It’s the family, stupid

Before Robert Putnam there was Patrick Moynihan, the social scientist and later Democratic Senator from New York, who pointed to the dire social and economic consequences when children are not raised by intact families.  His research to this effect came out 50 years ago.  He was studying African-Americans, who back in 1960 had a birthrate to unmarried mothers of 23.6%, which Moynihan believed kept them trapped in poverty, crime, and bad schools.  Today, the unmarried birth rate of all races is more than twice that.

George Will discusses Moynihan’s findings and gives some striking quotations. [Read more...]

Was Tolkien a libertarian?

An essay in the Intercollegiate Review explores J. R. R. Tolkien’s political views.  He said in a letter that his “political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs).” Also, “The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.”  This becomes a theme, for example, in the Hobbits, who, as he says, have “hardly any government.” [Read more...]

Big corporations support gay marriage

Belying the leftist myth that big corporations are conservative,  379 major businesses filed friend-of-the-court briefs supporting gay marriage for when the Supreme Court hears arguments on the issue on April 28. [Read more...]

The higher calling of corporate mission statements

Thanks to David Bergquist for alerting me to an article in the Wall Street Journal about how corporate mission statements are now all about “changing the world” and other idealistic and even religious motivations (including having a “mission”), rather than just making a product.   This demonstrates both people’s need for a sense of vocation and their misunderstanding about what a vocation actually entails.

Read an excerpt and follow the link after the jump, then consider what I have to say about this. [Read more...]

Whatever happened to the working class?

When I was in college, I worked on a construction crew, and it did me a lot of good.  I developed a lot of respect for the guys I worked with, who worked with their backs and their hands with skills that were far beyond me.  Politicians used to talk quite a bit about “the working class,” also known as “blue collar workers.”  But no more.  Even liberal democrats are pushing policies that are supposed to help “the middle class.”

Part of the problem may be that the working class considers itself middle class.  And with good reason:  A factory or construction worker may well own his own home, have a car or two, and have other accoutrements once associated with the middle, college-educated class.  Such are the wonders of the modern economy.  And yet, unemployment, the decline of American industry, stagnant wages, and other economic woes are hitting blue collar workers hard.  But hardly anybody is speaking for them or about them anymore. [Read more...]

The Fallacy of Composition

Bill and Elizabeth Kelly apply an economics principle to President Obama’s plan to give free community college to everyone.  According to the Fallacy of Composition, what is good for one person may not be good if lots of people do it.  In this case, if the supply of community college degrees goes up, their value goes down. [Read more...]


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