The Vigorous Virtues

David Brooks addresses the issue of national decline in his September 1, 2011 New York Times Op-Ed, "The Vigorous Virtues."

He asks, "is America on the way down, and, if so, what can be done about it?" Brooks then analyzes the roles of government, particular political figures, and education in restoring "the vigorous virtues" of America.

"In the first place, there is the need to rebuild America’s human capital. The United States became the wealthiest nation on earth primarily because Americans were the best educated.

That advantage has entirely eroded over the past 30 years. It will take an active government to reverse this stagnation — from prenatal and early childhood education straight up through adult technical training and investments in scientific and other research. If government is 'inconsequential' in this sphere, then continued American decline is inevitable."

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