Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Something rotten in Fishtown...

After the beating Charles Murray took by critics of his book 'The Bell Curve,' in which he cited racial differences in IQ, he took a different tack this time around in looking just at the culture differences in white America over the last 50 years.

Denounced as racists over the controversial findings in 'The Bell Curve,' Dr. Murray and his co-author the late Richard Herrnstein cited massive amounts of data that decidedly proved their thesis, to the outrage of the left.  In his new book 'Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010', Murray now points out the polarization of white classes over a 50 year span that is widening: the rich white folk living in 'Belmont' (Dr. Murray's rich enclave) have virtually nothing left in common with the poor folks living in Fishtown (Dr. Murray's ghetto for the white trash). He leaves out of the discussion any minority populations, and therefore avoids the cacophonous cries of 'racist' from the left this time around.

The disparate upper and lower class white cultures, Murray points out, have so drifted apart from their common roots in the Eisenhower era that the American way of life is coming apart as a result of this drift.  Before this happened, all whites valued marriage, religion and voter participation, and now only the rich white folks in Belmont still value this, but keep these values to themselves.

He points out that the Belmont folks get married just like everyone used to in polite society, but not so in Fishtown, where illegitimacy is rampant.  White folks in Belmont stay out of trouble, go to college and have jobs, while white Fishtowners end up in prison way too often, and subsist on food stamps and welfare.  The reason he cites is that the American industrial base has virtually collapsed, leaving Fishtown high and dry, while those in Belmont figured out a way to thrive despite all of our manufacturing jobs leaving the country.

The conclusion Murray draws is one of dire consequences, should this rift continue to widen, but his remedy is that the Belmont rich folk need to reach out to the Fishtown downtrodden and show them the way.


My conclusion is somewhat different than Murrays, although the facts he presents are pretty solid: indeed Fishtown and Belmont don't see eye to eye these days.  However, nobody in Belmont is going to reach out and help anyone in Fishtown, lest they receive a beating or worse.  This reaching out recommended by Dr. Murray is ludicrous, and the only obvious way that the downtrodden white folk are ever going to get out of Fishtown is for the government to stop subsidizing their existence there. 

The folks in Belmont are living in Belmont for good reasons.  They are self motivated to do the right things, to get an education and to earn an honest living.  Many of them are prior Fishtown residents, but got some gumption to make things better for themselves.  And staying in Fishtown was not in the plans.  The government has thrown money at the Fishtowners to alleviate their existential problems, but has not required anything from them in return for public largess.  Accordingly, these down and out folks simply stay down and out.

Once the government turns off the public trough spigot, I think things will turn around in Fishtown, Dr. Murray.  A little tough love is in order, and not an outreach program from the producers in Belmont.


WomanHonorThyself said...

will the govt ever turn off the spigot Fredd..what a mess we are in. Have a great night my friend:)

Silverfiddle said...

I heard Murray on the radio discussing this, and a large part of what he's saying is for the haves to stop looking the other way as the other half live like apes in the wild.

And Belmonters should rain down scorn upon fellow Belmonters like the Kardashians, etc for mainstreaming dysfunction. The poor and stupid do not realize it takes millions of dollars and a team of lawyers to live so irresponsibly and not end up in the gutter or in jail.

We need (all of us, the entire culture) to stop countenancing bad behavior and poor public morals. Fishtowners need to be told that their poor behavior is what keeps them mired in poverty and stupidity.

Having said that, I heartily agree with your simple solution, which is to stop giving them "free" taxpayer money.

Also, the liberals who attacked Murray over The Bell Curve are illiterate morons incapable of critically evaluating a logical argument. It was not a racist book. Here's an excellent and concise summary:

You're doing The Lord's work Fredd!

Fredd said...

Hi, Silver:

I think we both agree on the solutions to cure the ails of Fishtown: stop paying them to do nothing.

I tend to somewhat disagree with your suggestion that 'Fishtowners need to be told that their poor behavior is what keeps them mired in poverty and stupidity.'

Fishtowners are so far gone, culturally speaking, that they can't be told anything; you may as well try and tell wild apes to stop living like wild apes. You will get the same result from either conversation - a beating, or worse....

TeaBagger said...

well done, and so very true.

Kid said...

I agree with the HUH??

I'm not Belmont club, but I have reached out numerous times as our company has positions for people from Fishtown. They're not interested. What I have to say to them is about as valuable as what a Dolphin would say to them - in their mind.

And of course they do vote. To keep the free money coming.

You have -in this context- a few types of people. People who refuse to sit around and achieve, people who need regular kicks in the butt to do the same (and all that is needed is to put an end date on their unemployment and at most provide some skills training instead) and your folks who simply don't know any other way but to sit around like slugs.

We had a gal in the warehouse for a while. Black girl. A turtle could outrun her in any scenario. When talking to her, she was always focused on free. If it's Free I'd be interested was a common reply. She was let go when the economy flew apart from the democrat induced mortgage meltdown.

She is a fantastic girl. Dressed well, spoke well, cared about her community. Provided for her community. Worked with the local church. Always having charity events at the church focused on helping the kids (popped out like toast by ignorant non-mother career baby makers who are paid by the government and who send their kids into the streets for food water and just about anything else, yea, we pay for child abuse big time). Yet here she was focused on only getting involved in something or trying to get ahead is someone gave it to her.

It is a way of life. The welfare-section 8-pay for child abuse-etc thing has been going on so long, it is a way of life for many. White are included here too. I don't know the ratio, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was 50/50.

Face it, these kids don't know what else to do. There is no way I can help them. Their parents are ignorant. My bosses wife is a school teacher in one of these areas. She tells of kids who ALL come to school knowing Nothing. No primary colors, no 1,2,3, no words. Nothing. Parents have to contribute or success is few and far between.
She has kids coming into school who write their name KWNCE - which if spelled properly would be Quincey.

She had a pair of twins who are named Male and Female. The mother explained that the hospital came up with those names and she liked them so she kept them. Pronounced MalY and FemAly. No joke.

Right on the money Fredd.

Dumped out of my NUGT today. I think the gold and miners are gonna have some down time.

Kid said...

And speaking of rewarding bad behavior, the people who will benefit form the 26 bln 'mortgage foreclosure' rewards, are the people who are under water on their mortgage, which means they didn't put much down, or were foreclosed upon. Couple grand each from what I heard.

Sp, if you did things right in buying a reasonably priced house that you could actually afford, and put a big enough down payment down (hand raised) so that even with the drop in value, you still owe less than market value in mortgage balance, you get JACK.

We reward the screw-ups and make the people who did things properly Pay For It.

THAT is socialism. It's right here, right now, and it's going to get exponentially worse quickly.

Fredd said...


Similar to your Maly and Femaly story, my wife used to work as a neonatal nurse in Michigan, and a dirt poor single black woman had just given birth to twin girls: she named them Gonorah and SyPhyllis because she liked the way they sounded as she read one of the posters on the wall in the waiting room.

That poster was regarding the STDs GONORRHEA and SYPHILIS. True story, sad but true.

Fredd said...


I'm not so sure that socialism is the goal of Obama in doing this, as he is simply buying votes of the stupid by giving them other people's money.

Sure, socialism is the outcome, but I am not sure it was the goal.

Still, de Toqueville saw this coming nearly 200 years ago, clear as day: when people understand that they can vote themselves a piece of the public pie, America as founded would be a thing of the past.

And it is.

Kid said...

Fredd, I absolutely believe bringing down the country is oblabbers plan and the plan of his administration.

Everything that is done by them is done to destroy another facet of America. Reward the losers and punish the productive people who do things right. Bankrupt the country. Ultimately they'd love to see Everyone in a union. Everyone paying some assholes to be able to work.
he hasn't said or done one thing that I found acceptable since I first noticed him a year and a half before the 08 election.

he's a muslim supporting strengthening dictator. There is an agenda and if you could be a fly on the wall for a couple days, I think it would blow your mind.

Z said...

I don't believe bad values and immorality come from being poor. People don't marry because they're rich.

Fredd said...


You are right: immorality and bad values are not the result of poverty.

They are the result of poor parenting. We are not born knowing perfect table manners. These things are taught by parents. If parents don't rear their offspring in socially accpetable ways, we get feral kids who grow up to be feral adults, with their accompanying bad morals and values.

The folks that judge others tend to stick with other like minded folk, those with similar values. And they move away and shun those whose morals and values are deemed a danger. Hence, Fishtown is jam packed with feral miscreants, and Belmont is where the folks with good table manners reside.

It's how things have always been.

sig94 said...

I worked high-crime, low-income areas for over a decade. If they can scam it, they're in. I got so tired of driving by housing projects and all the vehicles parked there were better than mine. But my values are different and that's what the story is all about.