Charles Murray’s describes the white working class as being less productive, less likely to marry and raise children in a two parent home. The working class is also more politically and socially disengaged (NPR, 2013). Women are more likely to give birth out of wedlock and men are claiming physical disability at a faster rate than generations before. Murray’s portrayal of the white upper class is that they are the people who are keeping up with the traditional American values. The white upper class goes to church, raise their children, and stay married. The new upper class has its own culture. “Its members don’t watch game shows or go to bars with pool tables in them” (Tramps like them). The members are skinnier, healthier, and are largely liberal.
The basis for his pessimistic outlook about government’s ability to solve this problem and re-invigorate America’s social contract is due to our country becoming more and more a class society where a large portion of the population are on the bottom and do not behave “in the ways that are essential for a self-governing, free society” (PBS.org, 2012). The lack of work ethic of men and the attrition of marriage are blamed for the diminishing working class population which is ultimately impacting the economy.
The white working class and the white upper class no longer have a shared understanding of the rights and responsibilities because of the vast differences in their cultures that not even policy makers are able to logically fix the social crisis. The problem is that the upper class does not insist that the rest of the country do as they do. The upper class “have lost the confidence to preach what they practice, adopting instead a creed of ecumenical niceness” (Confessore, 2012).Murray asserts the belief that the separation of the classes is inevitable due to the cognitive aptitude disparity that exists between them (NPR, 2013).
Confessore, N. (2012). Tramps Like Them. Charles Murray Examines the...