Sixty-two scholars have signed on to a report by the Institute for American Values and other think tanks called, “For a New Thrift: Confronting the Debt Culture,” examining the results of all this. This may be damning with faint praise, but it’s one of the most important think-tank reports you’ll read this year.David goes on to list a number of reasons or the 'agents of destruction' who have played a role in making the American public "less socially conscious about money and debt." Strangely, he does not include what I consider the most important agent: the self. Personal responsibility comes first, no...before you starting blaming other causes that have merely supported this personal indulgence and irresponsibility.
By the way, you' have to BUY the report. Copies are $7.00 each. (Fair enough.. not an expensive report costing hundreds or even thousdands. And yet... there are many free reports that many organizations put out from time to time. Make it free, Institute of American Values!
Update: After reading Brooks' article some more I realized there is a nice summary of the report by Barbara Dafoe Whitehead in the American Interest, which is available for free online.