The Trouble with America
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The Trouble with America

Flawed Government, Failed Society
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Kenneth J. Long
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The Trouble with America critiques the theory and practice of American government—government too weak to solve our public problems, restrained more in its ability to do good than in its ability to do harm, and grossly unfair to the poor and middle classes. As a result, we Americans find ourselves with poor leadership, inadequate representation, failing policies, and a pathological culture.
The Trouble with America critiques the theory and practice of American government, focusing on the fatal flaws of America's core political arrangements. Institutionalized pluralism, the structural dispersal of power, generates government too weak to solve our public problems. American constitutionalism, the limitation of government power and authority, protects property rights far better than it defends our civil liberties, and it offers little or no protection for non-citizens. Capitalism is a hyper-competitive and grossly unfair economic system, which rewards pre-existing wealth far better than hard work or talent, and encourages petty materialist consumption of mostly low-quality goods, undermining taste as well as fairness. Taken together, pluralism, constitutionalism, and capitalism in America harm our society in a myriad of ways, leaving us with inadequate representation, poor leadership, social and political paralysis and irresponsibility, unrealistic self-images, and scandalously poor domestic and foreign policies. This book will prove a valuable supplement in American government courses, an alternative to the centrist material currently dominating textbooks on this subject.

Chapter 1 Introduction: Where the Trouble Lies
Chapter 2

Chapter I: The Roots of the Trouble

Chapter 3

Chapter 1. Pluralism and its Discontents

Chapter 4

Chapter 2. Constitutionalism and the Limitation of Virtue

Chapter 5

Chapter 3. Capitalism and the Ethos of Greed

Chapter 6

Chapter II. The Trouble Itself

Chapter 7

Chapter 4. Making a Mess of Things at Home: American Domestic Policy

Chapter 8

Chapter 5. A Menace to the World: American Foreign Policy

Chapter 9 Postscript: Is American Reparable?

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