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jerryking : social_trust   4

Carpe Diem Nation - NYTimes.com
February 11, 2013 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS.

Europeans who settled America gave their lives a slingshot shape. They pulled back so they could shoot forward. They volunteered to live in harsh conditions today so their descendants could live well for centuries. The pioneers who traveled West did the same thing. So has each generation of immigrants — sacrificing the present for the sake of the future.

This slingshot manner of life led to one of those true national clichés:..This future-oriented mentality had practical effects. For decades, government invested heavily in long-range projects like railroads and canals...Today, Americans have inverted this way of thinking. Instead of sacrificing the present for the sake of the future, Americans now sacrifice the future for the sake of the present...Why have Americans lost their devotion to the future? Part of the answer must be cultural. The Great Depression and World War II forced Americans to live with 16 straight years of scarcity. In the years after the war, people decided they’d had enough. There was what one historian called a “renunciation of renunciation.” We’ve now had a few generations raised with this consumption mind-set. There’s less of a sense that life is a partnership among the dead, the living and the unborn, with obligations to those to come....If the president were to propose an agenda for the future, he’d double spending on the National Institutes of Health. He’d approve the Keystone XL pipeline. He’d cut corporate tax rates while adding a progressive consumption tax. He’d take money from Social Security and build Harlem Children’s Zone-type projects across the nation. He’d means test Medicare and use the money to revive state universities and pay down debt.
David_Brooks  future  Obama  Great_Depression  WWII  instant_gratification  intergenerational_rivalry  delayed_gratification  foresight  far-sightedness  forward_looking  sacrifice  Keystone_XL  long-term  social_trust  consumption  the_Greatest_Generation  Carpe_diem  long-range  railroads  canals 
february 2013 by jerryking
The Spirit of Enterprise - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
December 1, 2011

Nations like Germany and the U.S. are rich primarily because of shared habits, values and social capital....People who work hard and play by the rules should have a fair shot at prosperity. Money should go to people on the basis of merit and enterprise. Self-control should be rewarded while laziness and self-indulgence should not. Community institutions should nurture responsibility and fairness.

This ethos is not an immutable genetic property, which can blithely be taken for granted. It’s a precious social construct, which can be undermined and degraded.

Right now, this ethos is being undermined from all directions. People see lobbyists diverting money on the basis of connections; they see traders making millions off of short-term manipulations; they see governments stealing money from future generations to reward current voters.

The result is a crisis of legitimacy. The game is rigged. Social trust shrivels. Effort is no longer worth it. The prosperity machine winds down....The real lesson from financial crises is that, at the pit of the crisis, you do what you have to do. You bail out the banks. You bail out the weak European governments. But, at the same time, you lock in policies that reinforce the fundamental link between effort and reward. And, as soon as the crisis passes, you move to repair the legitimacy of the system.

That didn’t happen after the American financial crisis of 2008.
bailouts  covenants  David_Brooks  Europe  locked_in  moral_hazards  euro_zone  European_Union  financial_crises  gaming_the_system  laziness  legitimacy  self-control  self-discipline  self-indulgence  self-regulation  social_capital  social_cohesion  social_contract  social_fabric  social_trust  undermining_of_trust  values 
december 2011 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - In Athens, a Question From Lydia - NYTimes.com
May 14, 2010 | New York Times | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN.
Friedman argues that there's a tension between “situational values”
--doing whatever the situation allows--and "sustainable values”, values
that inspire in us behaviors that literally sustain our relationships
with one another, with our communities, with our institutions, and with
our forests, oceans and climate. Regulations, while important and
necessary, are insufficient in an increasingly connected world (i.e.
environment, markets, and societies). Trust and values come to the fore and the fear
is that our value system is being harmonized to the short-term thinking
associated with our markets.
values  value_systems  Tom_Friedman  social_fabric  social_trust  covenants  trustworthiness  regulation  Communicating_&_Connecting  interconnections  community  short-term_thinking 
may 2010 by jerryking

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