Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Screen of Ignorance.

Charles Murray has an excellent article at on the re-discovery of the underclass in the aftermath of Katrina.

He talks about the root of the problem of the underclass, which is pretty much what I wrote before on race, but he said it much better and with all those good statistics that the left leaners love so much:

"Why has the proportion of unsocialized young males risen so relentlessly? In large part, I would argue, because the proportion of young males who have grown up without fathers has also risen relentlessly. The indicator here is the illegitimacy ratio--the percentage of live births that occur to single women. It was a minuscule 4% in the early 1950s, and it has risen substantially in every subsequent decade. The ratio reached the 25% milestone in 1988 and the 33% milestone in 1999. As of 2003, the figure was 35%--of all births, including whites. The black illegitimacy ratio in 2003 was 68%. By way of comparison: The illegitimacy ratio that caused Daniel Patrick Moynihan to proclaim the breakdown of the black family in the early 1960s was 24%."

Murray makes clear that any and all govt. programs to help the underclass have been tried and they have failed. The interesting part of the article to me is how he pointed out that Katrina simply knocked down a screen between the poor and the middle class that the middle class had erected. We had created enclaves away from the poor.

This is so true. People are comfortable if they don't have to see the problem. We can pretend that it really isn't there. But Murray's last paragraph saddens me greatly. Because I know that it is all too true:

"Hurricane Katrina temporarily blew away the screens that we have erected to keep the underclass out of sight and out of mind. We are now to be treated to a flurry of government efforts from politicians who are shocked, shocked, by what they saw. What comes next is depressingly predictable. Five years from now, the official evaluations will report that there were no statistically significant differences between the subsequent lives of people who got the government help and the lives of people in a control group. Newspapers will not carry that story, because no one will be interested any longer. No one will be interested because we will have long since replaced the screens, and long since forgotten."

via Ace.