America is angry. We are angry at government, angry at wealth and angry at politicians in general. We are also bitterly divided about the causes of our difficulties, the solutions and how to implement them. For some there is too much government interference in our lives, too much regulation and profligate government spending. For others, social issues are paramount. Many perceive that the impact of money on our politics is the root of our problems.

All of this focus on the objects of our wrath has become fertile ground for politicians, pundits and authors. The result in many cases has been to preach to the converted, telling us what we want to hear. That can lead to furtherance of the discord rather than to building sufficient support for actual, positive change. While feeding the righteous indignation of one camp or another, books with emotionally charged titles, disdain and condemnation don’t assist us in the effort to find consensus. Instead, we remain immobilized by conflicting beliefs and objectives and our inability to agree on specifics. Without broad agreement as to even the causes of our difficulties, efforts to achieve meaningful change will lack sufficient support for realization.

Things are never black and white. The demand for less regulation carries the seed of bloated and often out of date rules and laws. The call for more government control recognizes the failures that led to the financial collapse and other excesses. There is a mid-ground here and in all of the other areas of disagreement.  But incendiary rhetoric and belittling will not lead us there.

Until we begin to resolve the deep divisions in our country, through efforts to seek common ground, achieving acceptable solutions will be unlikely. The focus of America Adrift is on precisely this topic. While it isn’t currently fashionable to view the issue this way, nor viscerally as satisfying (or profitable) as the blame game, it’s critical that we begin to heal the divisions among us. Without broad, unified support for the changes needed, any change will likely be either imperfect or not occur at all. America Adrift is an effort to lead us to a different, more productive path.

2 Responses so far.

  1. CHARMING says:

    Mr. Lee gives a tuhoghtful argument in favor of regulation as a way to maintain free, competitive and thriving economies. Allowing the most powerful interests to grow at the expense of competition is akin to allowing a cancerous tumor to fester; one that saps the strength of the bodies vital systems. Whatever happened to our antitrust laws?

  2. Larry R says:

    Our anti-trust laws, like so much of regulation these days, is in the grip of the same powerful groups who disproportionatly influence our elected officials to the detriment of the public. Until we change that, the anti-trust and other controls on the excesses of capitalism will be largely token efforts replete with loopholes and underenforcement.