Keeping America's Edge

The United States is in a tough spot. As we dig ourselves out from a serious financial crisis and a deep recession, our very efforts to recover are exacerbating much more fundamental problems that our country has let fester for too long. Beyond our short-term worries, and behind many of today’s political debates, lurks the deeper challenge of coming to terms with America’s place in the global economic order.

Our strategic situation is shaped by three inescapable realities. First is the inherent conflict between the creative destruction involved in free-market capitalism and the innate human propensity to avoid risk and change. Second is ever-increasing international competition. And third is the growing disparity in behavioral norms and social conditions between the upper and lower income strata of American society.

So begins a very long article that I’ve written for the current issue of the new magazine National Affairs that Yuval Levin has started with great attention as the modern successor to the legendary The Public Interest.

This article is my best shot at summing up why I think the current political debate in Washington seems to me to be so disconnected from reality, what I think are our key problems, and what I think we should do about them. Readers of my posts at this blog will have seen (and in some cases participated in) the development of some of these ideas. This work comprises part of a chapter of the book that I’ve been working on that has caused my near radio silence for the past few months.

You can read the whole article through the link, so I won’t try to summarize it here, but comments are more than welcome.