Charles Murray

Earlier this week, the Heritage Foundation released a new report, “The Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer,” that confounded nearly everyone who read it.

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As Republicans have ramped up on their attack on Barack Obama as a wannabe socialist who doesn’t believe that successful businessmen are responsible for their own fortunes, I’ve been struck by an odd and little-noticed countervailing push: the desire by some conservative writers to disassociate their side from triumphant capitalists. I spotted it a few weeks ago in Nick Lemann’s New Yorker review of several books on inequality, including my colleague Tim Noah’s The Great Divergence and Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and Now Threatens t

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Richard Florida has an interesting post on the Atlantic’s “Cities” Web site playing with some new state-level data from Pew about economic mobility.

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Richard Florida has an interesting post on the Atlantic’s “Cities” Web site playing with some new state-level data from Pew about economic mobility.

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The universe has been badly out of balance since March 7, when Charles Murray published an op-ed in the New York Times that I mostly agreed with. Now Murray has published a second op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that I mostly disagree with. God's in his heaven, and all's right with the world. Both op-eds responded to criticisms of his book Coming Apart, which I reviewed here. The latest one addresses the criticism (raised by nearly every reviewer) that Murray attributed the white working class's current troubles entirely to cultural factors and not at all to economic ones.

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At several points in recent weeks, as President Obama’s approval ratings inched steadily upward and the nice big job-creation numbers started rolling out, I found myself in the position of raining on the liberals’ parade. Obama’s prospects were brightening, but one thing could still seriously challenge that, I’d tell those celebrating his rise: gas prices. And as obvious as that observation might sound, I noticed that it was often shrugged off.

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In an op-ed in today's New York Times, Charles Murray says he "can't refute" the criticism that his recent book, Coming Apart, fails to offer any solutions to the class divisions he describes. "The reason is simple," he writes. "Solutions that are remotely practicable right now would not do much good." I find Murray's confession a little weird, since, as I noted in my recent review of the book, Murray does offer solutions. They just happen not to be solutions that are terribly relevant to the problems he describes.

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Finished My Reddit AMA

This window is now closed. You can read the Compleat Reddit Dialogue now without fretting you'll miss anything. You can read the TNR pre-publication book excerpt that the Reddit AMA ("Ask Me Anything") was at least ostensibly about here. You can read a second pre-publication excerpt that ran in the Atlantic Online here. You can pre-order the book itself here. You can read the Slate series on which my forthcoming book expands in all sorts of invaluable ways here.

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A few people have solicited my opinion of the new Charles Murray book about honkies, most urgently TNR's literary editor, who assigned me to review it kind of a long time ago. My one-word evaluation (this is the Web, after all) would be: "Meh." In the end the book isn't really just about white America, so accusations that Murray doesn't care about the African American and Latino working classes are off-base.

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Last week I decreed that given how much income inequality was bound to figure as a campaign issue, I was justified in wading into the debate over Charles Murray’s new book, Coming Apart, here on The Stump. The precedent thus set, I will today offer a thought on Ross Douthat's column on the Murray book  in yesterday’s Times. Douthat, who has made the plight of the white working class a specialty of his since co-authoring Grand New Party, a prescription for how the Republican Party can hold onto this part of the electorate, had a generally good take on Murray.

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