It would, of course, be absurd to think that the white working class is suffering because they live in ghettos which reflect and reinforce their shiftlessness in addition to the idea that our country is too soft on crime and too focused on rehabilitating prisoners. The last time the neoconservative intellectual movement had to explain something like this it was about poverty concentrated among African-Americans and in urban environments, and this was their answer. But the white working class lives everywhere - in cities and suburbs, in dynamic towns and dying ones, in conservative ones and liberals ones - and they are having a rough economic time of it everywhere. And nobody is arguing that our criminal justice system is too lenient.

What’s Missing From Charles Murray’s Diagnosis of the White Working Class?

The reason they want this to be a cultural problem rather than an economic one has everything to do where the economic analysis leads. It leads to policies that are a near 180 from the policies the right has been pushing for the past 50 years. And like any other fanatic movement, when the prescribed policy fails they look for scapegoats and demand we double down on failure.