Accidental Schadenfreude Is a Beautiful Thing: The Charles Murray Edition

By way of Jesse Taylor, we learn that Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve and longtime advocate of a genetic basis for the racial difference in IQ scores, will release a book on the growing socioeconomic divisions. In the book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010, he contrasts wealthy whites to poorer whites: you can read Murray’s op-ed, if you’re so inclined (maha does the necessary fisking). Since it’s Murray, the book’s themes focus on the usual conservative suspects: 60s hedonism and single parent households (like that Obama fella grew up in).

It’s odd: Murray’s famous book, The Bell Curve, argued–and Murray has continued to do so–that racial differences in IQ, and their attendant socioeconomic outcomes, have a (non-trivial) genetic component. I’ve, tongue-in-check, argued that the difference between Alabama whites and Massachusetts whites, which is comparable to the difference between Massachusetts whites and blacks, also has a genetic component.

Has Murray changed his mind on the issue? If so, he should be more forthright about it: even two decades after the publication of The Bell Curve, we are still dealing with the poisonous after-effects of that book.

If not, I so do want to hear Murray argue that the white middle class–’real’ Americans–are falling behind their genetic ‘betters.’ That would be a hoot. I’ll bring the popcorn!

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