The War on Human Nature by Victor Davis Hanson

For nations as for individuals, pretending self-interest doesn’t exist is perilous.

If Americans receive essentially zero interest on their passbook accounts, are they more or less likely to save? If they do save, are they more or less likely to rush into the stock market seeking any return over 1 percent? And will that desperation make stock offerings more or less accountable? Are zero-interest-earning savers in their 60s more or less likely to stay on their jobs? If the former, will that more or less retard employment of younger others?

On matters of borrowing, do serial discussions about forgiving credit-card debt, student-loan debt, and mortgage debt encourage more Americans to borrow what they cannot pay back? Does the idea of forgiving debt persuade struggling American consumers that they must continue to meet their debt obligations and make timely interest and principal payments? Do people assume that they must be meticulous in making their payments so as to ensure that others need not be?

Does a president’s expression of racial solidarity with a figure of similar race involved in an ongoing civil or criminal court case lessen racial tensions? Does such editorializing serve to remind Americans that the law and politics are two separate spheres, or that the accused is assumed innocent until proven guilty?


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