Corporate Culture and America’s Unraveling

Michael EdesessWhat has gone wrong with the United States? Below are a few of the facts cited in New York Times reporter David Leonhardt’s recent book, Ours Was the Shining Future: The Story of the American Dream, explaining why one would ask that question:

  • “In 1980, life expectancy [Ed. note: at birth] in the United States was similar to that in other high-income countries. We have since become a grim outlier.” (Life expectancy in the United States in 2021 was 59th among all countries, just behind Algeria.)
  • “The number of children living with only one parent or with neither has doubled since the 1970s. The obesity rate has nearly tripled. The number of Americans who have spent time behind bars at some point has risen five-fold.”
  • “To get from downtown Shanghai to the city’s main airport, almost twenty miles away, you can take an eight-minute ride on a train that reaches a speed of more than 250 miles an hour. When you return to the United States, you will often need nearly an hour to make the trip from an airport to a city center.”

Leonhardt’s title is, Ours Was the Shining Future. And it was, once. What happened to that future?