Sunday, April 18, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
As the world gets richer, demand will rise for the sorts of products Americans are great at providing — emotional experiences. Educated Americans grow up in a culture of moral materialism; they have their sensibilities honed by complicated shows like “The Sopranos,” “The Wire” and “Mad Men,” and they go on to create companies like Apple, with identities coated in moral and psychological meaning, which affluent consumers crave.
As the rising generation leads an economic revival, it will also participate in a communal one. We are living in a global age of social entrepreneurship.
In 1964, there were 15,000 foundations in the U.S. By 2001, there were 61,000. In 2007, total private giving passed $300 billion. Participation in organizations like City Year, Teach for America, and College Summit surges every year. Suburbanization helps. For every 10 percent reduction in population density, the odds that people will join a local club rise by 15 percent. The culture of service is now entrenched and widespread.
In sum, the U.S. is on the verge of a demographic, economic and social revival, built on its historic strengths. The U.S. has always been good at disruptive change. It’s always excelled at decentralized community-building. It’s always had that moral materialism that creates meaning-rich products. Surely a country with this much going for it is not going to wait around passively and let a rotten political culture drag it down.
Hurray, David Brooks - thank you for not attempting to scare me into voting Republican, and also for not sneering at the word "community." The 2008 campaign's focus on Obama's service as a "community organizer" seems to have led an awful lot of Fox talking heads to treat "community" as a distasteful code word for socialism or something. Which bugs me about as much as Glenn Beck's treatment of "social justice" - the man told his viewers to leave their church if that phrase came up. Isn't that anti-Catholic? Maybe that Catholic League nut Donohue needs to put him on his enemies list.