April 5, 2011

Charles Murray: "The State of White America"

There's no transcript yet available for Charles Murray's speech yesterday at the American Enterprie Institute on "The State of White America," so I'll post approximate renderings of some key points from the first half of the video.

Murray's speech (and upcoming book) is about growing class differences in America over the last half century. While Murray is an Emmanuel Goldstein figure to most people who haven't actually read his books, his political orientation is that of a Jeffersonian egalitarian. He likes a middle class society. 

To avoid apples to oranges comparisons, Murray is focusing his analysis of increasing class divides on non-Hispanic whites ages 30-49, contrasting the upper 20% (the upper middle class) to the bottom 30% (the working class), as measured in terms of, I believe, education and occupation.

- For example, the being-married rate among upper middle class whites has fallen only trivially from 88% in 1960 to 83% in 2010. Among the bottom 30%, however, the being-married rate has dropped from 83% to 48%. 

- More data from Murray on the growth of class divides using apples to apples comparisons of non-Hispanic whites in their thirties and forties. Among the bottom 30% of whites, the illegitimacy rate was 6% in 1960 and approaching 50% in 2010.

- Among white men in their 30s and 40s, in 1960 1.5% of the top 20% were out of the workforce (i.e., working or looking for work) and 2% now. For white men in the bottom 30%, looking at the economic peaks in 1968 and 2008, the non-working rate went from 5% to 12%. The out-of-the-labor rate is even worse now during the recession, of course. 

- Among working class men with jobs, the percent working less than 40 hours per week went from 13% to 21%.

- Crime victimizes the bottom ranks of society. One of the dirty little secrets of the last 50 years is that upper middle class suburbs weren't dangerous in 1960 and they aren't dangerous now.

- A substantial majority of the upper middle class retains effective religious involvement, while a substantial majority of the white working class does not. It's another case of data not matching popular impressions. ... Among those with a religion, fundamentalism is increasing. But, actual religious involvement in the working class is plummeting.

- That's the bad news. The good news is that upper middle class is doing pretty well. The bad news is that within the upper middle class, we are developing a new upper class.

- Murray ranks all the zip codes in the DC area on their social class relative to all the zip codes in the country. Georgetown is at the 99.6th percentile, while unfashionable Kensington is at the 96.9th percentile. In other words, Murray goes on, practically everybody in the room at AEI listening to his speech lives in a neighborhood where the average white person is vastly higher in social class than the national average.

Video here.

One bit of good news is that Murray's 1993 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, "The Coming White Underclass," doesn't seem to have really happened yet. In 1993, Murray wrote:
An underclass needs a critical mass, and white America has not had one. 
But now the overall white illegitimacy rate is 22%. The figure in low-income, working-class communities may be twice that. How much illegitimacy can a community tolerate? Nobody knows, but the historical fact is that the trendlines on black crime, dropout from the labor force, and illegitimacy all shifted sharply upward as the overall black illegitimacy rate passed 25%. 
The causal connection is murky -- I blame the revolution in social policy during that period, while others blame the sexual revolution, broad shifts in cultural norms, or structural changes in the economy. But the white illegitimacy rate is approaching that same problematic 25% region at a time when social policy is more comprehensively wrongheaded than it was in the mid-1960s, and the cultural and sexual norms are still more degraded. 
The white underclass will begin to show its face in isolated ways. Look for certain schools in white neighborhoods to get a reputation as being unteachable, with large numbers of disruptive students and indifferent parents. Talk to the police; listen for stories about white neighborhoods where the incidence of domestic disputes and casual violence has been shooting up. Look for white neighborhoods with high concentrations of drug activity and large numbers of men who have dropped out of the labor force. Some readers will recall reading the occasional news story about such places already.

Murray's speech seems to suggest that the growth of white underclass neighborhoods hasn't really happened. There are lots of white people who are basically underclass, but they generally don't form large blighted neighborhoods, but are more dispersed, being propped up perhaps by family members.

I think a few things have happened to head off his prediction. There was the welfare reform of 1995 that removed a lot of the economics subsidizing an underclass life. Another thing is that there has been so much churning of the population that neighborhoods that could go white underclass tend to go Hispanic, or in the case of Charlestown from The Town, gentrify.

I don't really know. In the San Fernando Valley, for example, there is a single middle school that's notorious for white biker types, where parents with prison tattoos show up drunk for conferences with their kids' teachers. But even that school is less than half white these days. In the Valley, the white underclass either leaves or gets Hispanicized (e.g., the diverse California prison gang Nazi Lowriders), so I couldn't really say.

Are there any white underclass neighborhoods that look like The Wire?

97 comments:

Anonymous said...

A lot of rich white guys--Jews prominent among them--ran the information/media/entertainment industry which poisoned poor whites with trash culture. They are no better than drug pushers. They got rich off the rot of the white masses.

Anonymous said...

What's the alternative to a stratified society? Doing away with meritocracy? If the smart don't want to hang out with the stupid and can afford to live away from them, then what can be done?

Anonymous said...

"The good news is that upper middle class is doing pretty well."

Except that it's not breeding. All the data I've seen shows that high school dropouts outbreed high school graduates, who outbreed college graduates, who outbreed master's degree holders.

Anonymous said...

The white underclass is too physically spread out, and too oppressed by high gas prices, to even be noticeable to most people, let alone be troublesome.

Formerly.JP98 said...

Charles Murray is a national treasure.

Anonymous said...

The causal connection is murky -- I blame the revolution in social policy during that period, while others blame the sexual revolution...

I hate to admit it, but Roissy is more relevant than Charles Murray.

Anonymous said...

White poverty and social dysfunction tends to be rural or exurban rather than urban, giving it a different character. Think Winter's Bone rather than The Wire.

YR said...

or they are forced to move to black areas and get killed

ATBOTL said...

Last time I checked, Charles Murray was neocon fellow traveler who is indifferent to the survival and well being of his own race. I could care less what he thinks about anything.

The purpose of this article seems to be to bash non-elite whites with ludicrous comparisons to blacks and Hispanics. Murray needs to be called out for his absurd prediction of a white underclass forming. I know Steve cares about holding self-proclaimed experts accountable for their predictions; this is a good opportunity to do so.

Only someone who has no experience interacting with underclass blacks could fail to understand that whites will never behave like black housing project denizens do, no matter how poor they are.

There are obviously no white neighborhood that remotely resemble inner city Baltimore(few black ghettos do either for that matter). On a related note, most of the "dangerous Muslim ghettos" in Europe are ridiculously clean and safe by American standards of what a "dangerous minority ghetto" is.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Well, if the neighborhoods were going to show up, it might be here in northern New England, where there isn't so much of a black or Hispanic presence to bump the neighborhoods and disperse the lower-class whites.

But it hasn't happened that way. Though the black and hispanic populations are small, they have concentrated in Portland, Manchester, and Nashua and dominate the few bad neighborhoods there.

agnostic said...

In fairness, *everyone* thought that the apocalypse was coming back then. The hunch started to grow during the mid-'70s, after the men-in-white-coats reforms of the '60s and early '70s failed to restore the crumbling order.

"Some day a real rain will come and wash all the scum off the streets."

It only grew during the '80s and early '90s as the violence and property crime rate, and everything else, kept soaring out of control.

All of those trends peaked in the late '80s or early '90s -- teen pregnancy, crime rates, etc. Drug use peaked a little later, like mid-late-'90s.

These are mere natural cycles that don't require a policy explanation because policy is impotent to affect them (the lesson learned during the '60s, '70s, and '80s, but now forgotten).

It's more adaptive to believe that bad trends will continue indefinitely than to think that they'll reach a peak and then turn around. The error made in the first case only leaves you a little more paranoid than is necessary, and overly cautious, etc. The error made in the second case can wipe you out if things really are going to get worse.

elvisd said...

"The white underclass is too physically spread out, and too oppressed by high gas prices, to even be noticeable to most people, let alone be troublesome."

True. I used to do my share of farm work in heavily white rural areas, where there were definitely high rates of drugs, violence, out-of-wedlock, etc. The spread-out nature of their populations diffuse their impact.

What seems to be where the tipping points could happen, from what I've seen and heard, lies in towns of about 50-200,000 or so. This is where I've noticed the ghetto and crank culture absorption seems to take place more than in rural areas or even to some extent large cities.

Granted, though, there are some rural areas where it is worse, but the isolation does keep it off most people's map.

Anonymous said...

"What's the alternative to a stratified society? Doing away with meritocracy?"

It's called "affirmative action."

none of the above said...

I can think of a couple things that might slow down the rise of white versions of bombed out hell holes:

a. Regression to the white mean instead of the black mean gives white underclass kids a bit better chance at finding their way out of the underclass.

b. Family and friends provide another pull back out of the underclass, and in general whites will have more friends and family pulling them and their kids out than will blacks. Again, this may help pull the kids out of their parents' wrecked lives--eventually they go live with grandma, go to a decent school, etc.

c. The way neighborhoods segregate to be mostly white and Asian is through price. It's not clear what mechanism would keep an underclass white neighborhood white. Prices fall and the neighborhood becomes heavily Hispanic or black.

Bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ray Midge said...

Are there any white underclass neighborhoods that look like The Wire?

No neighborhood per se, cause the true lowest white subclass have moved to the rural countryside where it's much easier to hide a meth lab than in the city.

It's the hardcore meth slug culture where you'll find the white dysfunctional equivalent. This rural class is hinted at in fiction like "Winter's Bone," and non-fiction like "the White's of West Virginia" (though the clan in the latter work favored Oxy, if I recall)

Anyway, you'd be surprised what you'll find walking around the woods around any one of you're regional hollowed out towns that used to be hold a handful of the old Swedish farmer types. True modern horror.

jody said...

interesting numbers.

Anonymous said...

Murray's speech seems to suggest that the growth of white underclass neighborhoods hasn't really happened... I think a few things have happened to head off his prediction... I don't really know...


Or maybe - at least for the time being* - whites are simply better people than blacks or Mexican Indians.



*So long as they continue to harbor some residual genetic & cultural memory of civilized behavior.

Whiskey said...

I think the high mobility associated with White ethnic cleansing have mitigated so far a massive White underclass. At the same time, the massive labor over-supply has as noted many places led to a purge of White workers, in both the working class and middle class (H1-Bs, outsourcing). Change can happen extremely rapidly. Perhaps more rapidly than we can imagine.

Oil is now predicted to exceed $200 a barrel by some analysts. The impact of that on a struggling White working and middle class is incalculable.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

none of the above-

I think that's exactly right. As a kid in the 60's I remember bad white neighborhoods in urban areas. They've gotten dispersed throughout rural America.

This is a pretty depressing post Steve. The white working class is caught in a doom loop.

Luke Lea said...

Here's a map of meth labs in East Tennessee. A similar map in Chattanooga showed an astonishing number along a two mile stretch of Mountain Creek Road, a predominantly white area of apartment buildings at the foot of Signal Mountain, where I live. Also, there is a large area in East Chattanooga, maybe 15 blocks square, notorious for crime, unemployment, etc..

Luke Lea said...

Oops, forgot to post that link:

http://media.knoxnews.com/media/img/photos/2010/09/12/091210meth_map.jpg

bjdubbs said...

Somehow I think the audience at the Charlie Sheen show in Detroit were probably not the proudest specimens of white humanity.

tanabear said...

F. Scott Fitzgerald: "The rich are different than you and me."

Ernest Hemingway: "Yes, they have more money."

Hemingway's quip no longer applies to the America of today.

Anonymous said...

From Murray's 1993 editorial:
"Nobody knows, but the historical fact is that the trendlines on black crime, dropout from the labor force, and illegitimacy all shifted sharply upward as the overall black illegitimacy rate passed 25%."

I still think Murray is too PC. He's saying because this happened to blacks it could happen to whites. That's comparing apples and oranges. The bottom line is that when a Black, Hispanic, or Asian is Intelligent, Hard-Working, Empathetic, and Creative they are a complete Outlier. When whites are Intelligent, Hard-Working, Empathetic, and Creative it's par for the course. The reasons white's are on an inevitable downward trajectory is that they are so epathetic they are willing to committ cultural self-sabotage. Not so for these others groups.

wmhde said...

drop in marriage rate among upper middle class of 5 percentile pts.....hmm hard to believe....many White engineers are single.....certainly many marry, or try to marry Chinese women....the birth rate must have collapsed from 3.5 to .9,per woman i would guess...

Dragon Horse said...

No there is probably no white neighborhood at that looks like The Wire, because white poverty is primarily rural, as another poster said.

It is the same reason that Missippi has the highest black population in the country, but not nearly the highest crime rate. Most of the blacks there are rural.

http://www.census.gov/statab/ranks/rank21.html

Compare crime rates with population density and it becomes more clear. Hawaii has more violent crime than Virginia, despite the "hill folk" in the West (po'white trash), the blacks, and growing Hispanic population. Poor Polynesians/Asians living on densely population islands just do more violent crime.

High population density in urban areas creates a lot of potential victims in a small radius who probably do not even know who you are. That is a situation conducive to crime.

When white poor lives in cities in the early 20th century (yes, I know they were immigrants) the crime rate among whites was higher.

Another Anon said...

White men without jobs usually don't date, let alone father kids. That limits the growth of a white underclass. Some white women with poor prospects do have kids, but typically with non-white men. If a poor white woman has kids with a black man, those kids become poor blacks, not poor whites.

Richard A. said...

Could this growing white underclass be non European whites?

Anonymous said...

You guys are forgetting that there are a few industrial cities and towns in NY state that are majority white that have a ghetto look and feel. We're talking upstate NY here, but not "the boonies" per-se, I remember watching a documentary on one just less than a year ago. I can't remember any names but google meth and upstate NY and I think you'll find em.

And yes, from personal experience poor whites do tend to be rural or if they are in the cities or suburbs (as I've been when I've been jobless during my life) they tend to live with family or friends. They are less noticeable and tend (with some exceptions as I noted above) to not be very visible.

Clarence

agnostic said...

Not again with the meth stuff -- that's been declining since the early 2000s, i.e. only a couple years after it started.

Mid-late-'90s, the drug culture reached its peak, so meth was in the right place but at the wrong time.

Over the weekend I was at a clan reunion in and around the Wheeling metro area, and it doesn't look like a scorched ghetto at all. More like an abandoned ship -- but that's a big difference.

Like everywhere else violence is way down over the past 20 years, you feel safe walking anywhere anytime. No drag racing, no hordes of homeless, no public drinking or drug use, not even smoking that I could see.

No packs of youths patrolling the parks or other hang-outs -- in fact, everyone there must have been at least 40 years old. The handful of teenage minors there are just counting the days until they leave like a bat out of hell. Hardly saw anyone 18-29 years old.

Unemployment is between 10-15% in the area, the steel mills have shut down for awhile now, and everyone looks miserable and depressed, like zombies. But not angry or trouble-making.

There was some graffiti visible, but it was things like "Van Halen" and "I Love Debby" (a name that peaked among teenagers and young adults in the 1970s and '80s).

In other words, just the stuff that people painted back when there was still energy in the place, not something they've turned to recently.

Imagine the world of Twin Peaks stripped of all traces of the sublime. That's what the rural white working class areas look like now.

HPA said...

What were the vices of the white underclass before the 90s? I'm in my 20s, so I just associate the poor white underclass with meth, tasteless tattoos, and prescription drug abuse... I don't think meth or oxycotin existed in the mid 20th century, so I'm wondering what exactly they did - just drank?

I don't live in a meth area and don't know anybody that has even seen it, but it seems like a really terrible drug.

Anonymous said...

As several posters have noted, the white underclass tend to be more rural than urban. Many underclass whites also congregate in small to medium sized cities, instead of megaopolises. For example, there is not much of a white underclass in Seattle. However, there are many underclass whites in Everett (north of Seattle), Bremerton (west), and South King County.

A lot of underclass white areas have lots of Mexicans and blacks too, as their areas are cheap and less crime-filled than black areas. White slums are racially mixed and often the whites are not the worst group there. This is very true if you look at some of the downscale section of the suburbs (Kent, Renton, Tukwila, Auburn, Federal Way) south of Seattle.

White underclass areas are totally ravaged by alcoholism. Drug use, especially pill popping and meth, are common to some extent. Homelessness is there to a small extent. Petty crime is rampant, but murder is rare and serious crimes aren't too bad overall. Schools are a mess. There is a lot of family breakdown, illegitimacy, divorce, labor force dropout, and overall dysfunctionality. Prostitution and drug dealing happen to some extent in the open. White underclass areas aren't good, but they are liveable and there isn't excessive threat to your safety.

Lots of poor white guys dress like Eminem the rapper. Others dress like punk rockers.

One critical difference between white and black underclass neighborhoods is segregation. Poor white areas still have a lot of working class people and many non-whites. Poor black areas, being more dangerous, often drive away everyone except poor blacks.

It can be said that poor black areas are scary like hell. Poor white areas more depressing than anything.

Here are some places with lots of poor white underclass slums....

1.) Cleveland
2.) Cincinnati
3.) Toledo (big time white slums)
4.) South Boston (in the projects, which have now been forcibly integrated)
5.) Everett, WA
6.) Las Vegas (tend to highly mixed with Mexicans)
7.) Southwest Detroit (Eminem came from this population)
8.) Waterloo, Iowa (white slums are bad, black slums are even worse)
9.) Davenport, Iowa (looting after the floods there a few years ago, I believe)
10.) Baltimore (La Griffe found a mean IQ of 85 for Baltimore City white students)

Anonymous said...

It's surprising how so little has changed for the top 20 percent, but how the bottom 30 percent has tanked. I guess a combination of a loss of high paying manufacturing jobs, cheap labor competition from immigrants, rising home prices making family formation unaffordable, and rancid pop culture have had their impact. Too bad.

It's also surprising how similar the top 20 and bottom 30 were back in the 1960s. Really was the golden era.

Anonymous said...

Poor white areas aren't that bad because generally they don't have gangs and always they have lots of working class people still around. You will see them not just in rural areas, but even some rotted out industrial cities.

Anonymous said...

Good 1994 article on the white underclass.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/941017/archive_012096.htm

Anonymous said...

Yes. East Glasgow.

The life expectancy of that part of Glasgow is lower than most third world countries.

Scots seem to be the most dysfunctional Northern Europeans.

Anonymous said...

"For example, the being-married rate among upper middle class whites has fallen only trivially from 88% in 1960 to 83% in 2010."

Is a nearly 50% increase in unmarried upper class whites really trivial?

Anonymous said...

I believe that the lack of any obvious effect is due to racial differences in psychology.
You see, supposedly oppresses underclass blacks are much more prone to lash out in aggressive attacks of psychopathy, which perhaps they rationalize being caused by their poverty.As for hispanics, well they are just acting out the general culture of Guatemala or El Salvador etc, that has always been violent, nasty, brutish and short.
Your typical white on the other hand (who strangely enough, is merely the poor realtion of 'upper class whites'), is much more likely to internalize his anger at his disposession and blame himself for his predicament.Hence, we see alcoholism, failure to reproduce, depression, suicide etc.Being a thinking being, he is unlikely to lash out in anger at those he deems innocent.

ATBOTL said...

"1.) Cleveland
2.) Cincinnati
3.) Toledo (big time white slums)
4.) South Boston (in the projects, which have now been forcibly integrated)
5.) Everett, WA
6.) Las Vegas (tend to highly mixed with Mexicans)
7.) Southwest Detroit (Eminem came from this population)
8.) Waterloo, Iowa (white slums are bad, black slums are even worse)
9.) Davenport, Iowa (looting after the floods there a few years ago, I believe)
10.) Baltimore (La Griffe found a mean IQ of 85 for Baltimore City white students)"

Point out specifically where the alleged white ghettos are in these places. Give us street names. Readers can visit these streets and see how scary(and white) they really are. We can compare them to streets like 63rd St. in Chicago. I'm especially interested in the hardcore white ghettos of Waterloo Iowa.

Peter A said...

"Somehow I think the audience at the Charlie Sheen show in Detroit were probably not the proudest specimens of white humanity."

Yes, but at $140 a ticket they're probably not the underclass. Hell, my boss is going to see Charlie and he pulls down over $1.5 million a year.

Peter A said...

As ATBOTL pointed out, Murray's prediction was idiotic if he really believes in HBD. The idea of a permanent white underclass is a story that rich white elites like to tell each other - it makes them feel like they're special and deserve to control vast amounts of wealth while life for 90% of white America is getting worse.

Black Sea said...

"Scots seem to be the most dysfunctional Northern Europeans."


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xan2xU-ZFic

Yes, they are speaking English. I've had it confirmed by two Scottish colleagues.

elvisd said...

"Here's a map of meth labs in East Tennessee. A similar map in Chattanooga showed an astonishing number along a two mile stretch of Mountain Creek Road, a predominantly white area of apartment buildings at the foot of Signal Mountain, where I live. Also, there is a large area in East Chattanooga, maybe 15 blocks square, notorious for crime, unemployment, etc.."

I'm more worried about when they close the Harriet Tubman homes. The Atlantic monthly ran an article about Memphis researchers who tracked crime spikes and found a strong correlation between the spike areas and movement to those places by people who had gotten vouchers after their Section 8 housing closed. They found that it took only a few families to "plant the gang seed" in a neighborhood.

elvisd said...

"Here's a map of meth labs in East Tennessee. A similar map in Chattanooga showed an astonishing number along a two mile stretch of Mountain Creek Road, a predominantly white area of apartment buildings at the foot of Signal Mountain, where I live. Also, there is a large area in East Chattanooga, maybe 15 blocks square, notorious for crime, unemployment, etc.."

I'm more worried about when they close the Harriet Tubman homes. The Atlantic monthly ran an article about Memphis researchers who tracked crime spikes and found a strong correlation between the spike areas and movement to those places by people who had gotten vouchers after their Section 8 housing closed. They found that it took only a few families to "plant the gang seed" in a neighborhood.

elvisd said...

"It is the same reason that Missippi has the highest black population in the country, but not nearly the highest crime rate. Most of the blacks there are rural."

Rural isn't that big of a factor, and the low black mobility thing isn't quite what you think. Rural black Mississippi has insane levels of crime in some areas. The reason for this is the Chicago gang connection. All the major Chi gangs are replicated in every rural village in MS,AR,west TN, and LA. A lot of it simply doesn't get reported. It is not unusual for theft, assault, and stabbings to be off the statistical map. Black kids go back and forth between Chicago and MS often for extended visits. It's called "The Chicken Line", owing to the stereotype of riding for that long trip on a bus with a bucket of fast food chicken. In my first year teaching school in a rural village, where the school had 2 white kids, students would suddenly appear from Chicago, complete with gang affiliation papers from "headquarters". There would be two weeks of violent fights as the hierarchical deck got restacked to see who the new alphas would be. It wasn't a fun time in class. We had 2 (off-campus) deaths that year.

josh said...

You see white people on the TV show, Cops. It appears that in some places Crystal Meth is a major problem.

Syncretism said...

Holy tits this is a great talk by Murray!

I had a post last month that rang somewhat similarly to Murray's tune. I argued that whites could keep themselves from being poor, marginalized figures in future America if they would just reintroduced themselves to their own culture.

http://suckfist.blogspot.com/2011/04/charles-murray-state-of-white-america.html

Laban said...

The UK didn't have the 1995 welfare reforms, and mass immigration to the UK has overwhelmingly been into England (Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales do have Nationalist political parties, but the nationalism tends to be expressed in anti-English rhetoric).

So the white underclass can be seen in areas like Glasgow. The giant council estate ('project') at Easterhouse, the roughest place in the UK, has the lowest foreign population in Scotland. Its population has more than halved since it was built in the late 50s/early 60s. Charles Murray visited before writing The Emerging British Underclass and Underclass + 10.

Dutch Boy said...

Oil, schmoil! Germany has had high oil prices forever and it hasn't impoverished their working class. Of course, the Germans didn't allow their industrial base to be sent to China either.

Anonymous said...

What's the alternative to a stratified society? Doing away with meritocracy?

We don't have a "meritocracy".

Anonymous said...

Murray needs to be called out for his absurd prediction of a white underclass forming.

The white underclass does exist. It's not an underclass which is self-aware in the manner of the black underclass, but that doesn't mean it does not exist.

JW Ogden said...

The existance of an interesting white underclass in Glasgow Scotland lends credence to Murray's idea that welfare contributes to rather than alleviates the problem.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2006/jan/21/health.politics

For here in this multi-deprived inner city area, the average life expectancy of a male is just 53.9 years. In Iraq, after 10 years of sanctions, a war and a continuing conflict, suicide bombs and insurgency, the average man has a good chance of making it into his 60s; the life expectancy of a male there is 67.49. In Iran it is 69.96, in North Korea, 71.37 and in the Gaza Strip it is 70.5.

kurt9 said...

Here are some places with lots of poor white underclass slums....

1.) Cleveland
2.) Cincinnati
3.) Toledo (big time white slums)
4.) South Boston (in the projects, which have now been forcibly integrated)
5.) Everett, WA
6.) Las Vegas (tend to highly mixed with Mexicans)
7.) Southwest Detroit (Eminem came from this population)
8.) Waterloo, Iowa (white slums are bad, black slums are even worse)
9.) Davenport, Iowa (looting after the floods there a few years ago, I believe)
10.) Baltimore (La Griffe found a mean IQ of 85 for Baltimore City white students)


I noticed you included Everett, WA but you left out Spokane, WA. Spokane is worse than Everett and has a worse Meth problem. Nearly 25% of Spokane's population could be considered white underclass.

You guys are correct in one respect. The white underclass creates a hopeless depressing environment but does not seem to foster a lot of serious crime. I think the people on drugs are too depressed or lack the energy to commit serious crimes. It takes a lot of energy and aggression to commit major crime.

The problem with Spokane is that the major industries are health care and what I call "domestic service". There is no outwardly oriented industry at all. So, you have an elite class of doctors and other professionals as well as the ring of wealthy retirees and a near minimum-wage economy for everyone else.

Default User said...

I think that higher average intelligence may prevent the complete collapse of working class white communities. If we take the Black/White averages as 85/100 then even the lower third of Whites will tend to have functional abilities (say IQ 80+). In Black communities many more will have sub-functional abilities, with many more in the severely problematic range (IQ 75 and below). I suspect that lower IQ exacerbates any negative effects of environment (or protects against it).

I listened to the talk, and Murray disclaims any connection with immigration. I am not so sure. It may have been in the Q&A where he mentions how the 1920s had higher crime and lower civic participation, and the 1950s had improving trajectories on social trends (shared by all groups). The 1920s was at the tail end of an immigration surge, while the 1950s was mid-way through an immigration pause.

I have no doubt that immigration is not the sole cause, society was underwent several transformations during that period - the rise of the welfare state, feminism, the decline of manufacturing, etc. - but it seems strange to exclude it from consideration. At the least immigration was an accelerator for the deleterious effect of those other trends.

Ray Sawhill said...

This seems like a good place to pass along a link to a great mostly-white-trash Detroit funk band I only recently learned about, the Howling Diablos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6E5Ub01Z00

Shawn said...

Instead of The Wire I'd recommend Sons of Anarchy.

ironrailsironweights said...

Violent crime among poor whites tends to be domestic-related or involve acquaintances. Some robberies, mostly of businesses, but not too many. What does not occur to much of an extent are predatory attacks on strangers. Hanging around a white dive bar might be hazardous. Walking through even the poorest white neighborhoods is not.

Come to think of it, Hispanic crime patterns are not entirely unlike those among whites.

Peter

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, even the most thuggish whites can't seem to compete with the level of organization and the sheer viciousness of the criminal classes we import from desperate third world countries. I wonder why Murray doesn't comment on the existence of organized crime and a culture of violence among the Russian and Asian immigrants who've poured into this country in the past decade or so.

While a dysfunctional group of whites might degenerate into a family of criminal types, they will tend to produce only a few offspring and/or blend in with a community of non-white criminal master minds rather than live with their talents unrecognized or even denigrated by their white relatives and neighbors.

By and large, however, whites can't seem to compete with Hispanics, blacks, Asians or Russians when it comes to building crime syndicates. Perhaps in time we'll develop a tolerance for strife and the level of sociopathy it takes to propagate sufficiently large numbers of criminal offspring in order to become an underclass to be reckoned with. Until then it seems Asians and eventually Russians will have the dubious honor of being among the best and the worst type of citizens in this country. ;0)

jody said...

not mentioned by anybody but implicit even in murray's own analysis is how all europeans have had their entire identity changed. and it only happened in the last 10 years. for 400 years, europeans in the US were "white". now they are "non-hispanic whites". this is an incredible development, which i've posted about before, whereby being "white" has been shifted into secondary importance, behind whether any particular person is "hispanic" or not.

it's not really about accuracy, as we never hear the companion categories mentioned. "non-hispanic africans", "non-hispanic asians", "non-hispanic muslims"?

there are now millions of africans from all around the world, living in the US. increasingly, they are pure blooded africans directly from africa, but millions of them are descended from slaves who worked in latin america, and more are coming all the time. yet they haven't had a similar effect on the identity of africans descended from US slaves. these people retain their identity of "african-americans" and are always referenced as such. they are never, ever called "non-hispanic africans".

indeed, the only time a distinction is made between black americans and other africans, is when it is perceived that black americans are being hurt or disadvantaged. every april now, when the new MLB season rolls around, there is a mandatory cry about NOT ENOUGH BLACKS! and there is the occassional lament from jewish liberals that africans from africa are taking too many affirmative action spots away from black americans.

note how even groups like asians (a huge, broad category of dissimilar people) are bequeathed the title of "asian-americans" yet europeans, who created the US from scratch, are not even allowed that much. european-americans? nope. just non-hispanic whites. stripped of any association with america, and heck, even their actual heritage takes a back seat to their status as not having some other group's heritage!

it would be like calling black americans "non-asian africans" or american indians "non-muslim indians" or something equally non sequitur. because that's what "non-hispanic white" is. a total non sequitur. that's the power of the language war and the genius of anti-european political science in the US today. and that's the real state of white america. under full attack and not even realizing it.

Geoff Matthews said...

Someone already brought up East Glasgow (heck, most of Glasgow).
You want to see what a white underclass would look like? Go to Europe. Every nation there has their yobs.

Anonymous said...

"The existance of an interesting white underclass in Glasgow Scotland lends credence to Murray's idea that welfare contributes to rather than alleviates the problem."

I don't think the welfare state alone can unravel a society. Culture matters. That factor gets lost on this blog. Scots don't seem to have the same gift for high functioning societies as other Northern Europeans. The Swedes have a big welfare state but where's the decay? If the same people that settled the Mass. Bay Colony, instead of Scots, arrived in Appalachia would it look anything like the southern half of West Virginia now?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Spokane does seem to have some bad white neighborhoods now that I think about it.

Lots of poor white areas have been ravaged by meth and alcoholism. I'd say that they're much worse than poor blacks in that respect. Driving through a poor white area, you will see a lot of bars and pawnshops, which do really good business. Lots of decaying houses and old cars too. Their areas are rotted out.

I agree with agnostic that lots of poor whites look miserable and depressed. Not enraged and predatory like you see in blacks. More Eminem (my relationship fell apart, I got addicted to lots of substances, my life is screwed up,) than 50 Cent (I like blastin anyone that looks at me funny). Detroit, Eminem's home town, has a large white underclass in the few remaining white parts of the city.

Many white underclass urban areas are near factories that shut down. Those with energy, skills, and intelligence got out and went to greener pastures. The dysfunctional stayed put and formed a slum. You see that a lot in the industrial Midwest.

Anonymous said...

I recall once seeing a chart showing arrest rates by race in Baltimore. Blacks were really high, but even whites in Baltimore had a startingly high rate of arrest. Which is not surprising when you remember that La Griffe found a mean IQ of 85 for whites in that city.

Crime is a problem in poor white areas, but random street victimization is not a huge issue.

Geoff Matthews said...

I've thought about this notion that, after hereditary privilege was abolished, people from the lower classes with the ability (intelligence, charisma, etc.) would be able to rise to a higher standard of living (or, at least their descendants would). Obviously, this process takes time, but this notion of upward mobility rests a lot with ability, and ability has some basis in biology.
Steve has mentioned that, in the past, part of America's advantage was its smart, uneducated working class. When those working-class folks get educated and work elsewhere, they leave the working-class (depending on definition, but they generally wouldn't be classified as blue-collar). Politicians have trumpeted this social mobility as a social good.
But what happens when the gene pool just isn't there for social mobility going upwards at the same rate as we had in the past?
We blame the upper class, of course.

SouthernAnonyia said...

Rural white underclass areas are not remotely frightening. On one side of my family I have grandparents that live close to such an area. There is a house down the street which probably has a meth lab but nothing violent has ever occurred there. I've never been to an urban area that has a "white underclass" area. I think some of the commentators who are referencing white urban slums are getting confused between the lower middle class and the underclass.
The only thing that gives me pause when walking around poor rural "white underclass" areas is the fact that many people don't keep their dogs on a leash, and some houses/trailers will have up to 5 or 6 dogs outside them, many of which aren't so friendly to passer-bys.

elvisd said...

"This seems like a good place to pass along a link to a great mostly-white-trash Detroit funk band I only recently learned about, the Howling Diablos."

Checked out the link.

I've loved Detroit rock my whole life, and this stuff's OK, but I wish the spark that town's music used to have would come back, along with so many other things.

Svigor said...

You want to see what a white underclass would look like? Go to Europe.

That's what I was thinking, go to Britain. But that's largely down to population density.

At current rates of population growth, we're going to have a long wait to see the kind of density they have in Europe. UK is 244 people per km2; only New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut exceed UK's population density. England is much worse, up around 400 people per km2; 50 million people living in an area roughly the size of North Carolina.

Population density, American States vs. European:
United States
Europe

Just for laughs:
China

Too Tall Jones said...

ATBOTL said...

Only someone who has no experience interacting with underclass blacks could fail to understand that whites will never behave like black housing project denizens do, no matter how poor they are.

There are obviously no white neighborhood that remotely resemble inner city Baltimore(few black ghettos do either for that matter). On a related note, most of the "dangerous Muslim ghettos" in Europe are ridiculously clean and safe by American standards of what a "dangerous minority ghetto" is.
]

Nonsensical. Actually the white slums of the past were equal to or WORSE than today's black slums according to no less than conservative writer Thomas Sowell. See his Ethnic America, 1981. WHite Irish areas were nurseries of violent crime, illegitimacy and subsance abuse (primarily alcohol). And this pattern showed not only in the United states, but in England as well in urban areas of heavy Irish settlement. As for white neighborhoods "remotely resembling" Baltimore, Irish sluns made said Baltimore ghettoes look like paradise, in terms of sanitation, deterioration of the housing stock, crime, etc. And it was common in urban America to have thousands of white children homeless every year. (Sowell 1981). You simply don't know what you are talking about.


Anonymous said...
]From Murray's 1993 editorial:
"Nobody knows, but the historical fact is that the trendlines on black crime, dropout from the labor force, and illegitimacy all shifted sharply upward as the overall black illegitimacy rate passed 25%."

I still think Murray is too PC. He's saying because this happened to blacks it could happen to whites. That's comparing apples and oranges.


Why is it "comparing apples and oranges"? In fact Murray is correct. It is not only a current trend but a PAST pattern with some white ethnic groups like the white Irish, whose urban settlements were watchwords for violence, crime, disease, squalor, illegitimacy and substance abuse (alcoholism) See Sowell's Ethnic America, 1981.

As for so called "black outliers" again, you simply don't know what you are talking about. Blacks from the Caribbean, over 1 million of them have long had patterns like "hard working, creative etc.." And in fact, a significant recent force in "black" AMerica is immigrants from the African continent, who show higher patterns of education, savings, marriage etc etc. See The Making of African America-: The Four Great Migrations- Ira Berlin, 2010. You simply don't know what you are talking about when it comes to the US black population.

And as for whites being these allegedly super "empathetic" creatures, exactly how is this "empathy" causing white people to lead the charge in destroying traditional marriage through their pursuit of "gay" marriage? And how did this "empathy" play out in the ovens of Dachau or Auschwitz?


White men without jobs usually don't date, let alone father kids.

lol.. dubious. If this was the case why is the white illegitimacy rate around 25% now? ALL those illegitimate kids are not the issue of gainfully employed white men.

Svigor said...

Instead of The Wire I'd recommend Sons of Anarchy.

I love how Ashkenazi-American that show is, juuuust to get out ahead of any potential problems. And PC, of course - the "good" biker gang goes to war with the "badraciss" biker gang.

And as Whiskey would predict, there are constant sops to the feminazis.

Anonymous said...

Black Sea,

Scotland is often portrayed as a poverty stricken cesspool but most of the country is very well off.

The murder rate is roughly 100-110 a year but that includes manslaughter which accounts for 25%of deaths.. The population is approx five million.

The UK has a substantial 'white' aka, indigenous 'underclass'. It has taken a good twenty five years to become entrenched. Both the Right and the Left seem perfectly happy with situation. This is unique to the UK.

The quote about life expectancy in East Glasgow, Carlton, is based on an area with a population of approx 20,000.

There are many areas in England with similar problems.

However, the British underclass do not behave like some ethnic communities:

There is no gender based abortion
no forced marriages!!
no cousin marriages leading to a large number of disabled children
no gang-rape
no large scale organised grooming and prostitution of children
hardly any shootings
and of course they do not support terrorism.

I could offer a theory about all of this but it would take too long.

Svigor said...

Funny thing, Rockstar Games put out a thinly-disguised Sons clone as an expansion to one of their GTA games (unless I have that backwards - not sure of the dates) with an Ashkenazi-American protagonist who accuses pretty much every adversary of anti-Semitism. :)

Anonymous said...

My late grandfather lived exactly a block away from an essentially hidden neighborhood in Largo Florida. It was populated by whites and was a mix of poor older folks, but plenty of families too. Lots of vegetation and huge trees gave the place a mystical feel, but there were also tons of dogs and scattered items on the lawns. I never really felt unsafe walking around, but I always assumed all the sex offenders in Pinellas County lived there!

Boundaries are roughly 8th Ave NE on the North, 8th St NE on the East, 4th St NE on the West, and 1st Ave NE on the South.

Explore on Streetview here

Hail said...

Murray is typically smart, but his prediction of "white underclass ghettoes" was remarkably poor.

Commenter none of the above points out why:
"The way neighborhoods segregate...is through price. It's not clear what mechanism would keep an underclass white neighborhood white. Prices fall and the neighborhood becomes heavily Hispanic or black."

How Murrary could overlook this principle behind neighborhood change in 1960s-2000s USA is... astonishing.

Hail said...

Dragon Horse wrote:
"Hawaii has more violent crime than Virginia"

Your own link says this is wrong.

2006 Violent Crime Rank (1=Highest crime)
1. South Carolina
2. Tennessee
..
33. Iowa
34. Virginia
35. Nebraska
36. Hawaii
37. Connecticut
..
49. North Dakota
50. Maine

Nevertheless, they are close, which is surprising. I wonder to what extent Racial-Hawaiians boost the Hawaii rate?

Anonymous said...

http://blog.lib.umn.edu/jhatcher/duluthcommunitynews/2007/11/crime_is_on_the_rise_in_duluth_1.html

Article on the bad crime situation in 92 percent white Duluth.

Too Tall Jones said...

Whiskey says:
I think the high mobility associated with White ethnic cleansing have mitigated so far a massive White underclass. At the same time, the massive labor over-supply has as noted many places led to a purge of White workers, in both the working class and middle class (H1-Bs, outsourcing). Change can happen extremely rapidly. Perhaps more rapidly than we can imagine.

Oil is now predicted to exceed $200 a barrel by some analysts. The impact of that on a struggling White working and middle class is incalculable.


Dubious. What "purge" of white workers? And what is this fictional "massive labor over-supply"? What planet are these fantasies on? lol.. And you conveniently forget that one of the main sources of white male decline is not the dreaded "NAMs" but the heavy labor force participation of WHITE women. In fact said white women now outnumber white men on college campuses as well, and are have suffered less from the economic downturn.

And white worker decline is also the fruit of the effort of white bureaucrats and politicians who discourage savings and investment via exessive regulation and taxation. Add in greedy white unions, both in the public and private sectors, and the white worker suffers even more as jobs are shipped overseas.

Hmmm... well let's see what the tally is so fat. Looks like its white people causing the decline of the white worker for the most part.

And who is driving up the price of oil? Primarily white financiers, businessmen, er, persons, and white bureaucrats, activists and politicians who make it hard to bring new sources online via environmental obstructionism.

Sounds like the main enemy of white people, is, ahem, other white people, although 'NAMs' make a convenient scapegoat.

Anonymous said...

There's a neighborhood in Charlotte now called Noda but formerly known as North Charlotte. It's an old mill village within the city populated mostly by middle to upper middle class whites now, but up until the gentrification started it was a poor white crime-ridden inner city enclave.

I only met a few of the old-timers, but it seems like everybody was related to everybody else in the neighborhood. Very different from other places I've lived.

The old color lines are still there too--if you cross Matheson Ave, property values drop substantially.

rob said...

Jones,

White ghettoes of yesteryear: yeah, back then some whites lived badly. Then again, tens of thousands of years ago, whites were as primitive as blacks. Whites advanced, blacks did not.

white people to lead the charge in destroying traditional marriage through their pursuit of "gay" marriage?

Yah dood, Gay marriage will destroy the black family. Legalize and it, and like, 70% of negro babeez will be bastards. Oh wait, that happened without gay marriage. Blacks should try marriage b4 defending it.

Anonymous said...

In my experience, poverty often breeds disfunction. Poor people in rural areas tend to act pretty much the same way, regardless of race. The area where I live had meth labs in old farm houses and run down hamlets that are otherwise ghost towns. At the height of it there were rumored drug deals on rural roads. Family structure breaks down. Women have children young, don't marry the fathers and have kids by multiple men. In the worst families there's a lot of physical or sexual abuse.
Women who have to work two or three low wage jobs to pay the rent don't have a lot of time left over to supervise their children, so the kids have more time to get into trouble or get hurt. Social services puts some of the kids in foster care, but doesn't catch all of it.

Sometimes you'd have a drug addict family that had decent family members who took over raising a grandchild or nephew or niece. If the kid wasn't too damaged (i.e. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, mental illness, ADHD, other problems) he will probably do better than the mother in a better environment.

none of the above said...

Too tall:

It's mostly growing demand for oil from China and India responsible for riding oil prices, I think.

JSM said...

"And you conveniently forget that one of the main sources of white male decline is not the dreaded "NAMs" but the heavy labor force participation of WHITE women."

As Steve has pointed out previously, those White men are often MARRIED to those White women heavily participating in the labor force. So it's a tad inaccurate to blame White women for their decline (since she brings her paycheck home to him).

But a NAM who got his job? Yeah, that hurts. And he doesn't even get any nookie as consolation.

Truth said...

"Dubious. What "purge" of white workers? And what is this fictional "massive labor over-supply"? What planet are these fantasies on?"

Welcome to the board.

ben tillman said...

I recall once seeing a chart showing arrest rates by race in Baltimore. Blacks were really high, but even whites in Baltimore had a startingly high rate of arrest. Which is not surprising when you remember that La Griffe found a mean IQ of 85 for whites in that city.

Enough is enough. He did not find any White ghettos in Baltimore, and he did not find an average IQ of 85 for Whites in Baltimore. He found an average IQ of 86 for White children in Baltimore's public schools.

Truth said...

"he did not find an average IQ of 85 for Whites in Baltimore. He found an average IQ of 86 for White children in Baltimore's public schools."

What is the difference, do those children's IQ's go up as they get older?

Anonymous said...

Correction: White students in Baltimore do have an average IQ of 86, but.........

Kids tend to regress to the racial IQ mean. Low IQ white parents will have smarter kids. So whites in Baltimore are likely below an average IQ of 86. Likely below the African-American mean even. My point stands. As do the high arrest rates for Baltimore whites.

There's a neighorbood in Columbus called the "Bottoms" with a poverty rate near 35 percent. Only 4 new houses have been built in the last two decades. The crime and juvenile arrest rates are some of the worst in the city. Most of the houses are so old and dilapidated (most of them were built in the early/mid 1900s) that a pretty good chunk of them are boarded up, and the city government is now demolishing old abandoned buildings. The average resident has a 9th grade education. Most Columbus residents identify this as the worst or second worst in the city. Guess what? The neighborhood is 3/4 white, while Columbus is only 2/3 white.

Duluth downtown (centrall hillside) is plagued by assaults, disorderly conduct, rape, and drug dealing. Duluth is 92 percent white.

patrick said...

Re: Scotland
I notice several people have mentioned Scotland. In that context it is noteworthy that the Scottish Highlanders are often considered to have been the last tribal society in Northwestern Europe, lasting into the 18th century.

Anonymous said...

I watched most of Murray's talk at the AEI. The gist of it seemed to be that rich people good, poor people bad. Oh yeah, and whipping on the 1960's, which was just a decade, not a real person. Murray has made a lot of money off these topics, so I guess if he needs money he writes a new book about those subjects. He stirs up the pot amongst the elites. Basically he was ranting that he would like the person in the elite and the masses in the shacks doing the same things, going to church, getting married, etc. Guess that's his idea of utopia.

Anonymous said...

This dude Murray is all over the place trumpeting the values of being an upper class white person with lots of advanced degrees. In his last speech many of the people in the audience were recognizable as the talking heads you have seen since back in the day taking a dump on those who dont meet their elitist and quasi-moralistic standards (i.e. all those cruds out there who didnt grow up in a two parent family and are supposedly wrecking things, etc. etc.) Apparently business is good for the talking heads moralists as Murray notes that most in the audience live in the top two per cent of neighborhoods. These same scolding talking heads actually contribute zilch to society and are more like morality welfare recipeints.

Stan said...

Yes, there is a white underclass. Check out the post-industrial Midwest. In the suburbs of Detroit there are white neighborhoods that are unsafe for yuppies. These hoods are slightly less violent than the black hoods, but far more violent than the yuppie hoods.

Many of the residents are descended from people who moved here from Appalachia in the 1940s and 50s during the boom years of the auto industry. Today the factories are shut down, and the remaining people are unemployed or vastly underemployed.

Take a bunch of good old rough-edged Kaaantucky hillbillies, move them to the big city, then take away their jobs, and what do you think you will get? Yeah, a ghetto.

Stan said...

But the media don't pay much attention to places like this. Its not on their radar.

Dan said...

Humboldt county, apart from the University, is pretty much populated by the white underclass.

Anonymous said...

The New York Review of Books recently published a review of "Townie", by Andre Dubus III. Dubus describes growing up in Haverhill, Mass. The review is on the web.

LBK said...

"By and large, however, whites can't seem to compete with Hispanics, blacks, Asians or Russians when it comes to building crime syndicates."

White crime syndicates have names like Goldman Sachs, AIG, Citigroup, Countrywide, etc.

Anonymous said...

Southwest Detroit has a lot of rough white neighborhoods with dilapidated buildings, poverty, thugged out youth, gun fire at night, and other nonsense. Now these neighborhoods are turning more Mexican, Arab, and black.... but they retain quite a few poor whites even today.

One really infamous white gang from Detroit was the Cash Flow Posse. Not the Crips or Bloods, but not too far from them either. The FBI targeted them and took them down back in the 1990s.

Detroit's whites tend to be leftovers who couldn't afford to move when the auto factory jobs disappeared, and don't have much in the way of job skills or drive. Pretty much the bottom of the barrel. So you got a lot of drug addled, alcoholic Eminems strutting around the place.

Yes southwest Detroit and the white slums of the post-industrial Midwest are not Compton, but they're suboptimal even in comparison to the average NAM neighborhood.

The previous commenter is correct that many poor whites in Detroit, Baltimore, and other Midwest cities originate in the south. In Detroit, local respectable whites often take time to distinguish between the "hillbillies" (dangerous, irresponsible, non home-owning, trashy, often southern in origin) and themselves.

If blacks hadn't had such mass migration to the cities and the immigration system wasn't opened, there'd be lots of white urban slums today. Of course they'd probably be better than what we currently have.

ben tillman said...

What is the difference, do those children's IQ's go up as they get older?

The difference is that they're not the only Whites living in Baltimore. Lots (most?) of Baltimore's children go to private schools, and they and their parents, and childless White adults, have higher average IQ's. It's amazing that I would have to explain this to you.

Kids tend to regress to the racial IQ mean. Low IQ white parents will have smarter kids. So whites in Baltimore are likely below an average IQ of 86. Likely below the African-American mean even. My point stands.

No, it doesn't. See above.

Unbelievable.

theo said...

I just saw him giving a lecture in Berlin, Germany--only about 30 people attended, though it was organised by Federal Agency for Civic Education. Last year Judith Butler and Tarek Ramadan gave lectures, too, and their's had attendances of about 1000 peoples each, the halls were cramped--that might marshall us the way we're going. He expressed support for the tea party movement--though with some reserve, particularly as goes for Ms Palin--but he felt that it might have experienced its Gettisburg moment already. Should they not prevail, the US as we know it would cease to exist.