The United States, indeed the World, stands at the precipice of an historic change. Not just generational change; not just new electronic horizons; not just shifts in culture; not even the same climate. The United States as it has existed since the Second World War and especially since the 1980s will not exist in twenty years.
Mariner hasn’t surmised this future. It is the opinion of many intellectual and professional writers, leaders, scientists and philosophers – several with Nobel Prizes, many with Pulitzer prizes – all with concern whether we will be prepared for the seismic shift. At the moment, the US and State Governments, the oligarchical economy, the lack of plans for an economy that cares for the entire population not just the privileged, the standoff between climate change and fossil fuel economy, the dysfunctional education and job preparation institutions, and the symptomatic rise of identity isolationism all suggest the common man on the street is woefully exposed to the vagaries of change over the next twenty years.
If the citizenry is to minimize its exposure to poverty, environmental travesty and political failure, each citizen must make an effort to improve sociability in family, community and have a moral obligation to the nation and its citizens. Further, each person must educate themselves to the realities that will confront the nation over the next twenty years.
To suggest a tone for pursuit of quality understanding and insights, mariner offers three recent books that address the seismic shift. There are many more books and magazines that already provide a steady stream about the nation’s imminent future. Mariner also lists several broadcasting sources that are veritable libraries of quality discourse. Everyone must respond to the changes. Become conscious of social morality and become educated.
Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity
by Joseph E. Stiglitz
Joseph E. Stiglitz is a Nobel laureate in economics, University Professor at Columbia University, and chief economist of the Roosevelt Institute.
“The United States bills itself as the land of opportunity, a place where anyone can achieve success and a better life through hard work and determination. But the facts tell a different story—the U.S. today lags behind most other developed nations in measures of inequality and economic mobility. For decades, wages have stagnated for the majority of workers while economic gains have disproportionately gone to the top one percent. Education, housing, and health care—essential ingredients for individual success—are growing ever more expensive. Deeply rooted structural discrimination continues to hold down women and people of color, and more than one-fifth of all American children now live in poverty. These trends are on track to become even worse in the future.”
By Bill McKibben.
Bill McKibben is recognized around the world for his dedication to the environment and health of the planet. He first warned of climate change 30 years ago and says its effects are now upon us: “The idea that anybody’s going to be immune from this anywhere is untrue.”
In his latest book, Falter, McKibben broadens the potential disruption to question whether the human race is in an end game.
The Second Mountain, The Quest for a Moral Life
By David Brooks.
David Brooks is a Canadian-born American center-right political and cultural commentator who writes for The New York Times. He has worked as a film critic for The Washington Times; a reporter and later op-ed editor for The Wall Street Journal; a senior editor at The Weekly Standard from its inception; a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Atlantic Monthly; and a commentator on NPR. Brooks is currently a columnist for The New York Times and commentator on PBS NewsHour.
“This book is meant to help us all lead more meaningful lives. But it’s also a provocative social commentary. We live in a society, Brooks argues, that celebrates freedom and choice, that tells us to be true to ourselves, to march to the beat of our own drummer at the expense of surrendering to a cause, rooting ourselves in a neighborhood, and binding ourselves to others by social solidarity and love. We have taken individualism to the extreme degree—and, in the process, we have torn the social fabric in a thousand different ways. The path to repair is through making deeper commitments.”
Mariner’s opinion is that FOX, CNN and MSNBC are low quality sources for actual and meaningful information. Instead, try perusing the CSPAN video library or keep an eye for meaningful book reviews on CSPAN-BOOKS.
Check out NEWSY, a low budget news channel with no frills, just the facts, no pundits and ongoing insightful specials about issues of the day.
Check out PBS and NPR – not just the broadcasts but peruse the websites.
Mariner has mentioned previously The Atlantic, The Economist, The New Yorker and Scientific American Magazine as solid sources for insight into the reality of these times.
Check the New York Times for new books on important subjects.
How will Citizens prepare for the rapidly rising neo-Nazi presence in democratic nations? Even the US has a nationalist, racist President.
The bottom line – in the US at least – is an individual’s vote. Like a chess move, the vote must be played with insight and an awareness of future moves. Today’s US governments clearly are inept representations of a past that no longer applies. It is the reader’s job to vote for new values and knowledgeable representatives that will help everyone survive the seismic shift.