America 3.0: The Coming Reinvention of America

I originally linked this a couple of months ago — here is one big optimistic view from  James C. Bennett and Michael J. Lotus at The American:

America is currently in a painful transition period, but once it emerges, it will be more prosperous and free than ever before.

The United States of America is in crisis. The economy is supposedly in recovery, but it is the slowest and most painful economic rebound since the Great Depression. Unemployment is high and millions have dropped out of the workforce entirely. Many American families have suffered a collapse in their net worth since 2009. During the current administration, America’s debt has increased from ten trillion to sixteen trillion dollars. American businesses face a regulatory burden of well over a trillion dollars per year. Investment in start-up businesses is thwarted and innovation is far short of what it should be. The government is abusing its powers and attacking basic liberties.

All this bad news makes it easy to despair and to worry that the decline might just be permanent. But as bad as things are today — and they will likely get worse for some years to come — the future will be bright for the United States because we are, in fact, in a period of transformation, not decline.

Transformation not Disintegration

America has already once made a change on the scale of that which is happening now. That was when it transformed itself from the rural and agrarian society of the founding era — which we call America 1.0 — to the urban and industrial society that peaked in the mid-20th century — which we call America 2.0. That earlier transition, from roughly 1860 to 1920, was more painful than most people think. Yet the transformed, industrial America became the wonder of the world.

The American political and economic regime now in crisis was built for the world of America 2.0. Today, we are in the midst of a dramatic transition.

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