Tyler Cowen on the painful end of American complacency


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Headlining any conversation with Tyler Cowen is difficult. This one, for instance, covers how to write a book, single-payer health care, political correctness, loneliness, the expanding Overton window, the tech backlash, technological innovation, the case for American optimism, how to change our cultural assumptions about race, and much more. But if there is a theme, it calls back to Cowen’s fascinating 2017 book, The Complacent Class. There, Cowen argued that contrary to the widespread belief that America was undergoing convulsive change, it was actually changing less than ever — becoming geographically, ideologically, politically, and technologically complacent. But surveying the past year or so in American life, Cowen thinks that the age of American complacency is ending faster than he expected — and that change of the sort that’s happening now will prove deeply painful, even if it also kick-starts our economy and builds us a better future. Recommended books: The Dawn of Eurasia: On the Trail of the New World Order by Bruno MaCaes Symposium by Plato Grant by Ron Chernow Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson The Beatles: The Authorized Biography by Hunter Davies The Autobiography of John Stuart Mill Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi

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