America In Decline, Sowell Says, Citing Spending, International Policy

“…the education system has not taught people how to see through rhetoric. Somewhere Oliver Wendell Holmes says that the purpose of education is to create a mind that cannot be humbugged by words. Well, that is not the purpose of American education now. Much of the humbugging by words takes place inside the educational institutions themselves. Students are not generally taught to see both sides of an issue and learn how to analyze in such ways to see what the differences are and how you would sort it all out. Instead they’re given one side and they’re told that one side is it…”

~ Professor Thomas Sowell

David Hogberg
Investor’s Business Daily
9/22/2010

Early in his administration, President Reagan confidently asserted that “America’s best days lie ahead.” At the time it was true, but noted economist Thomas Sowell thinks it’s no longer the case.

In his new book, “Dismantling America,” Sowell argues that this nation is becoming one that many Americans no longer recognize as the country they grew up in or expected to pass on to their children and grandchildren. Rather, like Rome, America may be entering a prolonged period of decline.

Sowell sat down with IBD recently to discuss the political, social and economic forces that are leading to this decline and what, if anything, can reverse it.

IBD: What are the markers of national decline? What characteristics are different from a few decades ago that if they don’t improve will lead to this country falling apart?

Sowell: One of the most serious current signs is the governing style of this administration, which is to impose as many things as possible on the public from the top down, without even letting them know what’s going on.

Huge bills that fundamentally change the way the economy op erates have been rushed through Congress without hearings, without debate, and so fast that not even the members of Congress have a chance to read them. That’s circumventing the notion of a constitutional government, and that’s really at the heart of what the country is. The only analogy I can think of from history is when the Norman conquerors of England published their laws in French for an English-speaking nation. The utter arrogance — you’re not even to know what the laws are until it is too late.

The article continues at IBD.

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