October 7, 2012
IN THIS recent entry, readers discussed anecdotal evidence that a baby boom has occurred in some affluent, predominantly liberal white communities. This may be true in certain areas, but recent census figures suggest the trend is not widespread. As Jesse Powell reported previously, in the ten wealthiest zip codes discussed by Charles Murray, author of Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010, fertility and family stability all declined between 2000 and 2010. In Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, a suburban town of multi-million dollar homes large enough to accommodate families of ten in style, the number of white children went from 859 to 788 and the proportion of white children living with both of their natural parents went from 91.7 to 87.9 percent. In Chappaqua, New York, another “Super Zip Code,” the number of white children went from 3,585 to 3,355 and the proportion of those living with their own parents declined from 93.6 to 92.5 percent.
Of course, the deterioration was far worse in communities farther down on the economic scale, as has been documented here many times. However, this class divide does not represent a true cultural divide; rather it is the reflection of disparities in intelligence and inherent levels of restraint.
Murray believes that at least some stability can be returned to places where single motherhood and divorce are now common if America’s ruling classes preach the values of marriage and stigmatize illegitimacy again. As I wrote in this previous entry,
[Murray’s] notion that there is a great American divide is problematic. America’s elite does not believe in sexual restraint. It does not believe in traditional sex roles any more than America’s working classes. The well-educated simply suffer less from the consequences of the cultural revolution. How could they possibly preach what they don’t themselves endorse?