It’s the Culture, Stupid

15 Jun

One of the circulating e-mails I received yesterday purported to be a copy of a letter from an ER doctor, Dr. Starner Jones, to the current administration.  Thinking the letter a probable fake, as so much of this type of material is, I went to FactCheck, where it was confirmed that, indeed, Dr. Jones did write and send said letter.  Although I’m sure others have said it, or agree with it wholeheartedly (here I cite my two favorite black commentators, Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams – not to put words into their mouths), I feel obligated to give Dr. Jones credit for bringing this issue to my thoughts again.

In short – The biggest crisis for the United States today is not the cost of medical care, not illegal immigration, not education per se, not annual deficits, etc., but rather a CRISIS OF CULTURE.

Dr. Sowell is an economist at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, while Dr. Williams, also an economist, is associated with George Mason University.  These gentlemen are (as I interpret their message) constantly visiting the issue of culture within the lower-income groups as being a prime determinant in virtually all these other problems we face — single-parent homes (which tend to have lower incomes), lack of encouragement to kids to achieve within the education system (even NEGATIVE reinforcement in this area), inclination to build ego and pride without tying to associated achievement, growing dependency on government hand-outs, clinging to affirmative action programs (even where they have been shown to lower standards), encouraging non-mainstream language and habits (including culturally-driven clothing), common acceptance of lies and deceipt from leaders (from the offices on Wall Street to the halls of Congress and the White House), etc.

What’s worse, though, is that our government officials, in meddling in areas where they have no expertise (which is almost everything, but most specifically the under-achieving portion of society), have greatly exacerbated the culture crisis — aided and abetted, as it were.

Until we step back a little from throwing new and costly programs against OUTCOMES, we may never get at the real root cause of economic inequality in America — a culture among many lower-income groups that simply does not try to reach ever-higher up the “normal” (but many) paths to pride in achievement, and the true achievement of satisfaction in life — and a culture among our “leaders” that accepts lack of integrity as a societal norm.

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One Response to “It’s the Culture, Stupid”

  1. quinersdiner June 26, 2012 at 2:32 am #

    Spot on! Well said.

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