Midnight Basketball is not a solution

1 min read

An academic discovers social breakdown:

THE most important divide in America today is class, not race, and the place where it matters most is in the home. Conservatives have been banging on about family breakdown for decades. Now one of the nation’s most prominent liberal scholars [Robert Putnam, formerly of Harvard] has joined the chorus…

I’ve always found it intriguing when a liberal discovers the blatantly obvious. In this case, it is such manifest truths as “two parents are better than one” and “having kids inside marriage increases their odds of success.”  I mean, good grief, reading most liberals would lead you to conclude that mankind has just discovered this thing called ‘parenthood’ and is not sure what to do with it.

This is not a solution

In our present cultural funk we balk at such voluntary social controls as slut-shaming or shotgun weddings. We very loudly insist that the greatest societal dangers we face are racism, sexism, and ‘victim-blaming’*. Thus we have chosen to live with – or die by – the results of monetarily subsidizing the stupid and harmful reproductive decisions of an ever-growing proportion of our population. After all, the trend of single parenthood does not arise out of nothing, but out of a very specific set of cultural and fiscal circumstances, circumstances created by liberals over the last 50 years and which have exacerbated the very problems they were supposed to help.
This is a solution

In the meantime, lest we forget that Dr. Putnam is a liberal himself, after explaining very well how the primary solution to the problem of failing kids is married parents, he presents the following incredibly liberal suggestions:

Mr Putnam sees “no clear path to reviving marriage” among the poor. Instead, he suggests a grab-bag of policies to help poor kids reach their potential, such as raising subsidies for poor families, teaching them better parenting skills, improving nursery care and making after-school baseball clubs free.

Well then, since there’s no clear path to doing the one thing that has the potential to fix the problem**, how about more welfare and free after-school basketball clubs? Surely good intentions, combined with other people’s money, must to be worth something.
* Treating poor people as fully-human beings who are usually in the positions they are because of a long string of choices made by them.
** Here’s one step on that path, just for fun: give married men who live with wife and kids hiring preference in all benefits-eligible government jobs.

El Borak is an historian by training, an IT Director by vocation, and a writer when the mood strikes him. He lives in rural Kansas with his wife of thirty years, where he works to fix the little things.


  1. Putnam’s the one who’s study shows that diversity results in lack of social trust, etc. He couldn’t handle the results of that one either and basically said, “well, we’ll just have to try harder to make it work.” Unbelievable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

The Battle Hymn of the Republic

Next Story

George Edwin Pointer – Royal Marine Commando

Latest from Culture