September 04, 2017
Jonathan Haidt on the academic heresy of defending bourgeois values:
[Law professor, Amy] Wax was correct, based on the available evidence and expert opinion, to argue that “a strong pro-marriage norm” would reduce poverty and blunt or reverse the pernicious social trends she described at the beginning of her article… Marriage, and norms promoting marriage-like behaviour, are among the most powerful known antidotes to American poverty… Now Wax is being pilloried for… saying that marriage and culture really matter, and that some norms, some cultures, are more conducive to success in modern America than others. Does anyone seriously believe that all cultures are equal – either morally or as packages of norms and practices that are likely to lead to success?
Somewhat related, this item from the archives, and this one too, and contrarily, this interview here. Readers will note which of the authors favours evidence over rhetorical breathlessness.
Bob McManus on the consequences of race and gender quotas:
[Federal judge, Nicholas] Garaufis declared the New York Fire Department “a stubborn bastion of white male privilege.” He ordered that two of every five new city firefighters be black and one of every five be Hispanic. The jurist also ordered the FDNY to pay $129 million in retroactive salary and benefits to unsuccessful black and Hispanic recruits. The results of all this quota-setting and bean-counting were predictable. FDNY insiders say that the department struggles to fill the minority quotas despite degraded hiring standards. Standards for women have grown so lax… that one female recruit failed entrance exams six times and was hired anyway. Nine felons — each a beneficiary of Garafulis’s quotas — graduated in a class of probationary firefighters from the city’s fire academy last November.
And via Darleen, another ‘progressive’ experiment in crime prevention:
After a violent weekend of suspected gang-related shootings, Tuesday the Sacramento City Council took action to reduce the bloodshed. It approved a controversial programme called Advance Peace, which offers cash stipends to gang members who remain peaceful… The programme targets key gang agitators, offering them cash stipends to graduate school and remain peaceful.
We’ve been here before, of course, and claims made for the effectiveness of similar programmes – using taxpayers’ money to bribe local vermin and assorted sociopaths, with each receiving up to $1000 a month – were, shall we say, somewhat overstated. A scheme in Pittsburgh initially coincided with an increase in the murder rate; one in Chicago has been “overshadowed by escalating homicide numbers,” and a project in Boston is described as “ending disastrously.”
As usual, feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.