Ron Haskins wrote a review titled The Virtue Deficit for Natl Review. Feb. 6, 2012. He was reviewing the book Coming Apart --by Charles Murray (author of The Bell Curve.)
Murray says there are 4 “founding virtues: –marriage, industriousness, honesty and religiousness.” And these are dividing America as the lower socio-economic class declines in commitment to these virtues. He says the lower class has doubled since 1960, “changing national life.” He might've added that the entitlement roles increased accordingly.
This is obvious to me –and it started with removing prayer from classrooms causing a hostile gulf between religion & education–and then the hippies parented the white Americans between age 30 and 49 today -whom Murray analyzes in the book.
By 2010, more than 1/3 of marriages of this age group in the lower class (lower by occupation and education) end in divorce compared to 5 % for the upper class.
By 2010 more than 1/4 of white babies are born out of wedlock –but for college grads, the percentage is 5%. For h.s. drop-outs, unwed births are 60 per cent.
Combine unwed births and divorce rates and the result is that 6 or 7 times as many lower-class children as upper, live with single parent. And more go to jail. (don’t know if he’s still talking only about whites here, or not.) The result is a continually widening gulf between upper and lower classes --as more and more children in the lower classes follow their parents' pattern.
Finally, he refers to upper class (elites) as wimps in the fact that they walk the walk –but don’t talk it. i.e. Elites or upper classes don’t stand up for these "founding virtues" in their own traditions that make for success in life — despite all the evidence in support.
I say that’s because the elite leaders need votes and are afraid of offending or seeming judgmental. And also because they don’t BELIEVE in traditional morality even if they live it publically. They are more committed to moral neutrality and values relativity –just as the education elites taught them in all those values clarification classes of 70's-90's: “No one but you can decide what is right for you –blah blah blah.”
Santorum said recently in debate that 98 % of Americans who do these 3 things are not in poverty; only 2 % are. The 3 things : marriage before child-bearing, h.s. graduation, and work. This is consistent with Murray's findings and theory.
He also noted that Obama administration discouraged ed. programs that promote marriage before sex. The Obama administration took offense and defended their refusal to advocate abstinence in sex education HERE. They say they advocate marriage --but is that the same as "waiting for marriage" --as in the abstinence model of sex ed? I doubt it. It's "Latex and Abortion before Marriage." And many aren't listening to that message either, but do interpret it as adults condoning pre-marital sex as inevitable bio-drive.
Religion still has the best chance of producing life-long marriage --whether or not the couple gets the cart before the horse.
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible