Losing Ground, The Bell Curve and Coming Apart – Commentary on Commentary

Source: http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2012/03/losing_ground_t.html

 

Very interesting insights on Charles Murray’s  work on poverty and the underclass.  (1) Seemingly a simple premise; intelligence is required for most high-paying occupations ergo the people with lower intelligence will likely suffer a greater incidence of poverty as they have less access to high-paying jobs. (2) Economic incentives have been proven time and time again to drive behavior and decisions. It then follows if you tax income you get less wealth generation and if you subsidize poverty with welfare payments, you encourage more.

The last point (3) regarding cultural differences between America’s economic classes could be more difficult to understand.  However, one item Murray speaks of in his tomes but Mr. Caplan does not specifically point out is, raising children in single parent families has been shown to enable worse life outcomes when compared to a two parent household.  Data has also highlighted there are more single parents in less affluent communities.

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