Human nature, in no form of it, could ever bear prosperity.
– John Adams Letter to Thomas Jefferson, quoted in David Brooks “The Next Culture War”
Over the past few years, however, there clearly has been an erosion in the country’s financial values.
These numbers are the outward sign of a values shift. If there is to be a correction, it will require a moral and cultural movement.
– “The Next Culture War”, David Brooks, The New York Times, September 29
For a more in depth treatment of this subject, see Stephen Malanga’s superb “Whatever Happened To The Work Ethic?”, City Journal, Summer 2009:
Bailout plans, new regulatory schemes, and monetary policy moves won’t be enough to spur a robust, long term revival of American economic opportunity without some renewal of what was once understood as the work ethic – not just hard work but also a set of accompanying virtues, whose crucial role in the development and sustaining of free markets too few now recall.