A Worthwhile Canadian Initiative
February 13, 2012
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.
Will This Be the First Election Where Class Trumps Race?
February 13, 2012
As stirring as Occupy Wall Street's exhortations about the 99 percent were, it's important to realize that they were the symptom, not the cause, of a wider trend. Inequality, of course, has recently become a much more integral part of the American conversation. But it's more than that: There is now an unprecedentedly widespread understanding of economic class as the primary dividing factor in the nation. Indeed, this year seems to mark a historic tipping point for the United States: the year that our primary concerns about inequality went from being about race to being about class.
Charles Murray, Maytag Man
February 06, 2012
It’s not strictly a 2012 campaign matter, but to the extent that the campaign’s going to be about inequality I figure the debate over Charles Murray’s new book, Coming Apart, is fair game for the Stump.
The End of Nature v. Nurture?
November 15, 2011
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series further exploring “The Two Year Window,” my feature story on babies, the brain, and poverty that appears in the new issue of TNR. Click here to access all of the supplemental material. The debate over nature versus nurture has frequently exploded into politics.
What's This "New Elite?"
October 26, 2010
[Guest post by James Downie] The Bell Curve author Charles Murray has a bone to pick with the meritocracy: That a New Elite has emerged over the past 30 years is not really controversial. That its members differ from former elites is not controversial.
The Unmooring Of David Frum
July 06, 2010
David Frum, the former Bush speechwriter, started his career as apostate Republican primarily arguing that the party needed to move to the center on strategic grounds. But now he's starting to say some really ideologically heterodox things: America suffers much more child poverty than do comparably wealthy countries – Germany, France, Canada, etc.
September 14, 2009
Jonathan Chait: Ayn Rand and the invincible cult of selfishness on the American right
September 14, 2009
Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right By Jennifer Burns (Oxford University Press, 459 pp., $27.95) Ayn Rand and the World She Made By Anne C. Heller (Doubleday, 559 pp., $35) I. The current era of Democratic governance has provoked a florid response on the right, ranging from the prosaic (routine denunciations of big spending and debt) to the overheated (fears of socialism) to the lunatic (the belief that Democrats plan to put the elderly to death).
Charles Murray's Miserable, Happy Americans
March 22, 2009
Charles Murray's recent Irving Kristol lecture at the American Enterprise Institute, titled "The Europe Syndrome and the Challenge to American Exceptionalism," has been extravagantly praised by conservatives. From these accounts, I figured that Murray had something new or interesting or thoughtful to say about the question of American exceptionalism or the problems confronting contemporary Europe.But no.
A Paler Shade of White
June 24, 2002
Colored White: Transcending the Racial Past by David R. Roediger (University of California Press, 323 pp., $29.95) "What is a White Man?" asked Charles Chesnutt in the pages of the Independent, a mass-circulation weekly, in 1889. This was no mere academic question.