people with college degrees and high incomes stop being so damn snobby and move to neighborhoods where they can frolic amongst the lowbrow and show them the ways of churchgoing and how to plan weddings and stuff.

Second, it's time to unleash the stinkeye, white people.

The best thing that the new upper class can do to provide that reinforcement is to drop its condescending "nonjudgmentalism." Married, educated people who work hard and conscientiously raise their kids shouldn't hesitate to voice their disapproval of those who defy these norms. When it comes to marriage and the work ethic, the new upper class must start preaching what it practices.


Shame is truly a panacea. Remember when a bunch of people got worried about the obesity epidemic so they tried to make overweight people feel ashamed of themselves and then no one was fat again?

The New American Divide [WSJ]



His thinking is that the Educated and Wealthy are MORE religious? And more likely to be married?

I must have grown up in a seriously strange poor area, because I can tell you that the Bay Area is much much wealthier than where I grew up and much much less religious. Plus the upwardly mobile set doesn't marry at 18-22 very frequently.

The upwardly mobile group that I associate with work hard at either good paying jobs or jobs with "social value", are educated, marry late and do not attend church.

He is apparently talking about some entirely other upwardly mobile and successful crowd.