Paul Ryan: ““Your buddy Charles Murray or Bob Putnam over at Harvard, those guys have written books on this. Which is, we have got this tailspin of culture in our inner cities in particular of men not working, and just generations of men not even thinking about working and learning the value and culture of work. “So, there’s a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”
1. Is Charles Murray is a racist who makes up statistics to support his racist doctrine. Is this debatable?
2. Bob Putnam. Let’s come back to Bob Putnam
3. Inner cities. There is a higher rural poverty rate than metropolitan rate. And suburbs have the fastest growing rate of poverty.
4. “not even thinking about working and learning the value and culture of work” - real social scientists who have studied inner city joblessness have documented that there are no jobs and that paucity of employment, and the increased percentage of jobs that pay at or below poverty rate are the operative factors, not any cultural issues that anyone has been able to document.
5. This is what Bob Putnam says: But the story of Port Clinton over the last half-century — like the history of America over these decades — is not simply about the collapse of the working class but also about the birth of a new upper class. In the last two decades, just as the traditional economy of Port Clinton was collapsing, wealthy professionals from major cities in the Midwest have flocked to Port Clinton, building elaborate mansions in gated communities along Lake Erie and filling lagoons with their yachts. By 2011, the child poverty rate along the shore in upscale Catawba was only 1 percent, a fraction of the 51 percent rate only a few hundred yards inland. As the once thriving middle class disappeared, adjacent real estate listings in the Port Clinton News Herald advertised near-million-dollar mansions and dilapidated double-wides.
So, taking Ryan’s remarks at face value, we have a false claim that poverty is a problem of inner city culture not valuing work which he supports by citing a racist fraud and a social scientist who doesn’t say anything of the sort. In other words, it is gibberish. But then we ask, what will Bennett’s audience make of this? Will they scratch their heads and try to figure out how to interpret Ryan’s remarks in light of the research of sociologists and economists, compare Putnam’s work to Teitz’s summary or will they, as a great deal of research indicates, take this reference to “inner cities” and to America’s best known pseudo-scientist ( a frequent guest on Bennett’s show) as confirmation of their racial biases? Are we done yet? Can we stop pretending that Ryan has a sensible position and identify his use of racist code words for what they are?