David Frum reviews Charles Murray's latest book:
Murray tries to make the claim that "bad" social changes - originating in the 1960's - is why there are so many problems today with the lower middle class and the poor. This is an argument David Brooks likes because it distracts from economic realities and the affairs of the top .1%, in addition to being lightweight social analysis (a Brooks specialty).
Frum disagrees and has this to say:
America became more culturally stable between 1910 and 1960 as it became less economically and socially libertarian. As it became more economically and socially libertarian after 1970, America became culturally less stable: [And then quotes from one of his (Frum's) books]
"The greatest generation was also the statist generation. Like them or loathe them, the middle decades of the twentieth century were an entirely anomalous period in American history. Never had the state been so strong, never had people submitted as uncomplainingly, never had the country been more economically equal, never had it been more ethnically homogeneous, seldom was its political consensus more overpowering."
David Brooks is mailing in his columns with "lightweight social analysis" because his nose gets too long when he tries to boost the GOP presidential candidates. Paul Krugman has taken Brooks to the woodshed at his NYTimes Blog.
Do I hear "Happy Days Are Here Again" in the background as I read Frum's remarks?
... "never had the country been more economically equal, never had it been more ethnically homogeneous"...
Tell that to the millions of African Americans who were forced to migrate during that period.