Friday, November 24, 2017

Edward Luce & the "Time to Start Thinking" about the "Retreat of Western Liberalism" and making "America Great Again"

It's hard to believe that Edward Luce first warned of the risks to American greatness and the "retreat of Western Liberalism" way back in 2011 with his first book Time to Start Thinking. That was back when Mitt Romney was squaring off against Barack Obama in a smart, well-argued presidential campaign between two clear-thinking and respectable leaders who simply had different ideas about the challenges facing American society in the twenty-first century. What happened to that? Oh, to go back to a time when we argued about whether Russia was a friend or enemy. It seems so quaint.

The challenges facing American society on the multiple fronts of economics, finance, politics, culture, and world vision are not beyond us if we're willing to think long and hard about them as we debate who we are and how we got here. And that quest for clarity and truth can certainly be helped by the erudite views of a (somewhat) objective observer without the baggage of American identity politics. Enter Edward Luce, columnist for the Financial Times and writer of several books on geo-politics and finance. Luce has the education and insight to offer critical analysis of our economic sector and the misplaced emphasis on corporate spreadsheets rather than wages and spending power. He also has some pretty powerful revelations about our misunderstanding of what our own military leaders think in regards to their mission and their budget.

In Time to Start Thinking, Luce covers in-depth "The Lonely Middle Class" and its struggles to survive amidst growing automation, innovation, and re-direction. Sadly, Americans continually look to Washington and politics as the source of our troubles, but the reality is that our society has frayed throughout a decreased sense of community, a misguided understanding of economics, an outdated approach to education, and a refusal to align downturns in finances and employment with the true deciders in those areas.  Perhaps the best part of Luce's books is found in his opposition to including a checklist of policy suggestions which will repair our present and improve our future. Those have become all too cliche. Instead his book simply offers important history and perspective to consider.