City Journal Spring 2014

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Spring 2014
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Clark Whelton
SugarHouse Rules « Back to Story

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Dream on, everyone. There is only one way out of the unfolding socioeconomic disaster, and that is to end all support for new single mothers and for the subsequent babies of those single mothers currently receiving support. This will force most women to require substance in their men before sex and will lead them to stigmatize and ostracize those of their sex who are promiscuous. Once men without substance and commitment are denied sex, you won't be able to keep them from working to earn it. Like OPEC, which keeps oil prices high by withholding production, women will get more from men if the scarcity of sex keeps its price high.

The justification for welfare for unmarried mothers is always "it's for the children." Nonsense! Most children of unmarried mothers will lead crummy lives. The welfare regime merely augments and subsidizes the sex lives of lazy, unproductive, exploitative men; encourages more men to follow their example; and leads more women to consider unwed motherhood a reasonable career choice.
An excellent article; thank you.
So the "remittance men" are demanding their Danegeld. And we're paying. We know where that leads.
Nils: The point isn't rich VS. poor. That makes for good activism but feels reductionist in this case. Isn't he saying discipline and productivity are behaviors we should reward? Bums live everywhere. School, work, family and community are all checkpoints that, perhaps, minimize that.

Your comment touches on a fair criticism: The rich also need moral policing. We know that without non-Belmont accountability they, too, could disrupt productivity.
Kudos to Clark Whelton for "calling out", if you will, the unmanley members of our society who are able but refuse to work and become dependent on government handouts. Mr Whelton suggests taxpayers are guilty of voting for politicians who, in turn, vote to support these government handout for the unmanley.

Isn't it time to go one suggestion further. Our vote in November could change the course of this dependent culture to be certain only the TRULY disabled receive government support by tightening the rules and enforcement. Politicians, take heed!
Carl Van de Craats May 14, 2012 at 1:50 PM
My wife and I are both post-graduate degree holding professionals, with an income that is squarely middle class. (She is a teacher, and I work for a labor union). We have 3 kids, have been married 14 years, and attend church weekly. Our values are squarely with Belmont, but we reside in a place more akin to Fishtown, with all its blue collar social dysfunction. Rather than be be welcomed as a positive influence as people who will invest in and improve a home, who won't take Section 8 money, and who care about the neighborhood,the community largely views us with suspicion and disdain. Had we been poor minorities, they would threaten us and deflate our tires. Instead, we are seen as uppity interlopers, and resented beyond words. This article is sadly true.
Excellent piece Clark. The article reminds me of the story Diane tells of Mayor Lindsay arranging for cash to be handed out to blacks, right on the street, hand to hand cash. Charles Murray’s solution is ridiculous, as if berating slackers will get them to do anything other than open another can of beer. I lay the blame on our leadership. Way back when, potential slackers were presented with a meaningful life style. The large mural at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh depicts a panorama of sweating steel workers slaving amid the furnaces and glowing rivers of steel, and then the mural shows the reward of hard work is a lovely wife and kids sitting around the dinner table. In the 1970s, the truckers still had C.W. McCall and Convoy, but all the truckers have today is competition from Mexican drivers. For the ordinary Joe now, being a remittance man may be the highest station he can aspire to, it’s better than Rikers. My buddy out in Connecticut tells me a lot of right wing White guys are becoming “Socialists”, figuring the dole is better than what the other guys are offering.
From someone who spent his short life caring for his brother came the words...Judge not that ye be not judged. He also had the courage to sum up the 500 plus commandments of the Jews into one... Love one another. This love is constructive, non-judgemental, peaceful, and puts the other one first. If we could live by these rules perhaps we would see a little deeper into what is motivating or not motivating our fellow man's misery and perhaps something would come to mind that we could do to help. Earning money off this misery by writing books is not helping.
Brilliant analysis. It elegantly explains what on its face seems inexplicable, and it rings true.
A solution to Fishtown could be to do what Alec Guiness did in an old movie of his, which is promote a pier casino as a game of chance, then cut loose and sail away.

Just think! Fishtowners should play real snooker and poker instead of one arm bandits. Pretty soon they'll play Rollerball and get real exercise. The whole town will become an alternative reality like Dubai or Dungeons and Dragons. It will attract big bucks, and the residents will be sharper, smarter, more ambitious. The seniors will have more pep in their step. Better than free bus tickets to Atlantic City, huh?
Devastating but spot on. We're done.
In Olden Dayes, religion played a larger part than Mr. Murray seems to allow. Indeed it played the larger part. With the collapse of the religious communities, society is quietly and no so quietly collapsing. It still seems to stand, like a building that has been dynamited. But that is a mirage.
Epidemic single motherhood, is caused by girls who offer no-contraceptive sex. They do not say, “No!” because they want babies and ensuing government support. Far from “working women,” they are the most numerous ‘deadbeats’ who refuse to work to support their children.

Their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, friends and others, daily showed the consequences of girls and women raising children alone: crime, life failure and more fatherless children.

Imposed ‘Broken Windows’ reforms improved the quality of life for such mothers and children and led them to stop producing more babies for welfare payments.

Condemning boys and men only as, “lazy, bums, unmanly, feckless, irresponsible,” will further divide our society and exacerbate the family and societal decay incited by feminists.

Jeffrey Asher
First of all, what actual evidence do you or Murray have that the (fictional) denizens of this (fictional) Belmont DON'T actually express disdain the lower classes?

Second, if they did, wouldn't the immediate reaction of the populist right to this be to dismiss this as "liberal snobbery"? Like here: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2274195/posts Or here: http://michellemalkin.com/2008/04/11/photoshop-of-the-week-typical-liberal-snob/ (many more where these came from).

The notion that what the poor REALLY need is more disdain from the rich is the kind of idea that is so laughable on its face that it takes a magazine like this one to take it seriously.
This is what happens when you call a spade a shovel; we need to start to once again call a spade a spade. Political correctness will be the death of this country.
Is there in fact useful work to be done, work that the Fishtown man might learn to do? If there isn't, then Murray's censure is unfair, and there are millions of men who simply cannot, try as they might, earn much of anything.

If there is, then we need to "incentivize" those men to take those jobs. First, make sure they're really available, and that the potential workers know about them. Second, see to it that training is available for the jobs they can't just walk into. Third, subsidize their wages, with a sweeter earned income tax credit or in some other way, while whittling away at the remittances that subsidize not working.