93 thoughts on “News/Politics 1-14-17

  1. Moving is an option for some. But as American citizens, our choices are not limited to just moving. There is no reason that we should pretend that we are immigrants in our own country. Our fathers and mothers walked that road so that we don’t have to–and neither do our children.

    As citizens, we can vote and work to take our country back from multi-national interests that have equated our labor with the Chinese who operate under a communist party structure.

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  2. You miss lots of opportunities if you’re unwilling to move.
    They don’t come to you.

    As for the picture. I don’t understand it. It appears that Lincoln and someone else are concerned about the dejected man on the bench, but all attention, including theirs is centered on the unknown man with his arms crossed.
    All but the man on the bench are dressed in suits and five of them are in period dress.

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  3. We’re coming up on what should be a lively inauguration day, to put it mildly. We’ve entered unchartered territory as a nation in some ways. It seems to me that the partisan divide couldn’t be greater, short of taking up arms. It will be fascinating, I’m sure — though long after all of us are gone — to see how this played out in the “big picture” scheme of things in U.S. history.

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  4. Which always brings me back to the knowledge that God has his purpose for everything — and with world and national events, we on earth can seldom figure it out in real time.

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  5. A businessman’s long experience tells him that employers would rather hire local, because a large number of people who move to take a job don’t stay.

    I spent 25 years moving with my husband before we finally settled here. We have moved, now that I think of it, for nearly every job he has had. (OK, he served on three submarines in a row and went to a school in CT over 6 years, but we did move once during that period, but we felt so gloriously settled!)

    The only thing that made our 14 moves bearable was after the initial move, we moved at the same time as friends and/or we moved to a place where Navy friends already lived and so were welcomed.

    Many “civilians” have commented about how easily we make friends and many civilians can’t believe how many friends we have all over the country. I’m an extravert, yes, but we’ve had a terrific experience, thank you American taxpayers, with our God-led Navy life.

    We have paid a price, though, being far from family.

    Which may explain, to my happy surprise, why our sons all live I this town with us.

    Of course we ultimately live here because my brother-in-law moved here for work 41 years ago . . .

    My point is, it’s hard for many people to leave family and friends behind. It’s hard to sell a house for a move (we’ve done that three times and it was brutal and expensive). The hardest part, though, is to imagine you can be happy anywhere but where you are.

    God demonstrated to us, time and again, that in following Him, you can be happy anywhere.

    Still, my husband has turned down many opportunities with his company because we refused to move to Silicon Valley.

    It’s because we don’t want to leave our family behind– nor live in San Jose!

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  6. We well understand moving. Almost everyone who has grown children here has experienced them moving away for jobs.

    If everyone who is laid-off for whatever period moves, there is going to be a lot of moving. There will also be a lot of empty apartments and homes that are worthless. Businesses will waste a lot of time rehiring, not to mention the expense. Schools better be able to expand and then go to few students quickly. Plus, all the other services.

    I also understand what Debra was saying about those who encourage others to move and then complain about the newcomers ruining their territory when they move in to it.

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  7. Chas – I think the picture is of all the past presidents, with Obama being the man in front, stepping on the Constitution.

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  8. We didn’t move as often as Michelle or other military families, but my dad was transferred to different states a few times. It meant rarely seeing extended family, & not having a relationship with my cousins. In high school, the last move led to a deep depression for me.

    I have been so blessed that my girls grew up with their grandparents & cousin (they only have one) very close, & now having my girls & grandson close. I realize that one day one or both of them may move away, but I don’t like to think about that too much. In fact, if Nightingale moved somewhere, we would probably move with her, & encourage Chickadee to move with us.

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  9. I don’t know if any of you have read Hillbilly Elegy. It is a book about lower class white culture written by a man (Mr. Vance) who grew up in that culture. Here is the NYT review:

    As Kathaleena said a few days ago, Obama and the Dems are going to try to get this group back. Vance is more charitable than I am. What I call laziness, he calls ‘learned helplessness’.

    ‘Whether you agree with Mr. Vance or not, you must admire him for his head-on confrontation with a taboo subject. And he frames his critique generously, stipulating that it isn’t laziness that’s destroying hillbilly culture but what the psychologist Martin Seligman calls “learned helplessness” — the fatalistic belief, born of too much adversity, that nothing can be done to change your lot.’

    Just as the black church must help its people change their culture, the poor white church must teach its people to look in the mirror more and blame others less. Blacks have been very unsatisfied with 50 plus years and trillions of dollars of government benefits. Poor whites are going to be equally unsatisfied with Trump.

    All of our churches must again teach personal responsibility and repentance.

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  10. Well, that helps me understand some things. Don’t put words in my mouth. I was not speaking about ‘those’ people, except in a generic sense.

    Wondering what we should be repenting from or how we did not take responsibility?

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  11. The golden age of globalism is over, so American businesses who have made their profits by building up China and other foreign countries are all starting to re-think their strategies. Contingency plans are being made. It will take some time, but it’s a much better direction for our country.

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  12. Kathaleena, If I did not accurately characterize your statement, what were you trying to say?

    Concerning repentance, if you read Coming Apart, Hillbilly Elegy and scores of other books about the black underclass and lower class whites, major problems which cry out for repentance are:

    1. Criminality
    2. Illegitimacy
    3. Sloth
    4. Lack of church participation
    5. Divorce, perversion and other sexual misbehavior.

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  13. The whining and juvenile behavior from Democrats continues.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/some-democratic-lawmakers-are-boycotting-trumps-inauguration-225356015.html

    “About a dozen Democratic lawmakers have announced their intention to skip Donald Trump’s inauguration next week as a protest of the president-elect’s plans for the country. The boycotters make up a small fraction of the 535 House and Senate members, but their decision to protest represents a break with tradition that they say is warranted by Trump’s agenda, which they see as extreme.

    Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., told Yahoo News she decided she couldn’t celebrate Trump’s inauguration because of his comments during the campaign about temporarily barring Muslims from entering the country and his vow to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

    “I thought about it over and over again — it’s not a decision I came to lightly,” she said Thursday. “I thought about it very carefully because I do believe in democracy and this peaceful transfer of power.”

    Lee was among a growing handful of Democratic lawmakers who objected last week to the certification of the Electoral College results on the House floor. She said she objected because of her concerns over Russian interference in the election.”

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  14. Debra, The golden age of globalism is just beginning. Free trade has lifted 1 billion people out of extreme poverty. India, China and scores of countries around the world have seen living standards soar and they are not going backwards. The leader of the world’s economy is changing because of Trump. Trump’s abandonment of the TPP means Asia will be led by China or it will be led by a coalition of Japan, Australia, South Korea and other Asian countries. The coalition is already being formed as Asian countries see Trump as an unreliable, childish buffoon. Europe is up for grabs. Germany and Great Britain will have leadership roles and Russia, though feared, will have a voice because of:
    1. Its victory in Syria; and
    2. The way it made a farce out of the US presidential election.

    If the US banned all imports and all exports, it would quickly become a very poor country, but it would not drag the rest of the world down with it.

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  15. And the fun is just getting started. Next Friday will be interesting, that’s for sure. But you know some of this could end badly, with tear gas and cracked heads.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/01/13/protesters-planning-to-blockade-inauguration-checkpoints-party-outside-pence-home.html

    “An anti-Donald Trump group is planning massive disruptions for next week’s inauguration covering everything from “blockades” at security checkpoints to a “dance party” outside VP-elect Mike Pence’s house, according to group leaders as well as newly obtained audio of their apparent plans.

    The organization #DisruptJ20 already announced at a press conference Thursday its various plans to wreak havoc at Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration and in the days leading up to it.

    A conservative group also shared with FoxNews.com what it said was audio from a Jan. 8 #DisruptJ20 meeting at a Washington church, giving even greater insight into the group’s planned D.C. “shutdown.”

    The audio, recorded by Trevor Loudon with Capital Research Center, purports to show a female member detailing plans to “do everything we can to try and stop people from being able to access the inauguration.”

    This begins with what was described as a “pure dance party at Mike Pence’s house” on Jan. 18.

    “It’s his last few days living in Chevy Chase before he moves into the vice presidential residence, and we’re going to send him off with a bang,” the woman says in the audio.

    Then she says the group is turning its attention toward the pro-Trump “DeploraBall” the following day, which she describes as the “alt-right neo-Nazi … party to celebrate Trump.”

    “We’re gonna crash it,” she says.

    That takes the group into inauguration morning, when members say they plan to block entrance points as well as roads and transportation.”
    ————————

    I guess we’ll find out soon enough how committed these protesters are to The Cause.

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  16. Kathaleena, Sorry I didn’t answer your other question. Williamson answered the question better than I can in the articles posted above but I will summarize. We can divide the US into two groups which behave very differently from one another. Charles Murray has chronicled this at length in several books.

    Group 1: Upper middle class whites, legal immigrants, and middle and upper class Hispanics and blacks.

    Group 2: The black underclass, lower class whites and Hispanics who have been Americanized and act like lower class whites and blacks.

    Group 1 pays for its own food, shelter, healthcare, education, retirement and entertainment, pays for a large part of these goods and services consumed by Group 2 and does very little complaining. Group 2 relies on Group 1 to help pay for its food, shelter, healthcare, education, retirement and entertainment. Rather than expressing gratitude, this group often complains and blames its condition on racism, globalism, Mexicans, Chinese or whatever boogeyman Al Sharpton or Trump is attacking on any given day.

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  17. Every single day, I am getting invitations to attend the Inauguration. I’m looking for the person who put me on those lists. Do any of you want to confess?

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  18. rw: The invitations are from those of us who won that questionnaire/contest not too long ago. Our ‘prize’ is your attendance at the inauguration. Wouldn’t that be a sight to see… 🙂

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  19. Debra, On the other hand, the categorization of people was critical in the election!
    Romney’s appeal was almost entirely to Group 1 people. Remember when he was concerned that only 47% of Americans pay income tax. Those are the Group 1 people. Trump lost many conservatives and Group 1 people with his ignorance and misbehavior. However, by becoming the Al Sharpton to poor whites he picked up many poor white votes, not enough to win the popular vote, but just enough to win Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania and a clear victory in the Electoral College. It was a brilliant election strategy, but now his Group 2 supporters want him to deliver goodies to them and those goodies have to come from Group 1 voters or future generations.

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  20. Ricky, I would have to disagree about the root causes of poverty. While the Bible does warn against slothfulness and immorality, nowhere does it assume that the poor are only poor because of their own fault. Rather great concern is shown for the poor throughout the Bible. In the law of Moses, the children of Israel are told to forgive debts every seven year “untill there are no more poor in the land.” (Deuteronomy 15:1-6). James said that the poor were chosen by God and heirs of the kingdom (James 2:5). Psalms and Proverbs both spend a large amount of time cursing those who oppress the poor and blessing those who help the poor: “He that oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker: but he that honours him has mercy on the poor.” (Proverbs 14:31). Drawing conclusions from the Bible, the recurrent cause for poverty isn’t slothfulness or immorality, but the oppression of the powerful. The corporation CEO who makes a thousand times more than the corporation’s factory workers is the rich man of James’ epistle (5:1-6). The monopoly that corners a necessary commodity and drives up its price are the sinners of Proverbs 1:10-19. Yes, Proverbs does speak of a type of poverty that comes from laziness or dissipation; but it nonetheless calls for compassion on the poor. After all, who are we to judge who is deserving of our compassion or not? We do not have the wisdom to be able to sift through the events of someone’s life in order to determine that their state of poverty was entirely their fault. When Paul said if a man does not work, neither shall he eat, he was speaking of what to do if a slothful man in the local church demanded free handouts from the church. He didn’t say how much work the man needed to do in order to be fed. He was not giving a general principal of how to judge the poor.

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  21. I was talking about actual people, Ricky, not some caricature of someone’s imagination. I cannot even fathom of considering people in that fashion. I know many, many people affected by job losses for some very real reasons. They are no more involved in criminality, not attending church, lazy etc. Furthermore, how in the world would anyone think because they are in the other group, they are not guilty of any of those things. It is fruitless to even discuss it anymore.

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  22. Protesters, in Boston are apparently against Mr. Trump’s nominee for labor secretary, Andy Puzder. When asked if they know who Andy Puzder is, most responded NO. One person said she doesn’t know who he is, but knows someone who does. I wonder how much the unions paid them to protest?

    http://conservativetribune.com/libs-gather-trump-nominee/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=ConservativeTribune&utm_content=2017-01-14&utm_campaign=manualpost

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  23. It is not a caricature. There is a clear divide. Coming Apart explains how the honesty, morals, work ethic and religiosity of upper class whites differs greatly from that of lower class whites. This is a new phenomenon. In 1960 there was a large middle class with “middle class values”. That old middle class has split in two.

    I know most of you don’t have time to read the book. Here is a pretty detailed review.

    https://www.toqonline.com/blog/elite-and-underclass/

    Murray is not just a talking head on Fox or CNN. He does academic research and writes books based on his research. If you have time to read the book, it will explain much of what has happened during the last generation.

    There is an application for the church. Churches full of upper class whites need to reach out to lower class whites. In some ways this is much more difficult than reaching out to blacks, Hispanics and Asians. If the behavior and culture of lower class whites continues to deteriorate, America is in real trouble.

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  24. It will be an interesting contrast to the ’09 inaugural of Obama for his first term. One could hardly miss that celebration, it might as well have been declared a holiday.

    But I worry about violence, especially in light of some remarks from those in Washington about Trump not being a “legitimate” president. Dangerous precedent, that is. You may not like him, you may even hate him, but he is, lawfully, your president.

    Which sends us back to Romans 13 …

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  25. Roscuro, We are not in disagreement. I am NOT saying that sloth is the root cause of most poverty. What I am saying is that the culture (work ethic, religiosity, morals, criminality) of lower class whites now differs substantially from the culture of upper class whites. When we had a dominant middle class culture, people became rich and poor based on a number of factors, but their culture generally didn’t hold them back. However, we now have a bad dominant culture among the black underclass and poor whites that makes it difficult for people in those classes to escape from the sloth, criminality, irreligiosity and immorality that make up the dominant culture of those classes.

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  26. Oh, let them categorize. It seems to make them happy; and maybe it will keep them busy while we elect people who can actually govern in a way that increases American jobs and sovereignty. :–)

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  27. Roscuro, We are more generous to the poor than any nation in the history of the world. We are so generous that huge numbers of people (particularly among lower class blacks and whites) live for years without working or even looking for work. That is NOT being compassionate, just as it is not compassionate for a parent to fail to discipline a child.

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  28. Ricky, are you saying, that in a world where the media daily reports the string of scandals of the rich and famous, that the poor are somehow less moral than the rich?

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  29. One of the big changes which has happened in the last 50 years (along with the cultural divide) is that people now rarely date or marry outside of their class. In my high school, we all went to the same classes and the same churches and few people thought about who was rich or poor or had big or small houses. Rich boys dated and married poor girls and vice versa. We all shared the same culture.

    Today young people date and marry others from the same economic class. My son’s high school was fed by three middle schools. Middle school 1 was made up almost entirely of Group 1 upper class people. Middle school 2 was made up almost entirely of Group 2 lower class people. Those are the people we go to church with. We intentionally moved to a neighborhood where our son would go to Middle school 3 which had a mixture of rich and poor kids. In high school, kids from middle school 1 very rarely dated kids from middle school 2.

    Murray explores this phenomenon and details how it has caused the two cultures to drift apart.

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  30. DJ @ 4:33 The confirmation hearings seem to be going by with remarkable smoothness considering the hoopla leading up to them. I wouldn’t be too surprised if there are no major disruptions to the inaugural celebrations. Perhaps a little bluster on the side, but mostly much ado about nothing. Hope for the best. We’ll see.

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  31. Roscuro @ 5:04 Yes.

    Read Murray. Base your conclusions on the overall rates of crime, illegitimacy, people working, church attendance, etc. not the sensational stories the media discusses. Murray is an academic researcher. He studied the behavior of thousands and thousands of people plus available research on millions of others.

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  32. Roscuro, Here is a part of the story you will like. Murray was a lifelong agnostic, a PhD dedicated to obtaining “knowledge”. His research for Coming Apart led him to conclude that it is clearly in the best interest of children if their parents were active in a church. The logical Murray began to think “maybe there is something going on in those churches that I don’t understand”. I have heard he has become a regular visitor to a Virginia congregation.

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  33. Hope you’re right, Debra. I live amid a very liberal echo chamber so I hear the ongoing lamentations perhaps more than others in more reddish parts of the country.

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  34. Ricky, if Murray doesn’t become a Christian, attending church will not do him an iota of good. The absolute worst thing for Christianity is to have people attending church for its socioeconomic benefits. Or as Christ said, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” (Luke 6:26) He didn’t come to make us successful. I have, in the interests of learning about other cultures, been watching a few films made by the cinema industry in India. The films frequently extoll the virtue of purity until marriage, the beauty of monogamous marriage, the importance of family, the importance of doing one’s duty, and the importance of religion. Only, when the families in these films say their prayers, they do so in front of images of Brahma or Vishnu or Shiva. Conservative family values alone do not make people righteous. If Christianity is simply a civic religion which helps to keep social order, as Islam or Hinduism or Buddhism do, then it has no value for those who need it the most. As Christ said to the highly successful, law-abiding Pharisees when they felt he shouldn’t be hanging around with the immoral underclass, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” The joke was, the Pharisees were sinners too, but they couldn’t see it for all their virtues.

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  35. That’s what I was thinking, DJ. The liberal echo chamber can be a very uncomfortable place to be. There is much more balance here, though some liberal leaning friends continue to act like it’s the end of the world. I’m hoping the unfolding reality of the next few years will prove them wrong. :–)

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  36. As to whether the U.S. the most generous nation to the poor in the history of the world, when all the financial institutions and private lenders of the U.S. forgive all mortgages, student loans, business loans, etc. every seven years, then it might be able to claim to be near equality (there is also the little matter of leaving the corners of one’s fields, etc. for the widow, the fatherless, and the stranger) to the nation of Israel in regards to generosity.

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  37. Roscuro @6:02 Agreed all around. Here is a three year old report from Murray which contains an honest report on his spiritual condition.

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/interview-curmudgeon-charles-murray-has-advice-for-ambitious-young-adults-118018/

    Roscuro @6:11 Now you are comparing the US to God’s standard for Israel, but it seems like I remember prophets constantly having to scold Israel for failing to live up to those rules and God routinely doing more than scolding after even His great patience with the nation had been exhausted.

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  38. I have skimmed over most of today’s comments without yet reading to make these comments about moving for a job.

    My parents hopped all over the country (after starting their married life, and bearing their first child, on a different continent). My mother lived exactly half of her life in the last place she lived–Phoenix–where the youngest of us were born. Well, technically two of those years were in Northern Arizona and then after she moved back down to the Phoenix area after Dad died, she didn’t live in Phoenix but in its suburbs. Nevertheless, after having lived in multiple states and a foreign land, she lived nearly 40 years in one state.

    I was the third of us seven to leave Phoenix, and left reluctantly. I loved Phoenix but there was no real “future” there for me. The college I had checked out was too expensive, my job not a long-term future, no marriage candidates, and I wanted to edit but Phoenix had no publishers. So I moved to attend college. Ten years after college I moved again; I was going freelance so technically I could live anywhere, but I chose to live in a city with publishers (just in case freelance didn’t work) and within a few hours drive of two or three siblings. See, all my siblings had left Phoenix by then–only Mom was still there. And my siblings virtually never came to Chicago to see me; if I wanted to see them, I traveled. (My mom had come once; my oldest brother once or twice; one other brother, once; and my sister had spent a year in Chicago and then visited a couple of times. So half of my family came to visit at least once in the 14 years I lived there. I have six siblings, and after I had been at my Chicago church six or eight years, one of my fellow church members expressed shock when a sibling came, since she assumed I was an only child.)

    My years in Nashville, I was close enough to drive easily to visit one brother and my sister, or to do a longer drive (five or six hours) and visit a different brother. I could easily fly to Phoenix or Chicago, since Southwest flew in and out of Nashville, and for that matter I flew to see my California brother a time or two, and my Texas brother (who never visited me in Chicago) flew to visit me, and together we drove around to see the three other Southern siblings.

    For the last fifteen years or so, no two of my siblings have lives in the same state. (Well, two brothers lived in California at the same time for a couple of years.) Between the seven of us, we have lived in about a dozen states in that time, but no two of us in the same state except for that brief overlap in California.

    Meanwhile, my husband and his sister (the only siblings) both ended up living in the same town with his parents. Since his late wife grew up near here, and her siblings all stayed local, my girls grew up knowing all four of their grandparents, all of their aunts and uncles, and all of their cousins. (My grandparents died before I was born; my father died before I was an adult; and I never met some of my aunts or uncles or ANY of my cousins on my dad’s side, and saw any aunt or uncle or cousin at most twice by the time I was 20.)

    Yes, people can move around the country for jobs. But if they can avoid doing so, it is better. I think that moving for college and then staying in the college state, or moving to marry, or moving for jobs, has overall been quite hard on families in America. My family is an extreme example and my husband an extreme example on the other side . . . but moving for a job comes with some great costs, and is best avoided if possible, even if it means settling for less money, as long as it is possible to live on the wages where one is.

    Now I’ll go up and read the rest of the comments.

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  39. Roscuro @ 6:26 An interesting point! I would also concede that much of what we try to do for the poor is wasted or eaten up by bureaucracy because it is administered by our government which is very inefficient.

    I believe that God made us to work. It was when David was resting away from his army that he sinned with Bathsheba. Throughout the Bible I see people working. It is a major theme of Proverbs. Certainly, people can work too much and make “work” their god, and I have seen this on many occasions. However, in the US I see sloth as a bigger problem, particularly among the lower class. As a very rich society we have wanted to be generous to the poor, to have a broad safety net. However, the result is what is described in Hillbilly Elegy and other books. It is not good.

    I always hoped that Obama would preach what he practiced to the black community. As a husband and a father I think he was a good role model, but I would have loved for him to encourage blacks to work harder and blame racism less. I have no expectations for Trump, but if he can inspire poor whites to turn up their work ethic, I will give him credit for performing an important job.

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  40. Ricky Weaver, that’s funny, I always thought that upper middle class people largely made money off other people’s work . . . that’s why it’s a different class that is called the working class. Not that it is bad to make money starting businesses and investing in them, but the idea that this group works hard and others don’t doesn’t match reality. It sure doesn’t match my own family and friends.

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  41. Cheryl, I grew up with the same impression as you. That is definitely what my father thought.

    When Theodore White wrote The Making of a President in 1960, he said that the (upper class) Republicans always were in the lead all day during every Election Day as they voted early. Then the working class Democrats got home from work late in the day and voted right before the polls closed and maybe enough of them voted to tilt the election to the Democrats.

    Things have changed. Coming Apart, Hillbilly Elegy and other books have changed my thinking. I would encourage you to read them.

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  42. And Cheryl, it’s not a subjective matter of who is working “hard”. The facts that stunned my son when he read Coming Apart are those detailing the huge and growing number of healthy, working age, lower class white males who are not working at all.

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  43. Oh, and let’s not forget the upper-class model of turning one’s wife in for a younger model after a few years. . . .

    Seriously, people of all classes are sinners, and categorizing people by what “class” they fall into makes no more sense than assuming what someone is liked based on race or gender or age. It’s “interesting” to hear that today’s young people are likely to wait to get a drivers license and a car, but kinda silly to talk to a 22-year-old about why she has chosen not to buy a car when you don’t know whether she has one or not.

    The upper class often feeds pride, and cruelty to others, and indifference, and a lot of other vices and sins. They can (and do) buy their children’s way out of jail. In decades past, they quietly institutionalized mentally disabled or mentally ill children. They publicly espouse one action (e.g., environmental concern) while believing themselves free to make their own choices differently.

    Rich people have a lot more “margin for error.” Needing a root canal is unlikely to put them into a downward financial spiral. Couples can part ways without it leading to severe financial distress for one of them. Children are kept in line by being reminded of the inheritance that may or may not await. Markets are manipulated to strengthen the bottom line.

    Are all rich people like this? Absolutely not. But the poor do not have a corner of the market on sin. And people don’t come in two groups, or even three or four. They come as individuals made in the image of God, Christ followers or not, with individual tendencies to sin and also with family/cultural temptations to sin.

    Ricky, my time living among the poor was life-changing for me. Yes, I saw a lot of cultural decay–but I also saw a lot of people fighting it tooth and nail. The people I lived among were real people to me, not stereotyped inner-city black people. Perhaps that is part of the reason Jesus felt compassion for the poor, too–they were His neighbors.

    I wouldn’t want you as a neighbor, Ricky. I don’t think you have a good understanding of the job qualifications (see Luke 10). I don’t say that to be snarky, but because I think it is important.

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  44. I’m # 127 at the library for Hillbilly Elegy–though I did give a copy to one of my relatives for Christmas. Maybe I can borrow it from him when he’s done?

    I’m going to argue against some of that upper #1 being moral. I just attended a wedding with a bunch of young lawyers (I’ve never talked with as many lawyers in one day as I did at that wedding), many of whom live in DC. Nice guys who went to Loyola High School with the groom. They work in juvenile protection and as DA assistants and were pretty modest in their black tie attired, “I’ve only been an attorney six months.”

    We were impressed by how thoughtful and well spoken they were. We were not impressed that none of them seem to think they should get married to the gorgeous woman on their arms.

    Those beautiful young women hovering around the naval officer, were curious about getting married and afraid to commit–because they didn’t trust those handsome young men would stay with them to raise children.

    It was really sad.

    Then again, many were drinking.

    One of the reasons the young men didn’t want to get married was they didn’t think they could afford to it, much less buy the house in a good school district and afford private school for their two planned children.

    And the girls’ lips trembled as they stuck out their chins to take it.

    And the well meaning explanation about prenups if you do decide to get married. How about a beautiful, smart young woman who wanted to quit her job, start a family and stay home to raise kids once she married this wealthy guy?

    Bullied–with the earnest explanation “it’s for her own sake. I don’t want her to do nothing, lose all her skills and become boring.”

    As if that would happen with this high powered young woman?

    And the poor guy–he didn’t realize he was describing ME to my face in such a negative way?

    (We all know how boring I am, no skills, fat and sitting around. My husband kept his face straight and didn’t look at me. It’s usually about here in a conversation I trot out the NYTimes bestseller status, but I was being polite–he meant so well).

    I was being polite, yes, but he was a fool. I felt sorry for that particular young woman.

    Of course she’ appears spunky. I hope she shows him–and that God gives them triplets. 🙂

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  45. Cheryl, I haven’t made the tough points I have made over the last few days to win an argument.
    You want me to look at my own heart? That is fair. As I indicated above, I go to church with lower class white people. They are my friends. Many of them are my neighbors. Many of them are hurting themselves, their spouses and their children by sloth, criminality, and falling away from church. They like to blame their problems on Obama, Mexicans and free trade. They think Trump will solve their problems. I know better and I think you do also. I have tried in the last few days to point out unpleasant facts that need to be discussed. If that offended you, I am sorry. I am tired of this. I have done my duty as a watchman. Good night.

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  46. Michelle, my first thought about the wealthy being more moral is that they are simply better able to afford to cover their sins. Mistresses (why divorce when you can have a bit on the side), buying off the mothers of one’s illegitimate offspring (the statistics don’t tell just how many of those poor unwed mothers had a rich boyfriend), funding the bad habits of lazy children (hey, as long as you’re not on government welfare, what does it matter if you don’t work), having lavish parties where alcohol and drugs are to be had in abundance (all the little stacks of cocaine arranged neatly on a tray), paying fines where others less well off have to take the prison sentence… the list of how to look more moral than your poor neighbour is long.

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  47. Ricky, I’ve driven through black neighborhoods during the middle of the day and been shocked at the numbers of young black males standing leaning against walls and chatting. I’m sure that they have their equivalent in the white community.

    My life experience is limited–I’m only one person. But between the fact that I have lived in multiple states, in neighborhoods majority-comprised of three distinct ethnic groups, that I have a very large family scattered across this land (several members married to people of other ethnic groups/national backgrounds) and I read a lot, and I’ve edited a bunch of books on ministry to the poor and read many more, my life experience isn’t narrow.

    Most of the people with whom I rub shoulders today are Christians. But I know nobody who is young and healthy and choosing not to work. I know people who have been interviewing for a better job for months and months while they work an old job an hour or two from where their family is now living, people who are working far beneath their skill set, people who are working in spite of disabilities that are taking over their bodies, people who hold their breath every single spring to see if their job gets renewed, people who are on disability but are truly disabled, people who are still working full-time at 70 or still working physically demanding jobs a few days a week at 75. I know a family pregnant with their second child who are living with her parents because most jobs today simply are not adequate to support a family on one income. I know people who work two or three minimum-wage jobs while they take college classes hoping for something more consistent later–and people who have graduated and the best they can get are nearly full-time jobs at barely more than minimum wage and no benefits. There isn’t a lot of safety net for any of these people.

    How many of those young, unemployed people are like Michelle’s children, doing everything they can to find a good job, without success? or like Roscuro? The numbers of those who aren’t working don’t tell the whole story. They don’t tell about those who are trying hard to get work, or those working to establish a business, or those underemployed. One of my nephews had worked diligently enough that by 25 he had nearly enough in the bank to buy a home with cash, but he lost his good job; over the next few years he went through most of his cash reserves and eventually landed a job at a fraction of what he had been earning. His brother was trying to put himself through school and working a part-time job; he’d drive 45 minutes to his job and get told they only need him for an hour tonight, so he spent more time driving to work and home again than he spent working–and that at a company that has a public reputation for treating its workers well. Stories like theirs are everywhere in this economy.

    I’m asking you to understand that stereotypes don’t fit everyone and to have some compassion. You could be the one who ends up unable to find good-paying work, or with an injury that makes work very difficult, or with bills that exceed your ability to work. Scripture has a lot to say about how we treat the poor and how we treat our neighbors. Government has done a lot to hurt the poor in the name of “compassion.” But assuming that all (or most) poor people are lazy and all (or most) rich people are virtuous is not only unkind, but untrue.

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  48. Ricky, BTW, I understand your concern that patterns of dysfunction are not sustainable. I’ve long argued that in regards to illegitimate births. A few years ago the rate of black illegitimate birth was roughly 70% but whites had much lower, but I saw it rising fast. And I said that middle-class white women who were choosing a baby outside of marriage might have the luxury to “get away with” that foolish choice. Their children might not live in poverty and might not be poorly educated, for example. But it’s still an immoral choice (assuming we aren’t talking about having a baby by adoption) and it’s still a choice that will hurt a child (children need fathers). But beyond that, when culture gets to a certain tipping point, it is no longer a sustainable luxury.

    Let’s say, for example, that a neighborhood has twenty healthy families and one single mom–maybe she’s widowed, maybe she’s divorced, or maybe she was never married. Her children see intact families, and as the children grow up their marriage prospects will probably come from intact families. If she has some financial struggles, her neighbors might help out. If her car breaks down, one of the neighbors might fix it. But if the whole neighborhood is full of single moms, the children grow up with no image of healthy marriage, no concept what a healthy man is like, poverty, a normative view of sexual immorality, risk of being preyed upon by sexual predators, physical danger from living in a neighborhood that is unguarded by good men but is patrolled by bad men, and so forth. And it gets to the point where a young woman realistically hardly has a choice to wait for a good man to marry–few men are choosing marriage at all, so she gets to choose between chastity and fornication, without marriage as an option. (I determined that the 70% rate was actually slightly deceptive–for one thing, a woman who married after getting pregnant didn’t count in the 70%. It is her marital status when she gives birth that is counted. Of course a few adulterous conceptions wouldn’t be counted, either. And the vast majority of black women I know had at least one child–usually the firstborn–outside of marriage. My private estimate was that the rate for firstborns was at least 90% conceived out of wedlock. A virgin bride was extremely rare.)

    I’ve warned that our days of “getting away with” a rising rate of illegitimate children are limited–and the fact that many married couples are choosing not to have children, or maybe just to have one, isn’t helping. A 40% illegitimacy rate is unhealthy and unsustainable–we’re past the tipping point.

    I “get it” that that’s what you’re doing here. The difference is that the individual girl can say “no, I won’t have sex before marriage, even if that means I die a virgin.” It’s a hard enough thing to do in such a culture that I admire the few who succeed . . . but technically, no matter what kind of model she has had around her, she does have that choice, and I can think of two women who made that choice. (One died soon after marriage and one was abandoned by her husband a year or two after they married, so I don’t know any happy endings along that route, but I do know two who made that choice. Probably some other women I knew had also done so.)

    But you seem to think that our dysfunctional economy is mostly the fault of lazy, poor people–girls choosing fornication–and I think it is far more complicated than that. I know that many, many people make the best choices available to them and still fail to find work that is adequate for supporting a family. I’ve known many diligent men (and women) who fit that pattern, and it sounds like everyone on this blog but you has known many, as well. So yes, there are lazy poor people–but at least as often poverty is not a person’s choice and is not the result of any bad choices. And the sins of the wealthy are not less than the sins of the poor, just different. And we are commanded to have compassion for the poor.

    In addition to reading books about how horrible poor people are and how poverty is all their fault, are you willing to read any that talk about the hardships faced by the poor? If you are, I can point you to a few. Let me know and I can come up with an annotated reading list.

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  49. Cheryl, no matter how bad for society having illegitimate children, it is far better that those children are born, then that their life be terminated in the womb. When Ricky said that illegitimacy was a sin that the poor needed to be repented of, my immediate thought was, since when is it a sin to be born illegitimate? Does not God open the womb and close it? If we hold that to be true, then we must acknowledge that every child born out of wedlock exists by the will of God. Yes, the parents may have sinned, but that child has not had any part of how it came into existence. Such children do not have any more or less sin nature than any other human that is born. Whatever society’s ills are – and they are always many, because we live in a fallen world – they cannot be laid at the door of those who are the weakest among us. Christ, in being born with the shadow of his mother’s pregnancy before marriage over him, turned yet another curse of the law, that a bastard could not enter the congregation of Israel, on its head. In his case, he was not illegitimate, but the outside world could not tell that.

    Also, why emphasize just the girls’ choice? The fathers are just as responsible, if not more, since the Law of Moses decreed that the man who seduced a virgin was to marry and never divorce her. Yet even here, the Bible tells the stories of unwed mothers and immoral women who were part of the line of Jesus. The wonder of the gospel is that those who are considered destructive to society are welcomed to the kingdom of God. The whole problem that I have with conservative social theories is that they are just like liberal social theories – they are based on the wisdom of man and not of God. The conservative Muslims and Hindus lament over unwed mothers and illegitimate children in their societies too. Perhaps, pragmatically, such factors do destabilize society, but God isn’t interested in preserving our societies. In the vision of Nebuchadnezzar’s image, the stone not cut by human hands shattered all the kingdoms and filled the earth. Our societies are intended to be broken. Christ will not give his glory to the writers of the U.S. Constitution, or to the monarch of Great Britain. There is no country in the world that will be able to say, we built the kingdom of God. That is what is misguided in the assessment of what is wrong with our societies. We are all part of the problem, and there is only one solution.

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  50. Cheryl, I understand that the vast majority of literature holds that the poor are largely not responsible for their poverty, or their unemployment or their crime rate or their illegitimate birth rate. Our entire welfare state is based on that literature. The vast bulk of the domestic program of the Democratic Party for 60 years has been based on that literature.

    When Murray, Williamson, Vance or I make our arguments, it is not that we enjoy blaming the poor for their plight. It is because:

    1. We would like to see our government stop promoting and subsidizing self-destructive behaviors among the poor and the lower middle class; and

    2. We are trying to help individual members of the poor and the lower middle class break out of that pattern of “learned helplessness” that Vance discussed and from which he escaped. When you say the poor are largely not responsible for their condition, their culture and their behaviors, you are teaching them helplessness.

    I have given up on item 1 (reforming government programs which promote bad behavior). However, it is possible to help individuals succeed and break-out as Vance did. Step one in that process is extremely difficult and painful. We must convince the poor or lower middle class person (in the face of the majority view that he isn’t to blame for his situation) that he is not in fact helpless, that his actions and inactions can make a huge difference in where he will be 5 or 10 years from now and how his children will grow up. This task is made more difficult because the poor and lower middle class are also constantly being seduced by charlatans like Sharpton and Trump who parade out various scapegoats and promise magic solutions.

    The responses I received on this thread are very similar to the liberal reviews of Murray’s books and Trumpkin comments to Williamson’s articles. That gives me some confidence that I am at least presenting a decent summary of their arguments. Williamson revels in the fight, but poor Murray is a soft spoken academic who simply presents facts. For presenting unpleasant facts he has been called very bad things and disinvited from certain college campuses.

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  51. Roscuro, Give me a little credit.

    1. Did you really think I wanted the illegitimate CHILD to repent?

    2. Did I in any way say or imply that the father was less responsible than the mother?

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  52. Roscuro, I wasn’t intending to emphasize just the girl’s choice. I have written a lot on here in days past of the loss of fatherless homes, and the loss to a family and a culture when the men aren’t the providers and protectors but the predators. The fathers play at least as great a role, especially if you include the father of the girl herself who is not there to love her or protect her. Most certainly the stigma on the child isn’t fair, which is why I rarely use the term “illegitimate child” but say instead a child born to unmarried parents / a single mom.

    BUT

    . . . in my own time of living in the inner city, as a single woman I focused of necessity on the women and girls. I knew others who focused on the boys and boys growing into men, but I couldn’t do that. So my experience is with the women, the girls, and a few young boys.

    . . . I’m also speaking of the middle-class trend for single women (even women who aren’t in relationships) to choose to have babies, even if it means using sperm donors.

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  53. Ricky, I wasn’t speaking of making excuses for the irresponsible poor, but understanding the responsible poor, or the people who are in such a deep hole it’s nearly impossible to get out. You’re the one arguing about “learned helplessness.” I am telling you that many, many of the poor aren’t “helpless” at all, not in terms of doing nothing about their poverty. I agree with this: “1. We would like to see our government stop promoting and subsidizing self-destructive behaviors among the poor and the lower middle class.” But it isn’t so simple as saying “It’s that person’s own fault he is poor.”

    Let me move to a different example or two, and maybe you’ll understand what I am trying to say.

    In horse races, in attempts to make races more fair, often one horse is handicapped by having to have more weight added to his saddle. We can argue whether that is or isn’t fair, but that’s beside the point for my analogy. I’m pointing out that when one person starts life in a household without a father, surrounded by households without fathers, and attends school where the biggest concern is staying away from drug dealers and not getting shot on the way home from school, where he goes home to an empty house (Mom is working) with very little food and without books, in a neighborhood where many of his friends will die before reaching adulthood and most of the others will make foolish and sinful choices . . . he carries a much greater “weight” than the child whose parents live together, actively teach him right from wrong, send him to good schools, and in general provide him a safety net should he need it.

    Why does God tell us to care for the widow and the orphan? Well, several reasons. One is simply that a Christian should be known for love. But one is quite simply that these are people who are going to have a hard time making it without help! Yet you are arguing that if they don’t make it without help, it’s because of “learned helplessness” and not because, in fact, there is genuine helplessness and vulnerability facing many of these people.

    A middle-class child can make exactly the same choices as a poor child (including laziness, sexual immorality, and drug use) and get away with it. A poor child can make none of these bad choices–he can work extremely hard in school, do everything he can to earn money as he gets into his teen years, choose sexual abstinence, wait until marriage to have sex, and so on, and still be worse off financially than the middle-class child who made all the bad choices. Or the middle-class person can do everything wrong and have it all upended by a crippling car crash or a diagnosis of cancer for his wife or ALS for himself.

    Maybe one reason we are told to care for “the least of these” is because that could be me any day, and I myself might need help and compassion.

    Here’s my other example: My father worked very, very hard to support his family, working manual labor all his life. I was one of seven. There was a seven-year gap between the oldest four and the youngest three (I am the oldest of those youngest three), and all of my older brothers were on their own at 16 or 17. So by the time I was ten, it was just the youngest three of us at home. Well, my mom once told me that we would have qualified for free lunches if we’d had only two children in the household; we had three. We did not take those free lunches. My father was a little man in a world in which little men are overlooked, but he never asked to have anything handed to him; he simply worked very hard, at work and at home, and raised children who put themselves through college without a dime of government or family help to pay for it. We came from poverty, but we also came from intelligence, basic good health, morality, and diligence. Leave off any one of the four and some of us would have been in serious trouble.

    All right, that is the long way around to my illustration, but that part was important too. My illustration is this: My dad was short and very thin. I don’t know if he ever weighed more than 125 pounds. Up till I was 40 years old, people would ask me “How do you stay so thin?” They thought maybe I would tell them some good diet tips or something. The reality is it was pure genetics. I didn’t get much exercise and I ate more sugar than is probably healthy. But I didn’t have to make healthy choices–my genetics gave me an advantage. I would hear people talk about gluttony and assume all fat people to be gluttons, and I was quietly amused since I knew that by some standards, the amount of food I sometimes ate might be considered gluttonous. (I actually think that amount of food is not a good definition of gluttony, but that’s another story.) Mid-forties and biology caught up with me–hormone changes and marriage happened at the same time, and my eating habits suddenly weren’t standing me in as good a place, and I gained a fair amount of weight in the first three years of marriage. Cynics might think I “let myself go” once I got a man, but in fact that wasn’t the case–my body simply changed its metabolism, and I wasn’t prepared for the change.

    You can’t look at a thin person and say “Obviously she eats well” and you can’t look at a poor person and say “Obviously he is lazy.” You simply cannot do it. Well, you can–but you’d be disregarding quite a few Scriptures to do it.

    It’s fair to look at Haiti and say, “That land doesn’t have to be so impoverished!” It isn’t fair to look at an individual Haitian and say, “If he wasn’t so lazy, his family wouldn’t be starving.” Sometimes all a specific individual can do is survive to the best of his ability.

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  54. Ricky, I don’t think the mother is sinning by giving birth to her illegitimate child either. She may have sinned in having sexual relations before marriage, but to carry a child to term after it has been conceived is not a sin. In that case, sexual immorality would be the sin to repent of, not illegitimacy. My remark about holding the father responsible was addressed to Cheryl.

    As I’ve said before, the Bible doesn’t teach that the poor are responsible for their condition. In fact, Proverbs hints that God is the one who determined their social status, “Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker” (Proverbs 17:5)..
    I know that the welfare system here does people no favours – for example, the amount of assistance a single person can get for rent per month is $376; just to demonstrate how low that is, I’m renting one room in a house and sharing the bathroom and kitchen for $400 a month. You have to have no personal assets to receive such assistance – I have a friend who is completely bedridden with chronic fatigue syndrome, who had to give away a small inheritance, which wasn’t enough to live on, before she could receive disability assistance. Even something like getting a student loan is difficult – if you earn more money than you expected while on a student loan, then you will actually get penalized. Such assistance is far from enabling.
    I come from a low income family. Both my father and my mother came from the working class. I have a long line of ancestors who worked hard and never became wealthy. My father worked hard his entire life, but he worked in the private sector with a non-union job. When a company thought he was getting too old to be worth training on the new equipment, they simply let him go – that happened twice, and the second time, my father was just two years shy of the age when he could receive his old age pension, meaning that for two years life was precarious as he worked odd jobs just to make ends meet. My parents now live off their government pension cheques, which barely pay their expenses. If they did not own their own house, which they personally built nearly forty years ago, they would be financially ruined. Yet, my sisters and their spouses will never be able to afford a house from what they make – it is much more difficult to build a house now than in the 1970s and housing prices are through the roof (the house next to my parents, which stands on the same size property, sold for half a million). There are no more places to go for better work – once all the young men moved West, but when oil prices tanked, the jobs in the oil rich West began to dry up and people started coming back East. I saw it happen with my peers who had begun to move West. Like Cheryl, I don’t know anyone who isn’t trying to work, but there is no work.

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  55. Cheryl, Maybe we aren’t that far apart. The Bible teaches both industry and the consequences of sloth (a major theme in Proverbs) and that others should be generous to the poor. In this second command I recognize the Bible makes no distinction between poor who are poor though no fault of their own and others.

    Just as the modern church has neglected the teaching of repentance, I believe modern America and the American church has neglected the teaching of the value of hard work and the logical consequences of sloth.

    Roscuro, I must head out to Sunday School. I think I agree with you, but need more time.

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  56. Sen. Cruz takes it to a liberal prof at the Sessions hearing. Cruz would have been a great President, and he would also make a great Supreme Court justice.

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  57. Interesting discussion. Ricky has referenced the book, Coming Apart, several times. I read the book and of course I have a different opinion than Ricky. Here’s my review when I read it.

    “So where to begin….I was well aware I would not like this book when I decided to read it but I was still surprised how annoying I would find it.

    Murray correctly identifies a problem; the decline of the working class but everything after that identification is simply wrong.

    He identifies the rise and benefits of the cognitive class occurring when post-secondary first became widely available in the 60s but then in a later discussion he dismisses a return to the 60s tax structure as a solution. However, its the 60s tax structure which enabled post secondary education to become widely available and if cognition or brain power is to be celebrated cheap post secondary education needs to be widely available.

    His statistical picture of the upper class and working class suffers from the absence of the middle class. Furthermore his graphs commit grade seven errors of bias by deliberating choosing y values which will exaggerate the change and difference of information.

    He waxes nostalgically for the virtues of the founding fathers; nevermind his only evidence is some travel literature written by Europeans. Its pretty easy to claim hard work or industry when slaves do it for you. Similarly, religiosity in America is probably higher now than in revolutionary America and definitely during the 1890s – 1920s.

    Much of what he describes as a decline in virtues (honesty, marriage, religion, industry) more accurately correlates to the decline of the working class not the cause of decline. In fact the economic decline may have cause the decline in virtues ie he has it in reverse. In all of this he fails to seriously discuss the decline of manufacturing and its role or even mention the role of the war on drugs in increasing the incarceration rate.

    His entire virtues argument suffers when compared to the success of the European welfare state which he admits has done a good job but he like all conservatives for the last 50 years predicts it will decline soon.

    In the conclusion, he rambles somewhat philosophically about the nature and needs of society and individuals. He critizes the Euro welfare state for preventing self-actualization through work (seriously thats the best he could do). He presents different scenario but doesn’t’ say anything of relevance and to be truthful I was too annoyed to take the last 20 pages seriously.”

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  58. HRW, In many of our Texas suburban and small town schools parents can choose whether to enroll their children in regular or “pre-AP” classes when the students are in middle school. There are no teacher evaluations or standardized tests involved. Parents simply choose. It is hard to overstate the importance of that choice. An extremely high percentage of the “pre-AP” students go on college and graduate schools. A high percentage of the “regular” students attend no college or have to take remedial courses in junior college. Of course the “pre-AP” courses are much faster paced and require much more work from the students.

    More importantly, that choice puts you into one of Murray’s two pools. Teenage pregnancy, drug abuse and dropout rates are much higher in the “regular” courses. When my son was a 7th grader he resented being forced by his parents to take the pre-AP courses. When he was an 11th grader, a scheduling quirk put him in a “regular” class for a week. He never questioned his parents again on that subject.

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  59. And here is more evidence that globalism truly has passed its peak. Even Chinese officials themselves admit that the “… trend of anti-globalization is becoming increasingly evident.…”

    In 2016, China’s exports fell 7.7 percent and its imports 5.5 percent compared to the previous year. With U.S. exports largely remaining the same, China’s trade surplus with the U.S. fell last year for the first time since 2011, according to CNN Money.
    With China – which has become a global economic steamroller for the better part of the last two decades – now trending downward and given Trump’s consistent bashing of its economic and foreign policies, analysts are worried a trade war is on the horizon. One of Trump’s main campaign talking points was to boost the economy by playing hardball with China and Mexico, countries and economies capable of mass producing products with much cheaper labor.
    Chinese officials have pointed to what they consider “anti-globalization” efforts around the world and in the U.S. “The trend of anti-globalization is becoming increasingly evident, and China is the biggest victim of this trend,” customs spokesman Huang Songping said. “We will pay close attention to foreign trade policy after Trump is inaugurated president.”

    It’s time for special interest holdouts in the US to wake up.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/us-china-trade-chinese-exports-fall-second-straight-year-donald-trump-takes-office-2475112

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  60. Roscuro, I do agree with your illegitimacy/fornication distinction. Illegitimacy is simply one (out of many) indicators of fornication.

    Cheryl, I enjoyed your analogies. Let me give you a sports analogy that I think applies. The NBA has many great offensive players on almost every team, but the teams that win must play good defense. Ron Adams is an assistant coach who specializes in coaching defense. When he came to my Thunder, their defense improved and they became an elite team. When he went to the Warriors, they won a championship.

    He improves how individuals and teams play defense by making technical corrections and inspiring players to play harder. When he comes to a team, players are often angry at his criticism. The players really think that they are already playing hard and correctly on defense. However, Adams can almost always make a big improvement and this leads to winning.

    For several days I have heard about how hard lower class native-born Americans work and how their economic problems aren’t their fault. I know people really believe this and in some cases it is true. Those first generation immigrants I am always talking about are the Ron Adams of the analogy. They make technical adjustments (like moving to booming areas) and they find that extra gear of work ethic that eludes the natives as described in Hillbilly Elegy. To quote the President-elect we love so much, that is why the immigrants are “winning”.

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  61. Losing their minds.

    And there’s a lesson to be learned as well here folks.

    Don’t tweet when you’re drunk.

    http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/14/martin-omalley-compares-trump-to-hitler-and-the-kkk-in-one-tweet/

    “Former Gov. Martin O’Malley asserted President-elect Donald Trump is an evil man on par with the Nazis and the KKK on Twitter Saturday night, and said he would “fight.”

    “Now is not the time for reconciliation,” the failed Democratic presidential candidate tweeted. “Dietrich Bonhoeffer didn’t reconcile with the Nazis. MLK didn’t reconcile with the KKK. Now we fight”

    .

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  62. Ricky — I’ve been a strong proponent of sorting kids out in grade seven. Now there’s some reasoning against it but the benefits outweigh the negatives. However, this has nothing to do with the decline of the middle/working classes. It simply reinforces the decline and the human sorting that occurs in larger population centres.

    Murray’s argument is a moral argument — the working class is responsible for its demise due to the lack of virtue. However, I think it more likely his argument is backwards — the economic demise is responsible for the decline in virtue.

    Americans work hard probably harder than any other OECD country. While Europeans are enjoying their six week holidays, universal health care, etc and rejuvenate their bodies, Americans work till they drop. The lack of care given to the American working classes may in turn be part of its demise. For example, for various reasons, there is a lower standard of health and safety in many US states. Its far more likely for an American worker to be hurt at work, and once hurt he is discarded by the employer. He then ends up in a health care system that is far too prone to use pharmaceutical products. Instead of fixing the problem (perhaps with expensive surgery or physic), the worker is given Oxycotin to simply manage the problem — and drug addiction now becomes a problem. This is just one example, but you can see how the lack of care and respect to the American worker by the corporate elite will have a sociological fallout.

    Chris Hedges, who ironically argues from a moral leftist position, produced a graphic non-fiction book called Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt in which he takes the reader through economic sacrifice zones in American. Areas where capitalism exploited the resources and the labour of an area and then moved on once it was depleted leaving it a toxic wasteland. In some ways, the American worker is a sacrifice zone — used up, depleted and left to fend for himself. Yet somehow this toxicity producing the lack of virtue recorded by Murray is supposed to be the worker’s fault.

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  63. Sometimes the more mundane things are the more important things.

    In the big hype of trade agreements in the last 20-30 years, people overlook the shipping revolution. Container shipshape become so big, 3-4 football fields in length, that only a few ports are able to facilitate loading and unloading. Holding thousands of tons of cargo in intermodal compartments that can be then loaded onto truck or rail, these ships have brought shipping costs down and made manufacturing abroad cost effective. However, shipping costs are going up as fuel costs have steadily increased. These increased costs will lower the appeal of globalization.

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  64. Ricky, consider what the average Trump supporter is asking for. More jobs, a better economy, pro-life judges and religious freedom, not more handouts and free stuff. Doesn’t sound like the immoral dead beats you are describing.

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  65. HRW @ 7:28 Fracking will keep fuel costs from rising too fast. It is really amazing how efficient it has become to ship those big containers. When I think of a loading dock, I picture a scene from “On the Waterfront”. Now it is one guy operating a crane.

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  66. Now the Orange One is attacking the head of the CIA.

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  67. The lunatic is making our allies afraid and our enemies howl with laughter, but he is missing a great football game.

    Like

  68. Trump’s thin skin will make him easy to manipulate.

    I’m somewhat befuddled that the Republican leadership who constantly accused Obama of being a weak leader are supporting a president who openly sides with Putin over his own intelligence services.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. HRW, I have to believe they are praying for grounds to impeach and convict, but they would still have the Trumpkins to deal with.

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  70. KBells @ 7:36 In the primaries, Trumpkins called Christian conservatives like Cruz “Bible Thumpers” because of their opposition to perversion.

    Obama gave his folks no Medicare reform, tax increases (income tax) and $1 trillion in stimulus (handouts including those shovel ready jobs)

    Trump has promised his folks no Medicare reform, tax increases (tariffs) and $1 trillion in infrastructure spending (more of those shovel ready jobs)

    Hope and change vs Make America Great Again. It is the same con, just with different marks. I will concede that Trump is much, much funnier.

    Like

  71. Republicans have a problem. Due to personal animosity toward Obama, they want to repeal the ACA, however, they have no alternative. In fact, the only alternative to ACA is single payer but of course Republicans don’t support this. Obama implemented a health insurance plan that was essentially their own yet they choose to oppose it. And now they have nothing.

    Meanwhile, their constituents have raised concerns about what happens after the ACA repeal. In two years, House Reps will face re-election and without a replacement to ACA, they will lose seats. Perhaps Trump will rescue them and provide a solution without the Republicans seeming to approve.

    In other news; is Trump an Manchurian candidate?https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/14/opinion/sunday/donald-trump-kremlin-employee-of-the-month.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur

    Like

  72. Trump has a big umbrella that covers anti-globalists of all persuasions. I guess ‘Trumpkins’ is the big umbrella insult for the anti-globalist movement in America. I think of them as simply real Americans who love their country more than any other. Globalists can’t stand that.

    Like

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