Layla's Reviews > That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back

That Used to Be Us by Thomas L. Friedman
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's review
Dec 17, 2011

really liked it
Read from December 17, 2011 to January 05, 2012

Excerpt. And yes, that first sentence sums it up quite nicely.

We are nearly complete in our evolution from Lewis and Clark into Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam. We used to embrace challenges, endure privation, throttle our fear and strike out into the (unknown) wilderness. In this mode we rallied to span the continent with railroads, construct a national highway system, defeated monstrous dictators, cured polio and landed men on the moon. Now we text and put on makeup as we drive, spend more on video games than books, forswear exercise, demonize hunting, and are rapidly succumbing to obesity and diabetes. So much for the pioneering spirit that made us (once) the greatest nation on earth, one that others looked up to and called "exceptional."

Other than the section where the authors discuss education, they tend to overlook the fact that many conservatives and libertarians want greater accountability and less waste in how tax dollars are spent and do not simply believe we should all just coast through life without having to pay taxes. Aside from this omission, excellent read.
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