You have to credit Mr. Ross Douthat with persistence, or more accurately, with an unrelenting ideological fixation with the behavior of the lowers orders of political humanity: the working class. By which he means those shiftless poor who won’t, out of moral recalcitrance, adopt the morality of it’s betters. Mr. Douthat is really sounding the moral smugness of Reagan and his obsessions with ‘Welfare Queens driving Cadillacs’ which he alluded to in his 1976 presidential bid, and those ubiquitous out of wedlock children . Except that Mr. Douthat shifts the focus to the ‘working class male’ another maladroit code word for the morally feckless black male.
The second, by Binyamin Appelbaum, looked at the decline of work itself among less-educated men, and the forces driving this decline: low wages and weak job growth, the availability of safety-net income, the burden of criminal records, and the fraying of paternal and marital bonds.
The ‘availability of of safety-net income’ is the code word for welfare chiseling, not very hard to interpret this, you need only look to the code words and phrases among all the rhetorical garnish to Mr. Douthat’s essay. Add to this ‘the burden of criminal records, and the fraying of paternal and marital bonds’ to round out the right wing rhetorical engagement with the poor: the Black Family in Moral Crisis as rehearsed by a reactionary political moralist.