Hard vs. Soft America


Michael Barone of U.S. News and World Report has an original insight into a significant contrast between what he calls "Soft America" and "Hard America" -- Hard America being "the part of American life subject to competition and accountability". Most modern American kids aren't exposed to Hard America until age 18, and that, Barone says, is why America produces incompetent 18 year olds and competent 30 year olds.

My wife and I are doing our part to produce competent 18 year olds. Our children, even at their young ages, deal with accountability and are held responsible for their actions at home. There's a place for softness -- being understanding and forbearing as a child matures -- while remaining firm and insisting that the child take responsibility for the consequences of his behavior. We willingly pay a premium so that our son can have an education grounded in the same philosophy.

It's a brilliant insight by Michael Barone (not an unusual occurrence) and worth a read. (Thanks to Instapundit for the link.)

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 11, 2003 12:59 AM.

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