Monday, October 4, 2010

My Letter to National Review re: Acting White

Subject: Letter to National Review--"Moot Causes" needs one more step
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2010 13:04:59 -0400

Dear Sirs:
A college professor friend of mine says that you need to ask "Why" at least five times to arrive at the root cause of something. Such is the case of "Moot Causes", Roger Clegg's review of Stuart Buck's book Acting White: The Ironic Legacy of Desegregation. Mr. Clegg lays the problem of "black students' rejection of academic achievement" at the high level of out-of-wedlock births--70%!--and the lack of a male role model in the lives of children. This undoubtedly has merit. But what is the cause of all those out-of-wedlock births? I believe the answer is economic regulation and the welfare state. Economic regulation has priced unskilled labor out of the market; there is no "first rung on the ladder" of the job market for many urban poor. But welfare entitlements prevent the outright destitution that would be the result of this market intervention. The result is the deplorable spectacle of multi-generational welfare dependency, crime, and other societal pathologies. End economic regulation AND welfare. Those on welfare will have the job opportunities they need, and, once again, school will be seen as the necessary preparation for a life of work rather than a prison to which one is sent by the truant officer.

Patrick Barron

1 comment:

  1. Did NRO ask you do the article?