David French Is for Reparations?

 

Reading this dispatch from the Dispatch, it seems like David French is four square in the camp of structural racism.

In his article he attacks those on the right that believe in equal justice under the law thusly:

…that racism exists only when there is individual malign intent, that remedies for racism should be limited to imposing consequences on individual racists, and that there is no intergenerational obligation to remedy historic injustice (“I’m not responsible for my ancestors’ sins”).

Under this mode of thinking, the concept of “equality under the law”—as mandated by the Constitution and the Civil Rights Act—is both necessary and largely sufficient to address the causes and consequences of centuries of slavery followed by generations of Jim Crow.

Well, I have to say, yes. That is what we have to work with. Anything else is making someone today pony up for some sin they did not commit. I have an ancestor who served in the Confederate Army. So what? French cites a biblical passage, which, I will ignore, because we have more than believers in the Old Testament here about, and move on. French decides to find structural racism in housing.

Residential segregation, through redlining and other means—especially when combined with profound employment discrimination and educational disparities—resulted in the creation of large communities of dramatically disadvantaged Americans. Because of centuries of systematic, de jure (by law) oppression, they possessed fewer resources and less education than those who didn’t suffer equivalent discrimination.

While the passing of the Civil Rights Act meant that black Americans had the right to live elsewhere, they often lacked the resources to purchase homes or rent apartments in wealthier neighborhoods with better schools. Indeed, to this day, the median net worth of a black family ($17,150) is roughly one-tenth the median net worth of a white family ($171,000). That means less money for down payments, less money for security deposits, and overall fewer resources that enable social mobility.

One of the solutions to this problem is permitting more multi-family housing in wealthier communities. But that’s exactly when NIMBYism rears its head. Even if every member of a local zoning and planning commission isn’t racist, there are multiple non-racist reasons for them to resist greater population density. There’s traffic congestion. There’s school overcrowding. There’s the potential consequence to property values. There are environmental objections. There are a host of related infrastructure concerns.

Well. I guess all those poor black people who moved north to escape Jim Crow and the poverty of the south did not happen? French ignores that what was called “White Flight” was in fact, “Middle Class Flight.” What is weird here is that he gives all the totally normal, race-neutral reasons that people don’t want where they live changed. Well, that is great. He just goes on to call for people to change their rules anyway. Y’all who know me, know I am pro-community rights, because I believe the people have the right to fashion communities they want to live in. This is done through government. David French, conservative, disagrees:

With regards to zoning, I’m more likely to suggest that property owners should be granted more economic freedom and that limits on multi-family housing are perpetuated by limiting people’s freedom to buy and develop land. The balance between planning and property rights should tilt more towards liberty. NIMBYism exists in part because government authorities sometimes control my backyard more than I do.

David French does not understand how “Not in My Backyard” works. It exists because the people who are there use government to set controls into place. It is clear that Mr. French is unhappy that local people, trying to build the best community they can, with nary a bit of racism in their own hearts, are unwilling to take a hit of some sort, and have the sorts of multifamily housing proven to decrease standard of living. It is clear that he wants them to take one for the team by what he calls a “tilt more towards liberty” but what he really means is a “tilt more towards the sort of construction I think should happen because bad things happened to minorities in the past.” I am pleased he does not want central control of redistribution of wealth, but forcing a community to change its zoning to increase housing density is not an act of liberty for the people already living there, it is a violation of their rights as sure as if you taxed them to transfer money to someone else.

Speaking of transfers, French complains:

Indeed, to this day, the median net worth of a black family ($17,150) is roughly one-tenth the median net worth of a white family ($171,000). That means less money for down payments, less money for security deposits, and overall fewer resources that enable social mobility.

Well, since the start of the Great Society, we have spent billions and billions in tax dollars, taken from people doing well, and given it, mostly no serious strings attached, to the poor. The so-called War on Poverty has not budged the line at all. So, I don’t see how more transfers of wealth, in any format, is going to make a difference.

What is really funny to me, is that before the end of Jim Crow, black families were more intact. It was not slavery that ended black families. It was not decades of oppression that ended black families. No, it was the coming of massive government intervention, and a society that embraced sex outside of marriage to an astonishing degree. Indeed, all families used to be more intact. I wonder if Mr. French put the same energy and faith into advocating for the end of no-fault divorce as he does for this sort of nonsense what that would be like. Not popular with anyone, I imagine. I mean, we are in an age, where David French’s buddy at the Dispatch watched and spoke highly of Game of Thrones which was soft medium-core porn (and Danny, by the way folks, was underage in the book) and cheered it on in the GLOP podcast. Not sure I have read French take his buddy to task for that.

What is really funny here, is that French opens his whole article complaining that another religious organization does not want a pastor to use Critical Race Theory as a foundation. He then attacks being against CRT as being unconservative because it is not seeing the world as it is, namely, that slavery and Jim Crow did some bad things.

Even worse, David French does not prove that in 2021 there is structural racism against blacks. The title of his article is not even backed up. What he talks about are nonracist reasons that some people find themselves boxed out of some situations. The real reason there are “large communities of dramatically disadvantaged Americans” is because dysfunctional people create dysfunctional communities. No one who is functional wants to live in those communities regardless of their race. And any time too many dysfunctional people move into a functional community, it fails. The functional people move out, and the area is colonized by more dysfunctional people. Burning down your local Walmart is not the act of “disadvantaged Americans” because if it were, large parts of the Appalachian mountains would have been burned to the ground. Mr. French does not even address that level of poverty.

David French is not an ally in the fight to save America. He has sided with the forces who want CRT and he is calling for reparations. Not calling them with that name, nor is he calling for centralized control. But he is clearly calling for people to disadvantage themselves because there has been racism in the past, and own up to the idea that being nonracist, but wanting the best for you and yours is actually systematically racist.

Heaven help us from “conservatives” like David French.

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  1. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    Bryan you first mistake was to be reading David French. I have given up on anything he posits these day. I am close to doing the same with Jonah.

    Its a pity about Jonah, I really enjoy is books, even to the point that I got him to sign them for me…

    From the opening of Jonah’s recent newsletter: “Dear Reader (Including those of you letting David French live rent-free in your intra-cranial studio space)”

    It’s a staple of the times to use the “rent- free “ bs whenever someone is being justifiably criticized. It’s kind of the last refuge of a scoundrel 2021.

    Like when they claim “whataboutism” to cover up for rank hypocrisy.

    • #31
  2. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    kedavis (View Comment):
    One reason that black families don’t have that asset is in many cases they choose to rent even if owning is available to them.

    Then look at what happened in 2008. The Bush administration was pushing all of this “ownership society” crap before that because you couldn’t survive unless you rode the asset bubble. Inflationism is madness. It nets out in theft and suffering. It kills the GOP and the libertarians.

    Sure, Socialism and populism are bad but you have to prevent it with intelligent policy.

    • #32
  3. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    I was just googling for articles about Blackrock buying up homes now. All of the top articles on Google are about how it isn’t bad. lol 

    They are going to shove MMT and UBI down our throats if the GOP doesn’t wake up.

    • #33
  4. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    This is a very good discussion. French is a premier example of how the Principles First crowd thinks. Their convention is coming up in October, which is going to be very interesting because they are having one hell of a time with their messaging right now. Of course that is what Omidyar wants. 

    • #34
  5. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    Bryan you first mistake was to be reading David French. I have given up on anything he posits these day. I am close to doing the same with Jonah.

    Its a pity about Jonah, I really enjoy is books, even to the point that I got him to sign them for me…

    I know. It was the headline that caught my eye and I had to think it was going to be one of those paradoxical things. Nope he meant it.

    When The Babylon Bee has “The Conservative Case For [something awful]” they’re being joking/paradoxical.

    When David French (among a few others) has “The Conservative Case For [something awful]” it’s also ridiculous, but he’s being serious.

    I am a voluntary subscriber / patron of the Babylon Bee.    Please keep the Bee alive and become a monthly subscriber.   Keeping Ricochet alive was why I initially stopped lurking and signed up here,  also.

    • #35
  6. Quintus Sertorius Coolidge
    Quintus Sertorius
    @BillGollier

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    Bryan you first mistake was to be reading David French. I have given up on anything he posits these day. I am close to doing the same with Jonah.

    Its a pity about Jonah, I really enjoy is books, even to the point that I got him to sign them for me…

    From the opening of Jonah’s recent newsletter: “Dear Reader (Including those of you letting David French live rent-free in your intra-cranial studio space)”

    It’s a staple of the times to use the “rent- free “ bs whenever someone is being justifiably criticized. It’s kind of the last refuge of a scoundrel 2021.

    Exactly….I didn’t realize one could not disagree with Mr French’s analysis or write about. Nor did I realize Mr French needed Mr. Goldberg to defend him….I’m really not sure what is worse…the analysis or the thought that no one can disagree with the analysis.

    I said this earlier and I really do believe it….if those who supported the overall program of Donald Trump/the new Republican wing came out for CRT David French et al would be arguing vehemently against it. But since it is this new wing of the party pushing back they are going all in. Mr French et al can’t stand that they have been exposed and have lost power in their own movement.

    • #36
  7. Quintus Sertorius Coolidge
    Quintus Sertorius
    @BillGollier

    I’ll actually go one step further. Mr French et al are convinced that this new wing of the Republican Party….this new swell of a coalition is nothing more than uneducated white nationalists who want to take the U.S. back to Jim Crow or worse. There is some of that for sure….there is always a reactionary wing to every new movement….think the Know Nothings. That said this  is such lazy uneducated analysis and low hanging fruit. Looking at the coalition that voted for Donald Trump and down ballot Republicans shows a new coalition forming that goes across ethnic lines. Weather you like Donald Trump or not matters nothing….he was able to tap into a new coalition and was the first Republican in 3 generations to do so. Sorry Gary but your hero absolutely ignored minorities accept for the Bookerites and those he just took for granted. That Reagan coalition is dead…..you may not think Donald Trump should lead and consolidate this new coalition (and I 100% agree) but you can’t deny that his election has shown a path to a new coalition….now will the Republicans seize it? Who knows….but people like David French et al are really mad at the end of the day because they have been exposed and someone new came in their sand box and they don’t like it. 

    • #37
  8. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Bryan G. Stephens: What is really funny to me, is that before the end of Jim Crow, black families were more intact. It was not slavery that ended black families. I was not decades of oppressions that ended black families. No, it was the coming of massive government intervention, and a society that embraced sex outside of marriage to an astonishing degree. Indeed, all families used to be more intact.

    I think it almost beyond question that stable, intact families is the key ingredient for economic success, or at least progress. A family of children living with their married biological parents is exceedingly unlikely to be living in extreme poverty, regardless of race. That today’s black families have a tiny fraction of the net worth that white (or Asian or other racial or ethnic group) families do is mostly a consequence of the relatively recent disintegration of the black family, not a legacy of legal racial discrimination, of Jim Crow forced segregation, or of race-based slavery. As you note, the black family was more intact in the era of legal and forced segregation than it is today. I have read some claims that at some point in the early 20th Century the marriage rate among black Americans was higher than the marriage rate among white Americans. And there was more economic dynamism among black Americans than there is today. 

    As you note, solid arguments can be made that “Great Society” programs that had the stated intent to help the black family actually hurt the black family. So how can we have any confidence that a reparations or other program of today to “help” black people will actually help, and not hurt the very people it’s supposed to help?

    • #38
  9. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    I think it almost beyond question that stable, intact families is the key ingredient for economic success, or at least progress. A family of children living with their married biological parents is exceedingly unlikely to be living in extreme poverty, regardless of race.

    I have a problem with this statistic because it seems to assume that just getting married improves your financial status.

    But I don’t think it’s so clear.

    First, I think part of the statistic is self-selection. Financially stable people get married and have kids. Financially unstable people avoid marriage and (frequently unsuccessfully because some habits travel hand in hand) avoid kids.

    It would be better for accidental pregnancies to result in marriages because outcomes are minimally better than the accidents out of marriage at that end. But financial struggles were a dominant reason for divorce for a reason. So marriage, in and of itself, doesn’t lead to good financial outcomes.

    • #39
  10. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    I wonder in what kind of neighborhood French and his family live. Where do/did his kids go to school? How much of his net worth is he willing to share with the poorest in his town?

    I know – that is the elephant in the room.

    So people who want to offer up reparations are free to do that! Even under racist Trump, any one in the USA who wanted to part with a significant part of their financial wealth was allowed to spread their wealth and of course, under Biden, an individual is still free to do that.

    Funny thing was, most of these kneeling before an anonymous African American at a unity Church service last summer could have also added tht black person’s name to their house deed, and put that person in their will.

    But this is not what the Mr French-types expect to have happen. Instead they expect the government to tax white people – which will end ujp, due to mortgage deductions, business deductions etc, mean that the poorest members of society who make too much for EIC will end up paying for these reparations.

    So thanks Mr French. The woman working at Subway Sandwiches, who puts in overtime to be able to get by, and the student who works nights and weekends and will spend 5 years rather than 4 to get through college, they will pay more. Meanwhile, if your taxes go up on account of this, Mr French, your CPA will figure out a way to find another deduction!

    Why? Is having white skin really to now be penalized? Or are any and all historic injustices to be offer reparations – and if so, I want the nation of Scotland’s citizens to send me the monies for my reparations, of the night when Scottish Highland clearances meant the family home was burned, female relatives raped, men killed outright and the survivors put on boats to Nova Scotia, and from there to Chicago. (Many Scots didn’t survive the journey, as they were given only a small bag of oats as sustenance. And many had been injured during the fracas while their homes were burned.)

     

    The English really screwed Scotland and Ireland, didn’t they? I wonder if Irish and Scottish citizens today are demanding reparations?

    Well Scotland is at the end of massive wealth transfers from England

    • #40
  11. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Stina (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    I think it almost beyond question that stable, intact families is the key ingredient for economic success, or at least progress. A family of children living with their married biological parents is exceedingly unlikely to be living in extreme poverty, regardless of race.

    I have a problem with this statistic because it seems to assume that just getting married improves your financial status.

    But I don’t think it’s so clear.

    First, I think part of the statistic is self-selection. Financially stable people get married and have kids. Financially unstable people avoid marriage and (frequently unsuccessfully because some habits travel hand in hand) avoid kids.

    It would be better for accidental pregnancies to result in marriages because outcomes are minimally better than the accidents out of marriage at that end. But financial struggles were a dominant reason for divorce for a reason. So marriage, in and of itself, doesn’t lead to good financial outcomes.

    Yes, that’s something I complain about often too, at least internally if it seems like pointing out the flaw would be unwelcome.  It’s similar to the idea that religion/church-attendance/whatever improves life.  But it really isn’t (so much) that people make better decisions etc because they are religious; it’s that the same character attributes that lead to better decisions, also lead them to religion.  And that being religious FIRST, leads to better decisions.  Or put another way, making bad decisions but then going to church, doesn’t make the decisions better.

    • #41
  12. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Stina (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    I think it almost beyond question that stable, intact families is the key ingredient for economic success, or at least progress. A family of children living with their married biological parents is exceedingly unlikely to be living in extreme poverty, regardless of race.

    I have a problem with this statistic because it seems to assume that just getting married improves your financial status.

    But I don’t think it’s so clear.

    First, I think part of the statistic is self-selection. Financially stable people get married and have kids. Financially unstable people avoid marriage and (frequently unsuccessfully because some habits travel hand in hand) avoid kids.

    It would be better for accidental pregnancies to result in marriages because outcomes are minimally better than the accidents out of marriage at that end. But financial struggles were a dominant reason for divorce for a reason. So marriage, in and of itself, doesn’t lead to good financial outcomes.

    Two people in a household is better than one. There is no question of that. Even two dysfunctional people are better than one. I have seen this with my own eyes. 

    Come to think of it, we had a poverty simulator I did in Leadership Cobb, and our family was blessed with a married couple and grandmother at home. We had it so good compared to the other people in the simulation. There is no question that marriage is a factor. On the whole, it is better to be married. 

    People with money get divorced too. It is fighting over money that is the problem. After divorce, things get harder financially, not easier for at least one, if not both people. 

    • #42
  13. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    I think it almost beyond question that stable, intact families is the key ingredient for economic success, or at least progress. A family of children living with their married biological parents is exceedingly unlikely to be living in extreme poverty, regardless of race.

    I have a problem with this statistic because it seems to assume that just getting married improves your financial status.

    But I don’t think it’s so clear.

    First, I think part of the statistic is self-selection. Financially stable people get married and have kids. Financially unstable people avoid marriage and (frequently unsuccessfully because some habits travel hand in hand) avoid kids.

    It would be better for accidental pregnancies to result in marriages because outcomes are minimally better than the accidents out of marriage at that end. But financial struggles were a dominant reason for divorce for a reason. So marriage, in and of itself, doesn’t lead to good financial outcomes.

    Yes, that’s something I complain about often too, at least internally if it seems like pointing out the flaw would be unwelcome. It’s similar to the idea that religion/church-attendance/whatever improves life. But it really isn’t (so much) that people make better decisions etc because they are religious; it’s that the same character attributes that lead to better decisions, also lead them to religion. And that being religious FIRST, leads to better decisions. Or put another way, making bad decisions but then going to church, doesn’t make the decisions better.

    Actually, I don’t buy that either. Religion and Church attendance puts you with peers who are behaving in a functional way. Placing one dysfunctional person into a functional environment does make a difference. Peer pressure is real. It may not effect past bad decisions, but it helps you make better ones in the future. 

    • #43
  14. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Two people in a household is better than one. There is no question of that. Even two dysfunctional people are better than one. I have seen this with my own eyes. 

    Come to think of it, we had a poverty simulator I did in Leadership Cobb, and our family was blessed with a married couple and grandmother at home. We had it so good compared to the other people in the simulation. There is no question that marriage is a factor. On the whole, it is better to be married. 

    I think that pushing marriage will not result in a decrease in poverty.

    I think setting things up so people can reach financial stability at much younger ages and across a large spectrum of intellectual skill and THEN pushing marriage would result in less poverty.

    • #44
  15. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    And no more Williams et al encouraging people to be isolated from familial support networks ;) Those are so incredibly critical to family success.

    More than free daycare.

    • #45
  16. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    I think it almost beyond question that stable, intact families is the key ingredient for economic success, or at least progress. A family of children living with their married biological parents is exceedingly unlikely to be living in extreme poverty, regardless of race.

    I have a problem with this statistic because it seems to assume that just getting married improves your financial status.

    But I don’t think it’s so clear.

    First, I think part of the statistic is self-selection. Financially stable people get married and have kids. Financially unstable people avoid marriage and (frequently unsuccessfully because some habits travel hand in hand) avoid kids.

    It would be better for accidental pregnancies to result in marriages because outcomes are minimally better than the accidents out of marriage at that end. But financial struggles were a dominant reason for divorce for a reason. So marriage, in and of itself, doesn’t lead to good financial outcomes.

    Yes, that’s something I complain about often too, at least internally if it seems like pointing out the flaw would be unwelcome. It’s similar to the idea that religion/church-attendance/whatever improves life. But it really isn’t (so much) that people make better decisions etc because they are religious; it’s that the same character attributes that lead to better decisions, also lead them to religion. And that being religious FIRST, leads to better decisions. Or put another way, making bad decisions but then going to church, doesn’t make the decisions better.

    Actually, I don’t buy that either. Religion and Church attendance puts you with peers who are behaving in a functional way. Placing one dysfunctional person into a functional environment does make a difference. Peer pressure is real. It may not effect past bad decisions, but it helps you make better ones in the future.

    Yes but the point of the problem is the logical fallacy.  The simple act of church attendance is not what causes someone to have a better life.

    • #46
  17. Illiniguy Member
    Illiniguy
    @Illiniguy

    I just read both the French and the Anton articles, and my first reaction is that they’re both very well written and clearly state the arguments. For that I’m grateful.

    I’m not completely unsympathetic to the argument French makes, because the lessons of 2 Samuel and others are meant to serve as lessons of how to live in an imperfect world. We all fall short in the eyes of God and all that.

    However, Anton clearly points out the limitations to French’s argument when he says:

    “In the Biblical passage French cites (and others), it is very explicitly GOD either doing or commanding the visiting. This is, however, not a practice the Almighty requires or even recommends that men take up on the basis of their own judgement.”

    He sets this limit upon Who has the authority to command (in this case) reparations by making the case that there are those to whom enough won’t be enough:

    “(T)hough French generously declines to call for our executions, one wonders: what limiting principle stops him? After all, if his inspiration-justification for his new policy is God Himself, well … the Lord didn’t halt at expropriation. French may wave away this objection with accusations of straw-manning—“it will never get that bad here,” etc.—but a few short years ago, the country did not appear to be on the precipice of the kind of mass expropriation that French now demands.

    Indeed, French’s own trajectory illustrates the very “slippery slope” argument that he would, presumably, reject. A mere three-and-a-half years ago, he called critical race theory “racial poison” that “leads to sheer cruelty and malice.” Now he endorses it root and branch. Why should we expect him…to stop there?

    More to the point, others do not stop there. There is, to be blunt, a sinister and violent faction out there which will not be satisfied with mere expropriation. French no doubt disavows them, or, more likely, denies their existence. But they exist whether or not he wishes to admit it, and this vile argument, cloaked in the authority of scripture, gives them rhetorical aid and comfort.”

    David French has made the same mistake of so many who think that by sticking their hand through the bars of the lion’s cage they won’t get it bitten off. We don’t live in a perfect world and never will, but if you believe in principles that endure, you can’t compromise them for the sake of hoping that the other side will move in your direction.

    Finally, thanks to @bryangstephens for this post, it’s Ricochet at its best.

    • #47
  18. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Stina (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Two people in a household is better than one. There is no question of that. Even two dysfunctional people are better than one. I have seen this with my own eyes.

    Come to think of it, we had a poverty simulator I did in Leadership Cobb, and our family was blessed with a married couple and grandmother at home. We had it so good compared to the other people in the simulation. There is no question that marriage is a factor. On the whole, it is better to be married.

    I think that pushing marriage will not result in a decrease in poverty.

    I think setting things up so people can reach financial stability at much younger ages and across a large spectrum of intellectual skill and THEN pushing marriage would result in less poverty.

     

    The most powerful thing we could do as a culture to address poverty would be a return to supporting marriage and family. Families are the key unit of society. Being raised by both parents is a fantastic predictor of success later in life. I see, daily, the damage done by divorce to children. The effects last far into adulthood. 

    So, based upon my experience of a quarter century working with the “disadvantaged”,  I can tell you the #1 disadvantage in America is not having two parents growing up. Marriages fail. There is no question some need too fail. But, marriages also fail because both parties do not commit to the marriage and making it work. We don’t ask it of people any more. 

    • #48
  19. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    I think it almost beyond question that stable, intact families is the key ingredient for economic success, or at least progress. A family of children living with their married biological parents is exceedingly unlikely to be living in extreme poverty, regardless of race.

    I have a problem with this statistic because it seems to assume that just getting married improves your financial status.

    But I don’t think it’s so clear.

    First, I think part of the statistic is self-selection. Financially stable people get married and have kids. Financially unstable people avoid marriage and (frequently unsuccessfully because some habits travel hand in hand) avoid kids.

    It would be better for accidental pregnancies to result in marriages because outcomes are minimally better than the accidents out of marriage at that end. But financial struggles were a dominant reason for divorce for a reason. So marriage, in and of itself, doesn’t lead to good financial outcomes.

    Yes, that’s something I complain about often too, at least internally if it seems like pointing out the flaw would be unwelcome. It’s similar to the idea that religion/church-attendance/whatever improves life. But it really isn’t (so much) that people make better decisions etc because they are religious; it’s that the same character attributes that lead to better decisions, also lead them to religion. And that being religious FIRST, leads to better decisions. Or put another way, making bad decisions but then going to church, doesn’t make the decisions better.

    Actually, I don’t buy that either. Religion and Church attendance puts you with peers who are behaving in a functional way. Placing one dysfunctional person into a functional environment does make a difference. Peer pressure is real. It may not effect past bad decisions, but it helps you make better ones in the future.

    Yes but the point of the problem is the logical fallacy. The simple act of church attendance is not what causes someone to have a better life.

    I suppose if you want to be excessively pedantic, which is typical for both the internet and intellectuals. Just sitting in a pew once a week and not engaging is not going to make a change. You got me. So let me clarify:

    When most people talk about church attendance, what they mean is church participation, with attendance being an imperfect metric to gauge engagement. Engagement in church will help people get more functional, just as engagement in AA will help people maintain recovery.

    I have is 6 years education in behavior change and 30 years of practice of helping people go from less functional to more functional. That is what I base my opinion on in this area. 

    • #49
  20. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Two people in a household is better than one. There is no question of that. Even two dysfunctional people are better than one. I have seen this with my own eyes.

    Come to think of it, we had a poverty simulator I did in Leadership Cobb, and our family was blessed with a married couple and grandmother at home. We had it so good compared to the other people in the simulation. There is no question that marriage is a factor. On the whole, it is better to be married.

    I think that pushing marriage will not result in a decrease in poverty.

    I think setting things up so people can reach financial stability at much younger ages and across a large spectrum of intellectual skill and THEN pushing marriage would result in less poverty.

     

    The most powerful thing we could do as a culture to address poverty would be a return to supporting marriage and family. Families are the key unit of society. Being raised by both parents is a fantastic predictor of success later in life. I see, daily, the damage done by divorce to children. The effects last far into adulthood.

    So, based upon my experience of a quarter century working with the “disadvantaged”, I can tell you the #1 disadvantage in America is not having two parents growing up. Marriages fail. There is no question some need too fail. But, marriages also fail because both parties do not commit to the marriage and making it work. We don’t ask it of people any more.

    Part of supporting families is getting young men to financial stability earlier in life.

    • #50
  21. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    The details are a bit fuzzy, but I recall French was considering a late, stop Trump, run for President in 2016.  

    • #51
  22. Quintus Sertorius Coolidge
    Quintus Sertorius
    @BillGollier

    Illiniguy (View Comment):

    I just read both the French and the Anton articles, and my first reaction is that they’re both very well written and clearly state the arguments. For that I’m grateful.

    I’m not completely unsympathetic to the argument French makes, because the lessons of 2 Samuel and others are meant to serve as lessons of how to live in an imperfect world. We all fall short in the eyes of God and all that.

    However, Anton clearly points out the limitations to French’s argument when he says:

    “In the Biblical passage French cites (and others), it is very explicitly GOD either doing or commanding the visiting. This is, however, not a practice the Almighty requires or even recommends that men take up on the basis of their own judgement.”

    He sets this limit upon Who has the authority to command (in this case) reparations by making the case that there are those to whom enough won’t be enough:

    “(T)hough French generously declines to call for our executions, one wonders: what limiting principle stops him? After all, if his inspiration-justification for his new policy is God Himself, well … the Lord didn’t halt at expropriation. French may wave away this objection with accusations of straw-manning—“it will never get that bad here,” etc.—but a few short years ago, the country did not appear to be on the precipice of the kind of mass expropriation that French now demands.

    Indeed, French’s own trajectory illustrates the very “slippery slope” argument that he would, presumably, reject. A mere three-and-a-half years ago, he called critical race theory “racial poison” that “leads to sheer cruelty and malice.” Now he endorses it root and branch. Why should we expect him…to stop there?

    More to the point, others do not stop there. There is, to be blunt, a sinister and violent faction out there which will not be satisfied with mere expropriation. French no doubt disavows them, or, more likely, denies their existence. But they exist whether or not he wishes to admit it, and this vile argument, cloaked in the authority of scripture, gives them rhetorical aid and comfort.”

    David French has made the same mistake of so many who think that by sticking their hand through the bars of the lion’s cage they won’t get it bitten off. We don’t live in a perfect world and never will, but if you believe in principles that endure, you can’t compromise them for the sake of hoping that the other side will move in your direction.

    Finally, thanks to @ bryangstephens for this post, it’s Ricochet at its best.

    Excellent post @Illiniguy; I think deep down David French knows that at least 98% of those pushing back on CRT would never deny we have had and continue to have issues between ethnic groups…..he also knows that CRT is not about improving ethnic relations but about

    • #52
  23. Quintus Sertorius Coolidge
    Quintus Sertorius
    @BillGollier

    Continued…

    about destroying the system in place. CRT comes from Marx…there can be no other alternative for CRT than to burn all institutions down..family….property….judicial….all of it…..Mr French knows all of this which is why he was so against 3 years ago…..Donald Trump made him go the path of CRT which is why I argue and imho his analysis is fake….it all comes from who is pushing back not about the issues themselves. He can quote the Bible or any other religious text until he is blue in the face. It doesn’t change the fact that at the end of the day he is just mad that someone he doesn’t like invaded his sand box.

    • #53
  24. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Stina (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Two people in a household is better than one. There is no question of that. Even two dysfunctional people are better than one. I have seen this with my own eyes.

    Come to think of it, we had a poverty simulator I did in Leadership Cobb, and our family was blessed with a married couple and grandmother at home. We had it so good compared to the other people in the simulation. There is no question that marriage is a factor. On the whole, it is better to be married.

    I think that pushing marriage will not result in a decrease in poverty.

    I think setting things up so people can reach financial stability at much younger ages and across a large spectrum of intellectual skill and THEN pushing marriage would result in less poverty.

    The most powerful thing we could do as a culture to address poverty would be a return to supporting marriage and family. Families are the key unit of society. Being raised by both parents is a fantastic predictor of success later in life. I see, daily, the damage done by divorce to children. The effects last far into adulthood.

    So, based upon my experience of a quarter century working with the “disadvantaged”, I can tell you the #1 disadvantage in America is not having two parents growing up. Marriages fail. There is no question some need too fail. But, marriages also fail because both parties do not commit to the marriage and making it work. We don’t ask it of people any more.

    Part of supporting families is getting young men to financial stability earlier in life.

    Young women too. We no longer pay wages for men to support their families. Both incomes are needed.

    But that does not really respond to all the things I said.

    • #54
  25. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    The details are a bit fuzzy, but I recall French was considering a late, stop Trump, run for President in 2016.

    Yes, he toyed with the idea that it would be better for America to be in the race and then, if no one got to 51% of the EC, that the race could be decided between the top three in the House and then, then, selecting someone who received less votes than either of the other two candidates, Trump or Clinton, would be the best outcome for America. 

    There were people here at R> who thought that was a good idea. 

    Insanity. Tells you all you need to know about the man that he considered it. 

    • #55
  26. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    The details are a bit fuzzy, but I recall French was considering a late, stop Trump, run for President in 2016.

    Yes, he toyed with the idea that it would be better for America to be in the race and then, if no one got to 51% of the EC, that the race could be decided between the top three in the House and then, then, selecting someone who received less votes than either of the other two candidates, Trump or Clinton, would be the best outcome for America.

    There were people here at R> who thought that was a good idea.

    Insanity. Tells you all you need to know about the man that he considered it.

    I wonder how long it will be until French is recruited to join a ” bipartisan circle of advisers” for Mayor Pete’s next run for President.  

    • #56
  27. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    kedavis (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    I wonder in what kind of neighborhood French and his family live. Where do/did his kids go to school? How much of his net worth is he willing to share with the poorest in his town?

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I always loved Williams’ comment, “Thank God I got my education before it became fashionable for white people to like black people”.

    • #57
  28. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    Stina (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Two people in a household is better than one. There is no question of that. Even two dysfunctional people are better than one. I have seen this with my own eyes.

    Come to think of it, we had a poverty simulator I did in Leadership Cobb, and our family was blessed with a married couple and grandmother at home. We had it so good compared to the other people in the simulation. There is no question that marriage is a factor. On the whole, it is better to be married.

    I think that pushing marriage will not result in a decrease in poverty.

    I think setting things up so people can reach financial stability at much younger ages and across a large spectrum of intellectual skill and THEN pushing marriage would result in less poverty.

     

    The most powerful thing we could do as a culture to address poverty would be a return to supporting marriage and family. Families are the key unit of society. Being raised by both parents is a fantastic predictor of success later in life. I see, daily, the damage done by divorce to children. The effects last far into adulthood.

    So, based upon my experience of a quarter century working with the “disadvantaged”, I can tell you the #1 disadvantage in America is not having two parents growing up. Marriages fail. There is no question some need too fail. But, marriages also fail because both parties do not commit to the marriage and making it work. We don’t ask it of people any more.

    Part of supporting families is getting young men to financial stability earlier in life.

    This tangent is worthy of a long extensive discussion on its own.

    • #58
  29. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    The details are a bit fuzzy, but I recall French was considering a late, stop Trump, run for President in 2016.

    The guy certainly has an ego.  Those other former governors and senators and such, couldn’t beat Trump in primary elections, but David French can!

    • #59
  30. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    This stuff gets really complicated

    I don’t think it’s one bit complicated.  

    Almost every racist I have ever met is black.  Government policies vastly favor blacks.  Black people went to the same elementary, junior high, and high school I went to.  If they choose not to succeed it’s not my fault. You don’t even need good grades to live well, just try hard and make good decisions. It’s not hard at all. 

    I didn’t own any slaves.  I have no relatives who owned slaves. Even if I did, I am not responsible for anyone in the past.  I am not responsible for anyone except me and my immediate family.  

    Anyone calling for reparations is a fool, stupid, or evil.  David French is not stupid, nor is he a fool. 

    • #60
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