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The Smart Society Strengthening America's Greatest Resource, Its People

By Peter D. Salins
Encounter Books 2014 ISBN: 9781594037009

About the Book

The Smart Society offers a detailed blueprint for how the United States can recast its human capital policies to make all Americans—not just a privileged elite—smarter and more successful than ever before, at the same stemming the size and cost of its welfare state. The spectacular, centuries-long success of the United States is based on its having determined, early on, to be a smart country, single-mindedly developing institutions and practices that encouraged and enabled its native born citizens to maximize their economic and social potential, and welcoming opportunity-seeking foreigners to join them. Over the last four decades, however, the vaunted United States human capital machine has been breaking down, dimming the economic and social prospects of millions of Americans, crowding the nation’s welfare rolls and prisons, and sharply inflating the size and cost of the nation’s “safety net.”

If The Smart Society blueprint is followed, these trends can be reversed and the nation and its people can quickly regain their preeminence in the hyper-competitive and globalized world of the 21st century. This is a most topical issue today because the country’s current heated political disagreements are not just about the proper size of government, but about how the United States can reverse its apparent decline and restore its historic economic and social vigor—in other words, regain its place as the world’s most “exceptional” nation.

About the Author

Peter Salins is a senior fellow of the Manhattan Institute's Center for State and Local Leadership, University Professor of Political Science at Stony Brook University and director of its graduate program in public policy, a fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a director of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council of New York, and a trustee of the Lavanburg Foundation.