Sunday, May 6, 2012

Constructive Solutions

What should we have done if we craved
That America's middle be saved?
Researched and retooled,
Retrained and reschooled,
Reinvested, rebuilt and repaved.

Financial Times' Washington correspondent Edward Luce has written a book that nobody wants to hear, but everyone needs to read: Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent. In it, Mr. Luce discusses the causes, and some solutions, to the declining state of American affairs. One of the difficulties in winning public investment in the renewal of American competitiveness, as in the verse above, is that neither party is willing to admit the state of decline. Thus, where the government has addressed our problems, it has generally made them worse. The solutions, however, are fairly clear, once we acknowledge the issue.


  1. I do not have to read this book to guess what the solution is: More government-sponsored public works, education, and "investment". Government = good, and where government has made things worse in the past, it was because either not enough government force was applied, or it was applied incorrectly. More and different government is the solution! Am I close?

    If you have young children, Dr. Goose, then you might have noticed that kids get trophies for basically showing up for soccer and karate practice. We celebrate mediocrity. We try to remove the shame from bad life choices, such as getting pregnant as a teenager. We make it very uncomfortable to participate in activities that used to keep kids on the straight and narrow and promote excellence (Scouting, religious life, etc.) These have been torn down with such vigor, perhaps by people with the best of intentions, but with zero regard of the effect.

  2. Mr. Lawry, you have shot wide of the mark this time. Mr. Luce shares your concerns about mediocrity, as he elaborates on this this interview:

    1. Have I? My comments regarding government were explicitly regarding the proposed solutions, not the cause. I had a passing familiarity with Mr. Luce's work before this, and did not want to be caught flatfooted.

      That said, I have not yet read the book. But I am very interested to see what his solutions are, and whether or they consist of more or less government action.


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