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I was awake very early this morning and turned on PBS (Channel 9). I watched "Think Tank" a program I had never seen before. Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg is a half-hour weekly discussion show focusing on deeper trends, conditions, and ideas behind the week's headlines. Each week, host Ben Wattenberg is joined by panelists uniquely qualified to discuss topics such as public policy, politics, arts and entertainment, culture, science and technology, and medicine.
This week, Wattenberg was interviewing James Q. Wilson. In 1982 Wilson published the influential "broken windows" theory of crime. If police and the community ignore public disorder (symbolized by broken windows), then law-abiding people will be intimidated and criminals will get the message that "anything goes."
Many police departments (including Guiliani) adopted this theory as part of "community policing." Without good statistics on crime rates, nobody would know what worked in fighting crime.
Wilson is one person featured in the "First Measured Century" series (produced by the same people as Think Tank). In today's interview he also mentioned what he sees as still a significant problem "the single mother families." He was raised by a single mother and is and it is an important issue for him.
I found it interesting that if you read the next segment, you will see how they were measuring this same issue since 1960 in a famous and controversial "Moynihan Report, When Politics and Sociology Collide," the last comments I thought were the most important:
BEN WATTENBERG: And we can measure that disruption. Here's just a sample. The nature of the family was changing. In the 1960s, divorce rates spiked. Once it was rare and called "living in sin." The number of men and women living together without the benefit of marriage went up six-fold between 1960 and 1970, and then another six-fold between 1970 and 1998. Today, about half of all those getting married have lived in a cohabiting relationship.
A third disruption concerned drugs. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the use of marijuana increased by over 400 percent; mind-altering hallucinogens by over 800 percent; cocaine, 2300 percent.
The worst part of the great disruption was crime. Pat Moynihan warned that if more children grew up without the presence of fathers, the result would be social chaos, including crime. Crime rates soared, and crime and punishment became one of the most important issues in American life.
Why does this have significance for me? Because a friend of mine said that her 14 year old daughter told her that when she becomes 16, she is quitting school and leaving home. What does the future look like for this girl? If she follows her plan what is the likelihood that she will, someday, be a single mom-- what life skills will she be able to teach her children. Also, there are the economic consequences that will follow her. These are not my inferences--they are statistics. This is a whole other issue. How to make it an unpopular choice to have children at very young ages.
Back to the beginning, there is a great deal of interesting information that can be found on both of these websites and I feel Think Tank is worth while watching (but maybe not often at 5:00 in the morning).
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.