Steven Brill: The Fifty-Year Fall of America


Manage episode 210462461 series 2359906
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In the face of jailing immigrant children, questions about capitalism amid tariffs and possible trade wars, and concerns about democracy as we reject western allies and warmly welcome authoritarians and dictators, a lot of us are wondering not just who are we, but also, how in the world did we get here?Steven Brill feels he has an answer.You likely know: Brill is a serial ideas entrepreneur. He founded, among other ventures, American Lawyer and Court TV. He has taken on some of our biggest issues and institutions – Law, Journalism, Healthcare, Schools. Now he’s at it again, and the topic is no less than the American decline.He has written it all down in “Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America's Fifty-Year Fall--and Those Fighting to Reverse It”Tailspin is a vital and complicated story that Brill simplifies like this: About five decades ago, the core values that make America great began to bring America down.The story’s also complicated because, as you’ll hear, Brill himself is a beneficiary of the very system that seems to have gone haywire: Meritocracy. That well-meaning approach to success – where we all get judged by what we can do rather than from where we came – has been turned against itself. As the knowledge-based economy grew, those at the top have pulled up the ladders. We live, he argues, in a country of moats.