A good rule of thumb for discerning readers: Take Kevin Drum seriously. As a blogger, then as a columnist for the Washington Monthly and Mother Jones, Drum has always been an honest broker of analyzing social trends. His thesis that America’s crime wave in the latter 20th century was due to the effect of lead exposure on children was interesting. Drum has also been willing to entertain counterarguments to that thesis. The point is, when Drum arrives at a conclusion to explain a social trend, it needs to be taken seriously.