The Thick Crust of Cynicism and the Civic Power of the Individual; Percentage of U.S. Households Receiving Government Benefits

By September 12th, 2013

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The Relevance of Reason – Business and Politics

The Relevance of Reason – Society and Culture*

* Release Date: October 1, 2013

(Brody and Schmitt Publishers, an Imprint of Summerland Publishing)(2013)

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The Thick Crust of Cynicism and the Civic Power of the Individual and Community 

           “…(I)ncreasingly over the last several decades the press, the public, and our politicians have all become thickly encrusted with cynicism.

           Many Americans are left to find their encouragement, solace, meaning, and what passes for reason from the voices on talk shows and from the banter of like-minded, talking heads. Instead of being brought together by the voices of thoughtful leadership, by the sage wisdom of or from another generation, or from bonds of community and commonality, we are now only brought together by events of national sorrow such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Superstorm Sandy, or by the senseless killings at a political rally in Arizona, a college campus in Virginia, a shopping mall in Oregon, a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, a cafeteria in Texas, a movie theatre in Colorado, a shooting at an elementary school in Colorado, a bombing at the Boston Marathon, and the list goes on. But these common and shared events are not enough to sustain us as a nation. The news of these events and the moments of followed grief are not enough to keep us bound together as a nation. We need more. We deserve more. We must both aspire and demand more — not from our leaders but our own leadership — by our words, by our deeds, by our own insistence on the importance of our own communities, and by our civic faith — hard as it may be to imagine — in one another.

          Each of us does have an impact upon our friends, upon our co-workers, and upon our neighbors. The challenge is great, but it is also possible. However, in an age when voices are raises, when tones are strident, and when both minds and doors too often remain locked, little change will be accomplished. This is not some kumbaya form of “Yes. we can.” This is a form of “Yes, we must” — a challenge to both accepting and asserting more personal and civic responsibility; to accepting and asserting our influences of gentility, force, ethics, right, and all of those things we know are right. There is no intended lecture of ethics here — but it is an invitation to step forward. To believe in America is to believe in Americans.


Percentage of Americans Living in Households Receiving Government Benefits

          “The percentage of Americans ‘living in a households receiving government benefits’ has steadily increased over the last decades from appr. 30% of U.S. households in the 1980s to appr. 50% of U.S. households in 2010. See the 23-part article entitled “Are Entitlements Corrupting Us?” by Eberstadt, N., “American Character Is at Stake,” and Galston, W., “They’re Part of the Civic Compact,” The Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2012.

In this two-author article, Eberstadt presents extensive empirical and financial data suggesting the scope, extent, and dangers of what is characterized by some as a ‘culture of dependence.’ Galston, on the other hand, points out that the empirical data more accurately reflects demographic changes, such as the aging U.S. population, the near disappearance” of pensions and health insurance for retirees, and certain macroeconomic changes, including the disproportionate concentrations of wealth. Galston argues that “the usual dyad of dependence/independence is too crude. We must take account of a third term – interdependence.” Id.

Borgen, M., The Relevance of Reason – Business and Politics (2013), pp., 235-236.




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