Yes, Our Country is “Coming Apart”  

February 10, 2012

There is a new book by Charles Murray called “Coming Apart:  The State of White America, 1960-2010.”  Mr. Murray documents how the less educated white Americans, those with a high school degree or less, are marrying less, having more children out of wedlock, going to church less, and are working less.  He refers to these poorer Americans as living in “Fishtown.”

Of course, he reminds us that we still have a smaller group of wealthy Americans, who are isolated from Fishtown folks.  These well-to-do folks live in what Murray calls “Belmont.”  And these residents of Belmont behave differently from the poor people in Fishtown.  The wealthy tend to have higher rates of marriage, have fewer babies out of wedlock, and work more often.

Why should this be a surprise to anyone? If you close the factories in our cities and small towns, many of those left behind are no longer able to support a family.  And as their faith is tested, they may become less religious.  And some of them may be more likely to turn to crime as a way to live.  And their moral values may change as they lose hope for a better future.

By sending thousands of our factories to China, and then allowing millions of illegal immigrants to flood our country, we have destroyed any hopes that many of America’s high school graduates ever had of getting a decent entry-level job. And all this competition for less jobs puts tremendous downward pressure on wages.

Even those who do get a job, will struggle to live on $7-10 per hour, with no benefits like heallth insurance. How can a person get married and support a family on such meager earnings?

Of course, the big corporations are increasing their quarterly profits by using cheap foreign labor in China. And businesses have an ample supply of cheap labor for their farms, construction jobs, restuarants, hotels, and other service establishments. And since they no longer have to compete with factories for workers, they do not have to pay a “living wage.”

What was once described as “urban blight,” as our factories closed in our cities and left behind a wake of poverty, is now spreading across our country.

But, our big corporations and their political lackeys are unconcerned about the millions of jobless Americans who have been abandoned and left to struggle for the few low-paying jobs that remain.  (Mitt Romney actually admitted that he was not concerned about the very poor.)

It appears that Mr. Murray does not understand that free trade and massive illegal immigration are destroying our economy.  Mr. Murray thinks that the lack of moral values is what is causing more of us to slide into a life of poverty in Fishtown.

While moral values and the work ethic are important, they will not keep a factory from moving to China.  Nor will they cause a new factory and well-paying jobs to suddenly appear in a neighborhood or town.

But, a lack of jobs, and the resulting poverty and hopelessness, will create an environment that breeds moral decay.


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