Friday, February 20, 2015

WSJ: Moynihan's concerns about the breakdown of the black family are still right.

The Wall Street Journal's Jason Riley argues that Moynihan was right in his predictions about the breakdown in the black family and its effect on society.  Talk to cops, judges, and anyone else who works in the criminal justice system and they will say that absentee fathers are a leading factor  in youths who engage in a life of crime.  One observation was rather penetrating:

In 2012 the poverty rate for all blacks was more than 28%, but for married black couples it was 8.4% and has been in the single digits for two decades.
 Mr. Riley writes:


Will liberals ever forgive Daniel Patrick Moynihan for being right?

Next month marks the 50th anniversary of the future senator’s report on the black family, the controversial document issued while he served as an assistant secretary in President Lyndon Johnson’s Labor Department. Moynihan highlighted troubling cultural trends among inner-city blacks, with a special focus on the increasing number of fatherless homes.

“The fundamental problem is that of family structure,” wrote Moynihan, who had a doctorate in sociology. “The evidence—not final but powerfully persuasive—is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling.”

For his troubles, Moynihan was denounced as a victim-blaming racist bent on undermining the civil-rights movement. Even worse, writes Harvard’s Paul Peterson in the current issue of the journal Education Next, Moynihan’s “findings were totally ignored by those who designed public policies at the time.” The Great Society architects would go on to expand old programs or formulate new ones that exacerbated the problems Moynihan identified. Marriage was penalized and single parenting was subsidized. In effect, the government paid mothers to keep fathers out of the home—and paid them well.

“Economists and policy analysts of the day worried about the negative incentives that had been created,” writes Mr. Peterson. “Analysts estimated that in 1975 a household head would have to earn $20,000”—or an inflation-adjusted $88,000 today—“to have more resources than what could be obtained from Great Society programs.”

History has proved that Moynihan was onto something. When the report was released, about 25% of black children and 5% of white children lived in a household headed by a single mother. During the next 20 years the black percentage would double and the racial gap would widen. Today more than 70% of all black births are to unmarried women, twice the white percentage.

For decades research has shown that the likelihood of teen pregnancy, drug abuse, dropping out of school and many other social problems grew dramatically when fathers were absent. One of the most comprehensive studies ever done on juvenile delinquency—by William Comanor and Llad Phillips of the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2002—concluded that “the most critical factor affecting the prospect that a male youth will encounter the criminal justice system is the presence of his father in the home.”

Ultimately, the Moynihan report was an attempt to have an honest conversation about family breakdown and black pathology, one that most liberals still refuse to join. Faulting ghetto culture for ghetto outcomes remains largely taboo among those who have turned bad behavior into a symbol of racial authenticity. Moynihan noted that his goal was to better define a problem that many thought—mistakenly, in his view—was no big deal and would solve itself in the wake of civil-rights gains. The author’s skepticism was warranted.....

Today black voter-registration rates in the South, where most blacks still live, are higher than in other regions of the country, and for the first time on record the black voter-turnout rate in 2012 exceeded white turnout.

Rarely does a government action achieve its objective with such speed and precision. Racial restrictions to ballot access were removed and black political power increased dramatically. Since 1970 the number of black elected officials in the U.S. has grown to more than 9,000 from fewer than 1,500 and has included big-city mayors, governors, senators and of course a president.

But even as we note this progress, the political gains have not redounded to the black underclass, which by several important measures—including income, academic achievement and employment—has stagnated or lost ground over the past half-century. And while the civil-rights establishment and black political leaders continue to deny it, family structure offers a much more plausible explanation of these outcomes than does residual white racism.

In 2012 the poverty rate for all blacks was more than 28%, but for married black couples it was 8.4% and has been in the single digits for two decades. Just 8% of children raised by married couples live in poverty, compared with 40% of children raised by single mothers.

One important lesson of the past half-century is that counterproductive cultural traits can hurt a group more than political clout can help it. Moynihan was right about that, too.

Mr. Riley, a Manhattan Institute senior fellow and Journal contributor, is the author of “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed” (Encounter Books, 2014). Article.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

True dat.

Anonymous said...

Now what is Obama, Eric Holder, Al Sharpton and Jesse going to do about it?

The answer...Capitalize on it.

Anonymous said...

At a recent luncheon, Mayor Yarber echoed the part about black voter increase and their electing of more blacks to office since the Civil Rights Movement. He almost joked about the racial make-up of the city govt, being almost all blacks. He followed that up quickly by explaining how the income gap between the two races was a remaining mechanism of racism where blacks were allowed access to political power but not economical power. His comments came across as accusations aimed at white folks, and even my black coworkers in attendance mentioned the accusatory slant. Interestingly enough, the luncheon was a fundraiser for an after school mentoring program focused on helping inner-city children.

Anonymous said...

The concept of "Moynihan's Scissors" has always interested me.

http://www.pbs.org/fmc/timeline/ddisruption.htm

The link above shows statistical data relating to the social breakdown of our country.

You gotta give it to the dems, they noticed these trends and have exploited them to the fullest. The voting rights act of 1965 cleared the way for the black vote, and the social programs of the "Great Society" bought those votes.

This train is headed for a cliff, the middle class is busy shoveling coal, the entitlement class is in coach, and our politicians are in the dining car, partying their a$#es off.

Anonymous said...

10:06 -- well put! Interestingly, I re-read this report with interest a year ago. Lots of "dinner table" discussion about it then. Moynihan would never be allowed to open his mouth, in the Democratic party today. Your train analogy is spot on. Back to shoveling here!

Anonymous said...

Mayor Yarbers comments depict a truly racist attitude, which translates to the attitudes of the voters who elected him. It's little wonder the tax base is so low. Jackson and it's leadership live in a time warp of days of slavery and the fight for civil rights. They continue to think they are or will be taken advantage of by anyone that is not of the same race. This is bringing the city the level of poverty, crime, filth and unfinished projects that is so apparent to those who only visit the city only one time.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Yarbers comments depict a truly racist attitude, which translates to the attitudes of the voters who elected him. It's little wonder the tax base is so low. Jackson and it's leadership live in a time warp of days of slavery and the fight for civil rights. They continue to think they are or will be taken advantage of by anyone that is not of the same race. This is bringing the city the level of poverty, crime, filth and unfinished projects that is so apparent to those who only visit the city only one time.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I read this and posted to my FB page when it came out. It's a real tragedy what our Great Society programs have done to black families (disproportionately) and a real source of frustration that those of us who truly want to help are deemed uncaring racists whenever we propose alternative solutions that would promote responsiblity. Maddening.

Anonymous said...

Both Liberals and Conservatives need to work together and understand that ideas from both parties can coexist. When you Taylor a program that takes ideas from all parties you are more likely to have a successful outcome. Give and take people, that is what has made this country great!

pittpanther said...

11:37am, engaging in revisionist history, are we?

If we go back in time, the prevailing wisdom on this board was that the "black racist" community in Jackson voted for Chokwe Jr, not Yarber. In fact Yarber was seen as being a moderate candidate who had backing from white people.

Now all of a sudden Yarber is a racist?

Anonymous said...

If lack of respectable father figures contributes so greatly to the culture that plagues black America, as I believe it does, then it is clear to see this is going to get much worse before it gets better, and it is likely none of us will see it get better. As I type this, Shaniqua and Loreifra are giving birth to illegitimate children somewhere in west Jackson, who will grow up without father figures. These kids are almost destined to become criminals 15, 20, or 25 years from now. Producing as may little future criminal bastard children along the way.

We have to look on the bright side of things though. At least the fatherless children over here aren't taught how to cut off heads at an early age, like our muslim counterparts are in other parts of the worls.

Anonymous said...

Yarbers comments were racist. If he's stating his true feelings, then he is a racist. The white community was looking past race when they voted. Time will tell if he is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Anonymous said...

1:03
There is "racist", and then there is "Chokwe-racist" which is racism on steroids.

Anonymous said...

Yarber's tweet during the Ferguson mayhem said allot.

pittpanther said...


I noticed not a single comment on the explosion of children in single woman headed households in the white community also. That number has gone from 5% to 35%.

The pathologies in the black community will eventually appear more wholeheartedly in the white community. Just give it time.

Kingfish said...

Not disagreeing with that one bit. You are seeing the effects of that 35% rate more and more.

Anonymous said...

Children In Single Parent Homes By Race In The United States: (Kids Count Report)

Non-Hispanic White - 9,289,000
African American - 6,427,000

Yes, there are more African American single parent households in MS but it appears that white people have a societal problem that none of you want to talk about. Above are the REAL numbers. There are far many more of your Honey Boo Boo crowd than all of you geniuses want to admit. Clean up your own houses before you try and clean up somewhere else. Put costs to the white numbers above and what do you get. The white community driving the welfare state!

Kingfish said...

NO ONE disputed your numbers or the problem. The difference, which YOU refuse to admit or acknowledge, is you have the vast majority of one ethnic group growing up without fathers.

Ever heard of proportions?

What you say is correct. As the white rate approaches majority, there will be more problems because it is a larger group.

However, RIGHT NOW it is one group that has a majority of unwed births in its own group. Go to some counties in Mississippi that are nearly all black. Unwed birthrate is around 90%. DDon't think that is a problem? Then you are the problem.

Anonymous said...

Based on their comments I wouldn't be suprised to learn that 4:39 was in support of Johnny Horhn's position on sex with children.

Anonymous said...

Excellent point KF. That is a distinction that the apologist and reparations crowds tend to ignore or dismiss in their rush to frame the problem as all about white people. Notice that 3:24 / 4:39 had no counter or retort for that.

pittpanther said...

12:30pm, first of all I have a pseudonym, so no need to use a time stamp when referring took my comments.

KF responded to my comment in a completely appropriate manner. 4:39pm submitted a completely different comment, which KF responded to separately. Please don't lump me together with 4:39, as we did not make the same comment and were stressing different points.

MY point is that America has a problem with single parent households. Indeed black America has it worse, but white America is following on our heels. This needs a solution, and fast.

Anonymous said...

Since it is illegal to teach sex education in Mississippi I would think that has a lot to do with the unwed mother rate in this state. Schools also are now allowed to direct students to the health department for family planning services.

Anonymous said...

Since I was opposed to policies that made it impossible for fathers to stay in the home ( we could have encourage marriage and at least, recognized some father became truly disabled), opposed concentrating the poor in cheaply built high rise public housing without any sensible guidelines for who was eligible , opposed raiding Social Security to shift the aged and disabled payments from welfare to SSI, opposed closing charity hospitals and children's homes, opposed making it impossible for families to help the mentally ill or get substance abusers clean long enough to be rational, and argued for sex education , blaming " liberals" is laughable.

Liberals have more than a bit of blame.

But, it wasn't liberals who objected to " men who should be able to at least dig a ditch" being in the home. Liberals weren't against sex education.

Look at who profited from building low income housing. Y'all really know Dems who built and run low income housing?

How many of you wondered who was tending to your maid's children while they were working long hours at your house?


Both parties conspired to make it appear welfare costs were reduced by raiding SS.

What this was about then was getting enough votes to do anything about poverty from the Southern Democrats and/or enough GOP.

There is plenty of blame to go around . Then and now, the wings of conservatism and liberalism who try to make one shoe fit all and who leave us with 2 right shoes or 2 left shoes rather than shoes fit for walking were and are the culprits.

And, I would remind all of you that " single mothers" aren't now and weren't then only unwed mothers. They were also women whose husband's abandoned their families, who were deadbeat fathers, or were widows with children. But, the morally righteous seemed to lack the imagination to understand that.

Rather than pass laws to really improve the lot of widows and women whose husbands turned out to be poor choices with things like equal pay for equal work , divorce was made easier, those laws protecting women with children were erased gleefully to " give those bitches equal responsibility if that's what they want". To hell with the impact on the children of divorce!

No one save other academics read Louise Despert's research on the impact of divorce on children. She was one of those " effete intellectual"," ivory tower academics". Besides, the morally righteous never get divorced or abandoned, right?

And, those women who never had children and those women who felt secure never paid much attention ,then or now, until they get traded for a trophy or widowed too young.

There's no question that some crazy liberals were driving the debates back then and being countered by crazy conservatives. The liberals had more of the upper hand until Nixon.

But, if you think for one minute that these crazy extremes do better with policy when the conservatives have the upper hand, just wait until you see the end results of some of the anti-intellectual decisions we're making today.

The demise of the middle class should be giving you a hint! And, what was it again about derivatives that was the result of liberalism?






Anonymous said...

Re: 7:58

Anyone else think that that long-winded, condescending know-it-all who wants to generalize her own unhappy situation is back?

CONGRATS!! said...

7:58 wins the prize for the most one sentence paragraphs ever submitted in a single post in JJ history!

Anonymous said...

Moynihan's ideas had one fatal flaw. They were a solution to a problem, and the first rule of race hustlin' is "There ain't no money in solutions!"

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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