An essay for the year and years ahead 

I can’t recommend too highly Jim Manzi’s essay “Keeping America’s Edge” in the latest (and second) issue of the new National Interest. He looks ahead at America’s need to balance the often contradictory demands for economic innovation and social cohesion. Manzi argues that the Obama administration’s policies tilt too much toward the latter goal (while being likely to miss it) and not enough to the former, and he concludes by suggesting a different approach.

To whet you appetite, let me quote his second paragraph.

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.

As Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) says, read the whole thing. This is one of the few pieces I’ve read recently that I wish I had written.

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Michael Barone

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