Introduction – Added Backroom Can’t Fix This
If they anytime amount out time travel, I acquire my account ready.
There are assertive moments in history I would adulation to acquire apparent and heard. Socrates teaching in the barter in Athens. Luther nailing his 95 theses to the aperture at Wittenberg. General Cornwallis surrendering to the cipher American rebels at Yorktown. John Quincy Adams accustomed his eight-and-a-half-hour altercation to the Supreme Court in aegis of the 39 chargeless Africans captured aboard the Amistad. There are assertive moments that afflicted history forever.
I’m not declared to say that, as a historian. The job of the historian is usually to be a blemish sport. It says so appropriate there on the aback of our “Professional Historian” identification card. I’m declared to point out that these moments are few and far between, that best of animal history has been appealing ho-hum, that the allowance that the time we happened to be built-in into are absolutely world-changing are . . . slim, and that the alone acumen we anticipate our times are appropriate is because we’re narcissists, every aftermost one of us. Lots of historians are now alike assertive the abundant moments weren’t all that great: Socrates was aloof addition astute guy aggravating to scrape a buck, et cetera. It’s a profession of party-poopers.
But here, in this book, I’d like to adduce that we absolutely do, in fact, alive at one of the best amazing moments in animal history. We’re active through a anarchy that is activity to absolutely transform the agency we alive and work. We’re active through an about-face that will dwarf the about-face our nation accomplished a aeon and a bisected ago, aback we morphed from an agronomical association into an automated one. We’re active through an aberrant access of innovation.
Aloof booty a quick account of what’s in your pocket: namely, a supercomputer.
At this moment, you’re affiliated to 2 billion bodies accepted through Facebook—over division of the citizenry of the planet. Acquire a catechism for addition in Brazil? Four hundred years ago, a bulletin from the baron of Spain to his aristocratic governors in the Americas took months to arrive. Today, it takes seconds. (In fact, the baron of Spain is on Twitter: @CasaReal.)
Do you charge turn-by-turn admonition through Timbuktu? No problem. (And you’ll it—I’ve been there, and the beach is consistently in your eyes—among added places.) You can alike acquire those admonition apprehend to you by Morgan Freeman’s august voice. But if active is too abundant of a hassle, you can aloof adjustment a ride from your buzz (“Phil is accession now!”), and use real-time accessory adumbration to advice him contrivance badge on your way.
Are the ancestors active you crazy? You can t the seventh inning from Wrigley beneath the table. (Just nod affably every now and then.)
It’s all there, and more, in your hand.
At the acme of the Cold War, MIT had big affairs from the Administration of Aegis to advice administer our targeting contest to adapt for a nuclear barter with the Soviets. Those computers—at the time, the best adult machines anytime invented—were the admeasurement of a gymnasium. And they were 2 percent as advantageous as the boilerplate iPhone or Android. (Additional fun fact: There’s added accretion adeptness in the boilerplate agenda abrasion apparatus today than was acclimated to put the aboriginal man on the moon in 1969.)
We’ve become acclimatized to direct answers and moment-to-moment connectedness. But the agenda anarchy that is authoritative it accessible was absurd aloof 50 years ago.
We’re the ri, best comfortable, best affiliated bodies in animal history.
And yet . . .
In the bosom of amazing prosperity, we’re additionally active through a crisis. Our communities are collapsing, and bodies are activity added isolated, adrift, and aimless than anytime before. We’re not talking abundant about this crisis. Nonetheless, we all acquire a faculty that something’s not right. Our marriages aren’t satisfying, our kids assume hypnotized. We agilely feel that adolescence has been a disappointment. We faculty that about alternating the way, aggregate went off the rails.
* * * * *
We acquire a crisis in this nation, and it has annihilation to do with authoritative ameliorate or bordering tax rates. This book is not activity to be about politics. (Sorry to disappoint.) It’s about commodity added and added meaningful. Commodity a little harder to quantify, but a lot added personal.
Despite the amazing medical advances and abstruse leaps of contempo years, boilerplate activity amount is in abatement in America for the third year in a row. This is the aboriginal time our nation has had alike a two-year bead in activity acceptance aback 1962—when the account was an affliction epidemic. Normally, declines in activity acceptance are due to commodity big like that—a war, or the acknowledgment of a abeyant disease.
But what’s the “big thing” activity on in America now? What’s killing all these people?
The 2016 abstracts point to three culprits: Alzheimer’s, suicides, and accidental injuries—a cardinal that includes biologic and booze deaths. Two years ago, 63,632 bodies died of overdoses. That’s 11,000 added than the antecedent year, and it’s added than the cardinal of Americans dead during the entire, twenty-year Vietnam War. It’s about alert the cardinal dead in auto accidents annually, which had been the arch American analgesic for decades. In 2014, suicides hit a thirty-year high—and the sobering ascend shows no signs of abating: the allotment of adolescent bodies ailing for baleful thoughts and accomplishments has angled over the accomplished decade.
We’re killing ourselves, both on purpose and accidentally.
We’re absolutely dying of despair.
And this is not alike to acknowledgment the abstracts about how we’re accepting beneath and authoritative beneath babies—both of which are, beyond history, signs of beneath achievement in the future.
It turns out that the massive bread-and-er disruption that we entered a brace of decades ago and will be abyssal for decades to appear is depriving us psychologically and spiritually at the aforementioned time that it’s adorning us materially. The aforementioned technology that has absolved us from so abundant aggravation and backbreaker has additionally afloat us from the things that ballast our identities. The anarchy that has accustomed millions of Americans the befalling to alive like adeptness has additionally outpaced our adeptness to amount out what community, friendships, and relationships should attending like in the avant-garde world. As abundance of analysis now show, we’re richer and better-informed and added connected—and unhappier and added abandoned and beneath fulfilled.
There is a abhorrent conflict here.
We’re in crisis.
* * * * *
I adulation to run with my kids.
In one abnormally memorable half-marathon, one of my daughters, afresh age 12, projectile-ed aloof abbreviate of mile thirteen. I don’t beggarly she got bottomward on a knee abaft a tree; I beggarly she fabricated a behemothic burst in the average of a crowd. But this kid has a will of steel; I knew she wasn’t bottomward out that aing to the end. I was appreciative of her as she dug abysmal and affiliated to put one bottom in advanced of the other. But I was additionally scanning the alley advanced for baptize stations. It’s important to break hydrated alike if you haven’t busy your shoes, but baptize was activity to be new activity for her. Aback we saw a table up ahead—manned by affable bodies extending advance alternating with their cardboard cups—it was like seeing an haven in the desert. We knew we were amid friends.
Aback the Lincoln (Nebraska) Chase came about aftermost year, my aggregation and I set up a baptize base like we do every May. We like to accost and animate the 14,000-plus Midwesterners who applique up. I adore the chase vibe: bodies advancing out of their houses with coffee in duke to acclamation on the runners, neighbors high-fiving strangers as they attempt by, dogs demography advantage of the Gatorade dribbling from alone cups in the streets, homeowners ambience up backyard sprinklers to board some abatement from the heat. Although I’d adopt to be active with my kids, I acquire that sometimes it’s nice to be the one handing out the water, rather than the one in atrocious charge of it.
We had an ideal atom on Sheridan Avenue, a beautiful, old Lincoln, Nebraska, artery with alpine elms and oaks lining the road. Our base was aloof accomplished mile brand four, so some runners slowed bottomward to adore the adumbration afore arrest the afar ahead. I generally acquire my kids with me as I assignment beyond the state, and my son was six that morning. Some of our accompany had brought their kids with them as well. Our dozens of volunteers captivated in the race, and the kids captivated in the claiming of befitting the baptize cups filled.
Shortly afore the aboriginal runners arrived, a baby accumulation of bodies set themselves up beyond the artery from us. Protesters, with signs—a accustomed afterimage for anyone in office. But this was different. As the aboriginal runners approached our baptize station, captivation out easily for a cup, the protesters began to shriek, clutching at their throats: “It’s poison! It’s poison! Don’t alcohol it! He wants you to die!”
The runners flinched. The shrieking continued, as after-effects and after-effects of runners arrived. Some abandoned the scene, but abounding beneath a baptize cup with a soft, uncomfortable, “I’m sorry.” Annihilation sours the break like annihilation charges.
Cerebration aback on it added than a year later, that morning still leaves a bad aftertaste in my mouth. I’ve now had abundant awful adventures in my about four years in appointment to advance a blubbery skin. I’ve had acreage vandalized and claret befuddled on my appointment door. I’ve had afterlife threats that seemed aboveboard abundant to crave badge visits. I’ve had account video selectively edited and afresh pushed on amusing media. A cabal approach broadcast that I had masterminded a animal trafficking arrangement in Omaha (the rocket scientists abaft that anecdotal bootless to t that the declared arena began afore I was born). My wife has had affronted capacity appearance up at our advanced door; my kids acquire heard me base out during ancestors commons at restaurants. But that chase moment was abnormally painful.
These association planned and organized others to appearance up in the morning at a baptize base at an abecedarian chase to scream at runners that they were actuality poisoned. Why? Because we don’t see eye-to-eye on every action issue. How do you explain that to a agglomeration of abashed six-year-olds?
Commodity is absolutely amiss here.
But accuracy be told, I don’t anticipate the protestors were absolutely babble like that because we acquire altered positions on policy. Commodity added is activity on.
* * * * *
In 2007, my wife had a accident aneurysm, which in about-face produced three strokes. For two months, there was a appropriate adventitious Melissa would die.
We’d been affiliated twelve years, and I was in shock that my best acquaintance and the mother of our adolescent accouchement ability not survive. For the aboriginal brace weeks, I sat in the hospital day and night beside her, my activity frozen. I wasn’t advantageous my bills, accepting the mail, sleeping, showering enough. The account of animal was long. I forgot that I had larboard my car—back on day one at the hospital—in a atom that would become allotment of a rush-hour lane the afterward morning. Afterwards tickets and towing, those mistakes concluded up active to about $800. Activity was aback too big for us, alike the baby stuff.
One night, I absitively to get some beginning air. I went to a restaurant a block from the hospital, so I could adjustment some aliment that didn’t appear on a metal tray. I stood in the cat-and-mouse area—and stood—and kept standing. The host had disregarded me, several times, and built-in added parties. All I capital was to get my name on the list, so I could eat some aliment and get aback afore the doctor returned. Yet, there I stood—alone in the aphotic cat-and-mouse area. Ignored. Suddenly, the acerbity welled up.
“Excuse me,” I said, my beating humming. “Don’t you see me?” Then, I proceeded to let him apperceive how he’d abject me and absolutely what I anticipation of it. This wasn’t any YouTube-worthy, viral video rant—but it was still a mistake. As a kid and afresh in college, I had a agglomeration of jobs—from amphitheater automat to retail to painting battered houses—that appropriate me to collaborate with affronted association on occasion. I’d bound not to be one of them. I’ve never already beatific aliment back, in a anger with the chef. I’ve consistently acquainted adherence with the TGI Friday’s server, not with the jackwagon reaming him out. But . . .
. . . there I was: the jackwagon. As the host rushed to put me on the list, I acquainted embarrassed. I hadn’t yelled, but I’d been abrupt to a guy for a simple mistake. I bare to apologize to him.
This drifter wasn’t my problem. My problems were the amaranthine of bills and the abashed kids and the uncertainty. My wife ability die. I acquainted abandoned and powerless. I didn’t beggarly to get upset—but here, finally, was a botheration I could fix. I could get my name on the accursed list. I could get commodity to go my way. For a few seconds, I had the abatement of a scapegoat, addition I could blame.
* * * * *
One of the advantageous things about actuality an adopted official is accepting to accommodated and acquire to Americans who adulation our country and are anxious for our future. But the best accepted chat I acquire with affectionate Americans these days—the best common, by far—is atramentous rather than uplifting. I get the catechism endlessly aback I’m out and about in Nebraska: “Why can’t you guys in D.C. aloof get some accepted faculty actuality done?” (Sometimes it’s an order: “You bodies charge to do your eff’ing job!”)
Aback I allocution with bodies one-on-one, or in baby groups, it becomes bright how the dysfunction in D.C. is affecting their lives: “I don’t apperceive what to bulb if I don’t apperceive if there will be crop allowance this summer. You get that, right?” “Why can’t you all do a astute basement advance bill afterwards breaking the bank? I’m a trucker, but I’d pay added gas tax for bigger anchorage and bridges.” “How is it fair to kids brought actuality as babies—through no best of their own—to admiration if they’re gonna get deported? And how is that complicated blend an alibi for not accepting the border?” “Shouldn’t my son, who’s been deployed to Afghanistan three times, apperceive what our absolute plan is in a war that started seventeen years ago?” “Why do we never acquire a budget?” “Will the anniversary spending bill appear in the average of the night on the eve of a government abeyance afresh this year?”
This book is not about politics—but it is at atomic tangentially about the question: “Why can’t you guys in D.C. get annihilation done?”
Citizens are appropriate to be discouraged. Governing absolutely does consistently assume to booty a backseat to accessory agreeable and point-scoring. I see it up aing every week, and about a dozen altered senators, aloof in contempo months, acquire accepted to me that they admiration if we’re “wasting our lives.” Contrary to accepted misconceptions, no one runs for Senate to get rich, and the near-constant biking abroad from ancestors makes best of the anxious association actuality ask questions like—to adduce one of my colleagues—“whether this is a amenable way for a grown-ass man to absorb his time.”
But I notice, too, that capacity are rarely aloof absorbed in solutions; they’re additionally absorbed in allotment blame. I acquire been consistently a by Nebraskans that our afflictive bearings is the accountability of Mitch McConnell (“boo!”) or Elizabeth Warren (“hiss!”)—or any of a dozen others, on either ancillary of the political spectrum, whose names acquire taken on a array of talismanic role: autograph for all sorts of awful scheming.
Political depression is annihilation new in American history, of course. But there’s commodity altered about the way Americans appearance policymakers today. Answer honestly: Do you acquire a belly acknowledgment aback you apprehend any of these names: Nancy Pelosi, Paul Ryan, Harry Reid, John Boehner, Chuck Schumer? Abounding bodies do. The acceptance now isn’t aloof that association are incompetent, but that they are evil.
We absolutely don’t like anniversary other, do we?
There’s an absorbing aggressive abnormality that applies to this political moment. In burghal action training, there is a well-documented addiction to about-face our focus from a abroad but important ambition to a beneath important but nearer target. If you’re actuality attacked and your blackmail is fifty yards away, but a afterpiece ambition ancestor up, you’ll about-face your absorption to the new target—even if it’s beneath of a threat. We tend to appetite to beating bottomward the easier stuff. Conversely, we tend to appetite to abstain or abjure the challenges that are added difficult.
It seems bright that in America today, we’re adverse problems that feel too big for us, so we’re lashing out at anniversary other, generally over beneath important matters. Abounding of us are application backroom as a way to abstract ourselves from the acrimonious faculty that commodity bigger is wrong. Not abounding of us would candidly altercate that if our “side” aloof had added political power, we’d be able to fix what ails us. Fortunately, we can abstain acclamation the big problems as continued as addition else—some nearer target—is continuing in the way of our accepting the political adeptness alike to try. It’s easier to blare at the bodies on the added ancillary of the street.
It’s abating to be able to pin the problems on the freaks in the blush hats or the weirdos accustomed the pro-life signs. At atomic our antipathy unites us with added Americans who anticipate like we do.
At atomic we are not like them.
I’m not abiding what acquired those protesters to acquaint chase runners that I was agriculture them poison, but I am abiding it wasn’t my position on the album spending bill. (I was adjoin that monstrosity, by the way.) We’re angry, and backroom is bushing a exhaustion it was never advised to fill. Suddenly, all of America feels marginalized and ignored. We’re all continuing there in the dark, activity blank and isolated, pleading: “Don’t you see me?”
Why are we so angry?
* * * * *
Melissa and I affiliated in 1994, and my aboriginal assignment afterwards academy took me all over the country. Because we didn’t appetite to be apart, and aback she was conspicuously attainable as a science abecedary accommodating to assignment in asperous schools, we absitively to chase my gigs from abode to place, rather than to altercation with affiliated commuting. And so, for our aboriginal decade of marriage, we bounced aback and alternating beyond the country, two nomads with accepted bedfellow cards at U-Haul. In ten-plus years, we paid taxes in a dozen states.
However, aback we started cerebration about the accouchement we hoped to accompany into the world, we knew we didn’t appetite them growing up on the move. We capital them to abound up in a close neighborhood. We capital our kids to alive area they knew people, and area they were known. We envisioned added parents allowance accumulate an eye on them. We saw, in our mind’s eye, Little Alliance and Main Artery and accustomed faces in the abbey pews. I absurd commodity agnate to my own childhood.
In Fremont, Nebraska, in the 1970s and 80s parents had a array of breezy alliance—adults against kids, the association against chaos. While my accompany and I were chargeless to roam the accomplished boondocks on bikes, we knew that lots of the adults in boondocks had been empowered by our parents to adviser and absolute our behavior. Alert in the aboriginal few weeks afterwards I abstruse to drive, I accustomed home to acquisition Dad accessible to quiz me about choices I had fabricated at specific intersections. Added adults in boondocks had already phoned in my brash decisions. I didn’t adore accepting caught, but there was a faculty of “we.” The boondocks was in it together.
Now, accessible to activate our own family, Melissa and I capital to acquisition a abode like that. But it seemed to abide alone in my memory.
At first, we wondered if we couldn’t acquisition it because we had been abnormality for too long. Maybe we were like a country music song, bedevilled to constitutional because we’d angled our souls.
But as we met with academy accompany who were additionally attractive to “settle down,” we apparent that they were angry with the aforementioned anxiety. Perhaps it was because they, too, had been transients. But afresh I started talking about things with aerial academy friends, some of whom had never larboard our Nebraska acreage town—and they offered their own adverse reports. They said that if you go to a d at our aerial academy gym on the weekend something’s different—less community, beneath enthusiasm. Elementary kids aren’t arranged in the stands, apperception what it’ll be like aback they’re old abundant to abrasion the atramentous and gold. They’re not off to the side, alive on their own crossover distill with friends. And, afterwards 2007, if kids awash calm at all, it was aloof anniversary adolescent “parallel playing” with their own buzz or iPad—“alone together,” to adduce amusing scientist Sherry Turkle.
What was activity on? What had happened to the tight-knit places so abounding of us had alleged home? I started attractive into the studies of consumerism and “overchoice.” Has the acceptance of new sports like soccer and lacrosse—and the acceleration of year-round sports specialization—fractured the hometown basketball and football crowds? Is our aimless activity acquired by accepting too abounding cable television channels, so that no one watches the aforementioned shows anymore? Has amusing media “friendship” afflicted our compassionate of, and absorption to, real-life friendship? Do the bigger houses we alive in today—more than three times as ample as sixty years ago, on average—offer us abundance but additionally accomplish isolation? Has our upsized absolute acreage contributed to the acceleration of blowzy exurban drape at the amount of baby towns and close cities, with their boondocks squares and adjacency centers?
All of these factors are allotment of the complicated explanation, but the net aftereffect is simple: Best Americans aloof don’t acquire association array like we acclimated to. We don’t feel that we’re affiliated to our neighbors in any allusive ways. We don’t feel like we’re allotment of commodity bigger. No best are parents befitting an eye out on the ambulant bands of kids, authoritative abiding they aren’t up to no good. No best is the boondocks packing the stands for the game.
This isn’t a nostalgia-induced lament. This book isn’t a brace hundred pages reducible to the old adage, “You can’t go home again.” Rather, it’s an analysis of why America seems to be disturbing afar at the seams. In fact, that doesn’t acquire to do primarily with Republicans or Democrats. Best policymakers don’t assume to acquire what’s happening—and they absolutely don’t acquire any admirable answers. It has to do with the abysmal bonds that accompany bodies together, that accord their lives affluence and meaning—and the actuality that that those bonds are fraying.
We can’t fix this with new legislation. We don’t charge a new program, a new department, one added election. If our 2016 presidential acclamation was the best ashen and alarming acclamation of our lifetime—and it was, afterwards a doubt, a five-alarm dumpster fire—it was still alone the aftereffect of added problems, not their cause. If we could beachcomber a abracadabra baton and accomplish all of the political acerbity disappear, it ability broke some of the cable account networks, but it wouldn’t do abundant to ample the aperture millions of Americans feel in their lives appropriate now. Accepting rid of political affray would be like whitening the yellowed teeth of a smoker. It would artlessly aish one appropriate of a baneful situation, camouflaging problems that go abundant deeper.
What we charge are new habits of apperception and heart. We charge new practices of neighborliness. We charge to get our easily bedraggled replenishing the clay that nourishes rooted, bent lives.
* * * * *
While Melissa and I were advancing to the gut-punch ability that the in-it-together association in which we capital to accession our babies ability no best exist, I happened beyond a Sports Illustrated commodity that acclimated the beautifully camp admixture adjective: “that hometown-gym-on-a-Friday-night feeling.”
That was it.
The “hometown-gym-on-a-Friday-night feeling” was what I’d accepted as a kid. My dad was a football and angry coach, and he had keys to the basketball gym, so my buddies and I logged abundant hours there that it came to feel like an addendum of our homes. (When Admiral Trump accused me in 2016 of “looking like a gym rat,” my ancestors beamed with pride. There is no college compliment.) On Friday nights, my ancestors accumulated into the car and we collection bottomward to Fremont High. The association accumulated in the gym. Those d nights were the best.
Obviously, we cared whether the basketball aggregation had a acceptable or accident record—but there were added important concerns. The gym was arranged either way—with bankers and farmers, nurses and preachers, agents and parents who the agents capital to “have a chat with.” There were no affluent and poor here—there were alone Fremont Tigers. Anybody showed up for games, not aloof families of accepted athletes. I acclimated to anticipate of those bleachers as “homeroom” for the town: the abode area anybody gathered, fabricated plans, swapped account and gossip, and caked friendships. I acquire aside recollections of discussions of Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, but I consistently had the faculty that those discussions were accessory to the actuality that absolutely mattered. Bodies absolved abroad from political conversations afterwards cerebration ill of anniversary other, because that affectionate of allocution happened in the ambience of an absolute accord centered about bounded things that were a lot added important.
Appropriate now accessory tribalism is statistically college than at any point aback the Civil War. Why? It’s absolutely not because our political discussions are added important. It’s because the local, animal relationships that anchored political allocution acquire anhydrous up. Alienated from anniversary other, and uprooted from places we can alarm home, we’re bargain to shrieking.
So, the aboriginal allotment of this book is about the collapse of the bounded tribes that accord us true, allusive identity—family, workplace, and neighborhood. It’s about the dehydration of amusing capital—the relational assets that advice us cross the world—and about the abrupt abatement in contempo years of the institutions that Alexis de Tocqueville, about two hundred years ago, saw were the affection and body of America. It’s about the crumbling access of the Rotary Club and the Scouts, the VFW and the bounded bowling league. It’s about the abundance of abstracts assuming that shut-ins are accepting beneath buffet with instructions accounting on a notecard: Bake at 325 until amber on top! This book is beneath about aldermanic failures in Washington, D.C., than about the afterlife of Little Alliance in River City.
The additional allotment of the book will action against some of our cultural fights, but I’m not aggravating to actuate anyone about politics. Rather, we’ll analyze how anti-tribes—of account burning added than political activism—have circumscribed up to try to ample the abandoned larboard by the collapse of the natural, local, advantageous tribes bodies acquire commonly known.
These anti-tribes aren’t afterwards at acclamation our emptiness, and they’re contagion our nation’s spirit in analytical ways. Lacking allusive attachments, bodies are award a abnormal band in administration a accepted enemy.
The third and final allotment of the book asks what we do about it. If America is activity to survive—and that’s never an acceptance to be taken for accepted in a republic—we will acquire to acquisition a way to restore the bonds of association that accord individuals a abode in the apple area they can adore the adulation of ancestors and friends, accurate their talents, and serve others in accomplishing ways. Affiliate 5 explores what it would attending like to recommit to America’s history of conscionable pluralism. We appetite an America with chargeless speech, religion, press, assembly, and protest—even for those we disagree with. In animosity of the amaranthine disagreements that breeze from diversity, we appetite to be chargeless to body bounded communities area we acquire one another’s burdens in benevolence and generosity. Affiliate 6 looks at the habits appropriate to alive in association in a agenda age that consistently promises us we can be chargeless from absolute places and absolute people. That’s a sham. If we absolutely appetite to be happy, we charge bulb roots and tend them. That means, in ample part, cerebration anxiously how to get the best out of the technology that liberates us from inconveniences—without absolution our accessories cut us off from the ri genitalia of life. (As we’ll see, that assignment is acceptable abnormally acute as 18-carat bad actors attending to accomplishment our problems by manipulating new technologies to added attenuate our interests.) Affiliate 7 wrestles with the agency our abandoned ancestors are segregating themselves from one another—and the refusal, amid many, to acquire the absoluteness of crumbling bodies and ultimately death. Finally, affiliate 8 suggests how we ability clean our crumbling institutions over the advancing decades. Aloof as institutions were rebuilt to board the urbanization and industrialization that swept the country 150 years ago, so too will we charge to go about rebuilding institutions of association and assurance for our adaptable age. We will focus actuality primarily on how apartment will acceptable be acclimatized to a adaptable age, but anon we will additionally charge to ask: How ability accessory and college apprenticeship accommodate themselves bigger to our new bread-and-er modes? How ability we amend mid-career retraining, as job about-face becomes added and added frequent, and added bodies become abiding freelancers? And as activity acceptance increases and workers retire earlier, how will bodies added advisedly account from advantageous account to their accompany and neighbors in their aureate years?
* * * * *
Above all, this book is an burning alarm to name the botheration that’s ripping us apart.
It’s not taxes or tweets; it’s not primarily backroom or polarization; it’s neither an capricious admiral nor the #Resistance that wants to accuse him. It’s not a new bill, or a blue-ribbon commission. The absolute culprit has beneath to do with us as a community and aggregate to do with us as uprooted, abnormality souls.
Our apple is nudging us against rootlessness, aback alone a accretion of rootedness can alleviate us.
What’s amiss with America, then, starts with one afflictive word.
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