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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb 14, 2012/ 21 Shevat, 5772

Life inside the (class) bubble

By Michael Smerconish



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Charles Murray thinks I live in a bubble, and it worries him. He believes that people like me are influential but detached, and that the level of isolation in which we live jeopardizes the well-being of society.

When he looks at me, here is what he sees: Big home, Ivy League law degree, kids in private schools, a Stairmaster in my office, and no domestic beer in my fridge.

I tried to convince him that he is mistaken, highlighting that I grew up in Doylestown, Pa., in a three-bedroom, one-bath home (with only a tub, no shower) on a quarter-acre lot. I worked at McDonald's when I was 16, and attended public schools.

So we put the issue of my detachment to a quiz contained in his new book: "Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010." He told me the quiz was designed to show members of the new upper class how isolated they are. The questions, he said, could be answered by ordinary Americans in a heartbeat. Here are a few:

-Have you ever walked on a factory floor?

-Who is Jimmie Johnson?

-Have you or your spouse ever bought a pickup truck?

-Since leaving school, have you ever worn a uniform?

-Have you ever watched an Oprah, Dr. Phil, or Judge Judy show all the way through?

(My total score was a 42; 77 is a typical score for a lifelong resident of a working-class neighborhood.)

Murray, a libertarian affiliated with the American Enterprise Institute, is best known as the co-author of "The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life." His new book is equally provocative. The focus is on class formation, which Murray writes is "a new form of segregation." Murray argues that America is coming apart at the seams, not from race, but from class, which is why he focused on whites in his book, despite believing that the trends do cross racial boundaries.

When he looks at America, Murray sees a divide between locales such as Belmont, Mass., and Fishtown, in the Lower Northeast of Philadelphia. While he fictionalizes both locales, the elements on which he draws are accurate - just exaggerated. The upper-middle-class residents of Belmont still embody the virtues of our Founders while the white, working-class in Fishtown are sliding down the socioeconomic ladder. A large part of the problem is that the people in Belmont are no longer connected to the residents of Fishtown, denying the latter a needed form of social order.

Marriage, work and community are important constituents of a satisfying life, says Murray, but those institutions are collapsing in Fishtown.

"We've always had classes in United States," he told me this week. "There have always been rich and poor folks who had somewhat different customs and mores. But there used to be a lot of interchange and it used to be that even the rich folks had grown up as either poor or middle class and knew what it was like personally. All of that is changing big time. It's going to get worse."

The danger seen by Murray is that power is concentrated in the hands of the new upper class, which lacks the requisite empathy to make decisions for the remainder of society. Given the impact the new upper class has on the economy and culture, it would be a "good idea," he told me, if its members could empathize with the rest of the country.

Murray views this as a continuation of themes he wrote about in "The Bell Curve" 17 years ago, a book that created a flash point because of its treatment of race and intelligence.

"Brains are worth a lot more in the marketplace than they used to be," Murray told me. "So when you get to these divisions of wealth, it's not that somebody is stealing money but that it is worth more to have a lot of ability in certain kinds of intellectual areas than it was 50, 60 years ago, and that's going to continue. And as that happens, you get development of what I call super zips - very affluent, extremely well-educated zip codes in which pretty much everybody is alike."

But his biggest concern is not my contemporaries. It's their children, who he believes are being raised completely detached from a society that they are being groomed to lead.

I asked him, sight unseen, to describe my bubble. He told me that the people who live around me don't watch TV like the rest of the country ("some brag they don't even have a TV or use it only to watch videos or DVDs"), are more concerned about their weight, have different dietary and child-raising practices, and bear very little relationship to mainstream Americans.

Sounds as if he just stepped off the R5.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Michael Smerconish writes for The Philadelphia Inquirer.


Previously:


02/09/12 Rethinking paths to wealth
01/17/12 Romney must face his work history head-on
01/11/12 Don't let those gift cards be a gift to retailers or the state
01/03/12 Headlines hoped for in 2012
11/09/11 Romney, beware: Cain may bob through the straits
11/02/11 Where there's ad smoke, there's … what?
10/20/11 After husband is murdered, 30 long years of phone calls
10/13/11 Black women should only marry out of their race?
08/31/11 Some political gaffes really say something
07/27/11 An overture of candidates' theme songs
06/28/11 Where's the app for common sense?
06/02/11 Over-scrutinizing lives costs us potential leaders
04/19/11 Taking a chance to say, ‘Hi’
04/06/11 Race policies should be altered to reflect new demographic reality
11/10/10 Delaware's independent, but short-lived, voice
11/03/10 Papers should leave endorsing to others
10/21/10 Media help to hype perception of bullying
09/23/10 Officer down, killer hyped up
08/04/10 Documents highlight Pakistan's shortcomings as a U.S. ally
07/06/10 On taking back Sept. 11
06/29/10 Name elite corps to develop energy independence?
04/21/10 New account reinforces a serviceman's valor
03/11/10 Medical profession must police itself better
02/18/10 One-trick athletes
02/09/10 Active, retired law officers should be able to carry guns on planes to help stop terrorists
02/04/10 How to bring tech up to speed
01/28/10 Campaign donations must be fully and immediately disclosed online
01/07/10 The flying emperor still has no clothes, and no one is willing to say so
12/24/09 A law to mandate college football playoffs?
12/17/09 Cheney's abuse of freedom of speech
11/26/09 The true cost of freedom from anxiety
10/27/09 If GOP wants to win in 2012, it must reshape its primary process
10/08/09 It's time to get smarter on extended school day
09/03/09 What a summer of eulogizing flawed public figures reveals about society
08/12/09 It's time for cyclists and motorists to reconcile
08/05/09 Faces have changed, but vitriol remains
06/25/09 Fair comment or foul? Warm up the Muzzle Meter
06/08/09 Believability is key in crime-hoax villains
05/14/09 Did Hollywood inspire the meltdown men?
04/20/09 Let's give killers their due: Anonymity
03/12/09 Uninsured who can't afford medical care lose a lot more
02/06/09 My debate with Musharraf on hunt for bin Laden
01/29/09 Torture must remain an option
01/15/09 Making a case for suing Madoff
12/22/08 A difficult but rational chat about ‘plans’
12/17/08 Facebook epidemic: More than 120 million have joined, many too old for this nonsense
12/01/08 The high price of downsizing the news biz
11/14/08 Prescience on greed, arrogance of a system
09/29/08 Closer look at party lines
08/26/08 Obama's pick creates GOP opportunity
08/21/08 Fishing with the Angry Everyman
07/31/08 The perils of e-mail: Ponder, then click
05/22/08 Two very different sides of the Internet
02/12/08 Sublimely ridiculous suits
11/28/08 Cell phones cut out secondary circle of kinship
09/26/07 What do we owe those who have died in Iraq?
08/30/07 A Navy SEAL's gut-wrenching tale of survival
07/30/07 First it was a faux pas, now it's a new word


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