Charles Murray on U.S. Social Policy Analytical Essay by Nicky

Charles Murray on U.S. Social Policy
An analysis of the perspective of consequentialism in Charles Murray's "Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980".
# 149549 | 1,431 words | 1 source | APA | 2011 | US

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The paper looks at how in "Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950-1980", Charles Murray argues from a consequentialist perspective that social policy in the U.S. is in massive need of reform. The paper explains Murray's basic argument that American social policy has not only failed to serve the poor, but it actually perpetuates and exacerbates many of the situations that the poor are faced with. The paper focuses on the chapter dealing with the American family and points out how Murray basically implies that racism and sexism have become institutionalized and monetized, and that this trend has been increasing in recent decades.

From the Paper:

"Clearly, there has not been a great deal of change in basic social policy, at least not to a degree significant enough to change the issue and the statistics as presented in Losing Ground. In order to understand the full implications and complexities of social policy as described by Murray, it is helpful to place his arguments in the correct ethical paradigm. Many politicians, scholars, and active citizens discuss policy issues from a deontological perspective, arguing about the moral and ethical necessities of creating and administering a system that provides for everyone, especially the needy. Discussions of practical matters and decisions are approached from this world of moral black and white; of what it is right and wrong to do regardless of the benefits and/or consequences of a given action. Though there is certainly a valid place for arguments based on such ideals, Losing Ground is not one of those places.
"Charles Murray's ethics as presented in Losing Ground are definitely of the consequential school of ethical and philosophical thought. He does not disagree with a certain ethical imperative for taking care of the less fortunate members of society, and does not suggest that the United States simply abolish its ambitious social policies. For Murray, however, as well as for other consequentialist thinkers, there is no ethical or moral rectitude in continuing to fund a program that does not effectively serve the people for whom it was intended."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Murray, C. (1994). Losing ground: American social policy 1950-1980. New York: Basic Books.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Charles Murray on U.S. Social Policy (2011, December 22) Retrieved October 05, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Charles Murray on U.S. Social Policy" 22 December 2011. Web. 05 October. 2022. <>