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Two Premises on Poverty and Culture

By Ross Douthat, New York Times - May 5, 2015

The last time I followed certain of my colleagues into an argument about poverty, economics and culture, it took several thousand words to find my way back out. This time I’m going to try a briefer intervention, stressing again that I think conversations about policing are a more productive response to what’s happened in Baltimore than leaping up a level to the persistent right-left argument about the welfare state. But since that debate is happening no matter what, it might be helpful to describe a framework in which I think these arguments should take place, because quite often the two sides can’t even decide on where the argument should start. So here, for your consideration, are two premises about the last fifty years of American history.

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