9.12.15

THAT MIDDLE-CLASS ETHIC OF SUCCESS.

For almost as long as I have been posting Cold Spring Shops, I have been suggesting that there's more to fixing poverty than throwing money at it.  For instance, here's the message, with a little help from Henry Louis Gates (long before the White House beer summit.)
The historical basis for the gap between the black middle class and underclass shows that ending discrimination, by itself, would not eradicate black poverty and dysfunction. We also need intervention to promulgate a middle-class ethic of success among the poor, while expanding opportunities for economic betterment.
Star Parker today directs readers to new research produced by American Enterprise Institute and Brookings Institution researchers who have figured out that undermining bourgeois values is not a winning strategy in a war on poverty.
Little was done to eradicate poverty but much was done to break down the American family and add hundreds of billions in new spending to the federal budget.

Fortunately, as this new AEI/Brookings report shows, many are now waking up.

New young leaders, particularly in the Republican Party, are breaking through to shine new light that family, ownership, and personal initiative and responsibility pave the promising path to rebuilding the broken parts of America.
The full report is available from Brookings.  From the introduction, we see a compromise position that is vintage Cold Spring Shops.
First, for able-bodied Americans, it is far better to earn money than to depend on public assistance, although economic conditions sometimes prevent people from becoming self-sufficient. Second, children are on average better off growing up with two parents committed to each other for the long term, an arrangement most likely to occur within the context of marriage. And third, our schools don’t adequately prepare the young for the economic and social environment in which they must make their way.
The conclusion calls for "paths of laudable pursuit for all."  There may be no consensus on what those paths look like, but perhaps bipartisan agreement to stop enabling dysfunction will follow.

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