Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Not so broken...not so fast

The Economist has a piece titled British Society: Not so broken (hat tip NotPC):

"... society is not broken, at all. If anything, it's healthier than ever. In this week's issue, we've published a story about the current generation of young people—those aged between around 15 to 25. This generation of young people is the best behaved in decades. They drink less, smoke less, take fewer drugs, and have fewer teenage pregnancies. They get better exam results and are more likely to go to university. Frankly, they're incredibly well-behaved. All this has happened despite a huge and ongoing increase in levels of single-parenthood and a similarly large decline in marriage, not to mention the lack of discipline in schools that Mr Cameron mentioned."

My main problem with this assertion is it treats those aged 15-25 as a single entity. If you broke behaviours and characteristics down into socio-economic sub-groups different trends may exist. Amongst the poorest, the products of the benefit society, there may be a flat-lining or even escalation of drug-taking, drinking and teenage pregnancies. They really need to disprove this before dismissing the following claim  by UK Welfare Secretary Iain Duncan Smith:

"All too often, government’s response to social breakdown has been a classic case of 'patching’—a case of handing money out, containing problems and limiting the damage but, in doing so, supporting—even reinforcing — dysfunctional behaviour."
Anyone want to take issue with him? It's a fair summation in my view.


thor42 said...

I'm not at all convinced.

British society is facing some very big challenges in the areas of welfare, social unrest and crime - particularly from Muslim immigrants.
There are a number of UK cities which now have huge "no-go zones" - Muslim-controlled areas where even the police fear to go. Luton is one example of this.
Tower Hamlets (London) is another.

Factor in the HUGE number of mosques and Islamic schools in the UK, and that doesn't sound like "not broken" to me. The same can be said of almost every other country in Europe, with the possible exception of Italy. Italy has taken the *excellent* step of not recognising Islam as a "religion". This very far-sighted (and TRUE) measure will serve them well in the future, as it will strip Islam of all protection given to religions.

Anonymous said...

Good on Italy. Australia is doomed too.