The Index Of Leading Cultural Indicators
a book by William J. Bennett
(our site's book review)
The Index Of Leading Cultural Indicators is a statistics-based warning about our decomposing nation: “Unless these exploding social pathologies are reversed, they will lead to the decline and perhaps even to the fall of the American republic. . . . Modern-day social pathologies have gotten worse. They seem impervious to government spending . . . . even very large amounts of spending.” Author John Updike has written that: “The fact that, compared to the inhabitants of Africa and Russia, we still live well, cannot ease the pain of knowing we no longer live nobly.” See The Responsive Communitarian Platform.
We need to quit looking to social engineering superheroes and rely on local community efforts
The author rightly concludes that “in a free society the ultimate responsibility rests with the people themselves.” He points to policies the government can enact to encourage cultural renewal—he lists them; they’re the usual conservative mix. But he also warns of the limitations of social engineering and says we need to lower our expectations of government and raise our expectations for ourselves—and he is right. “Never before has the reach of government been greater or its purse larger—and never before have our social pathologies been worse.” He examines the values our culture expresses in its movies and finds them sorely lacking. See Your Children Are Under Attack.
Divorce rate in the U.S. from 1935 to 2010
Suicide rate in U.S. from 1960 to 2010
Illicit drug use from 2010 to 2011
U.S. people in prison
U.S. Adult Obesity 2009-2010
U.S. serious mental illness