Haves, have nots, and opportunity, Charles Murray reviews “Our Kids” by Robert D. Putnam

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There is nobody better than Charles Murray at explaining why more “solutions” from elitists working for big government and big special interests won’t help the poor and lower middle class.

(From The Federalist)

Policy analysts who write about America’s new lower class hardly ever know what they’re talking about—not at first hand. The typical social scientist in a major university, or scholar in a Washington think tank, grew up in a comfortable middle-class (or better) neighborhood, stayed in academia through the PhD, and now lives in an upscale faculty neighborhood or DC suburb. These analysts may know the data on labor-force participation, marriage, and educational attainment backward and forward, but few of them have actually lived in working-class communities and observed first-hand the phenomena they analyze.

Of the few who grew up in working-class communities, those over 50 have memories that are unlikely to correspond to the reality of daily life in today’s working-class America. Robert Putnam, the Harvard political scientist who informed America about its plunging social capital in “Bowling Alone(2000), is such a person.

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