America's Decline

Thomas Friedman, David Brooks, Charlie Rose and Kono Matsu square off.

“I personally think that we need a third party. I think we are caught in the middle of a corrupt duopoly that cannot get to the right answers anymore because of a lot of deeply embedded things that have happened to American politics. I think we need to blow this system wide open. I hope the Tea Party is just a precursor of something much bigger.”
Tom Friedman on Charlie Rose

“I have made a career out of making fun of all the decline warnings that have happened over the last 30 years, but nonetheless I am more pessimistic now than I ever have been before. In part because we have a government problem. As Tom says, we have a duopoly, two parties growing ever more rigid, ever more incapable of functioning. And secondly we have a middle age problem … Mancur Olson wrote a great book called The Rise and Decline of Nations, about how as nations become more middle-aged they become encrusted with arrangements and habits and things which slow them down. And I think that’s happening, certainly on a governmental level, the crony capitalism that is now the norm in Washington. And I think it’s happening economically, the decline in small business formation, the stagnation of middle-class wages. These are long-term, not cyclical, problems. So I’m much more pessimistic than I was, and see a potential at least for some absolute decline without some sort of gigantic shakeup of the political system in the way Tom envisions. I don’t see a third party there right now, but I hope so.”
David Brooks on Charlie Rose

THE RISE OF THE TRUECOST
PARTY OF AMERICA


Hey Charlie Rose, I still really enjoy the occasional wake-up moments you deliver like the ones above, but lately I’m feeling downright antsy sitting here night after night watching your TV talk show avoid the big questions. At a time when America is in economic, political and cultural free fall, where are the radical voices envisioning a new future? Where are the ecological economists, the outside thinkers, the voices from the far left and far right, the protest organizers, the anarchists, the downshifters and the indigenous sages? Where are Norman Finkelstein, Saul Newman, Manuel Castells? Damn it, Charlie, why can’t you break out of your New York echo chamber every now and again and give us the next Ivan Illich, Michel Foucault or Malcolm X?

Kono Matsu

What do you think? What is the status of our intellectual elite? Who are the outside thinkers paving the way towards a better tomorrow? Share them below.