Magazine May 1, 2017, Issue

Immobility in America

The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream, by Tyler Cowen (St. Martin’s, 256 pp., $28.99)

It’s the end of the world as we knew it, and the rich feel fine. The rest of us? We’re stuck and stagnant, and can’t quite figure out whether we’re okay.

Tyler Cowen’s new book is a challenging read. It’s one of several important books in recent years — Charles Murray’s Coming Apart (2012) and Robert Putnam’s Our Kids (2015) also come to mind — that describe why America is not what it used to be and why, in general, this is a very bad thing.

Cowen is focused on the question of dynamism and, more precisely, why we lost it. Americans

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Politics & Policy


More Food, Fewer Farmers Robert D. Atkinson’s piece “In Defense of Robots” (April 17) made me reflect on the great impact that advances in technology have had on my own ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ It takes a special talent to come off as the bad guy in a conversation about Bashar al-Assad and Adolf Hitler. ‐ Susan Rice, Barack Obama’s national-security adviser, admits, after ...
Politics & Policy


WHAT CAME BEFORE When the mists of antiquity roll down the mountain with what came before written history, before the celestial irresolution of dark and light, when persistent survival was a near miracle, at the ...


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