Lots of important things to cover—getting lots of interesting feedback on this model that links growth, inequality, opportunity, mobility, and political power (now on slideshare, h/t: PS).
Also, finishing Charles Murray’s new book, Coming Apart, which is definitely interesting—I’ll have a lot more to say about it tomorrow. I’ve not seen much new in there in terms of findings—he’s crunching the same numbers many of us have crunched for years, re inequality, poverty, job and wage losses. And while his interpretation is predictably different from mine, there’s a lot here that we agree on. EG, he writes: “The trends signify damage to the heart of American community and the ways in which the great majority of American pursue satisfying lives.”
While he describes himself as a libertarian and I’m…um…not, at the heart of the analysis is some of the same angst I’ve tried to express in writing that bemoans the shift toward YOYO (you’re-on-your-own) economics. Even in Murray’s telling, “Coming Apart” is a function of greater inequality, less opportunity, diminished mobility, and the dysfunctional politics that these developments helped to promote—the very process described in the model above. He then adds a strong dose of cultural analysis (the loss of industriousness, religiosity, honesty, and marriage), that connect to the findings in ways that are not at all clear to me, but very clear to him. We clearly place the locus of these problems in different places…but like I said, more to come when I finish the book.
But none of that matters compared to what I really wanted to do here, which was share two minutes and forty-two seconds of pure joy, in boogie rhythm, courtesy of the great saxophonist/vocalist/bandleader Louis Jordan. It’s Choo Choo Ch’Boogie and all’s I can say, cats and kittens, is that if this jam doesn’t turn your frown upside down, there’s nothin’ anyone can do for you.