by Bruce Thornton
Hoover Institution
January 16, 2013
With the rise of entitlements, we are not only experiencing a crisis of finances, but also a crisis of character. The welfare trends Eberstadt documents in this indispensible book are clearly unsustainable. But as Eberstadt cautions, the enormous wealth of America and the privileged global role of its currency mean this state of affairs can continue for a long time, as the destigmatization of dependence and the demonization of success insidiously eat away at both our massive wealth and our moral capital. As Adam Smith once said, “There is a lot of ruin in a nation.” But sooner or later, the bill will come due, and Americans will no longer be the people who created the richest and most powerful nation in history. They will be just another “nation of takers.”

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