Economist, Tyler Cowen, and author of Complacent Class says that people in America are complacent because of the increase in self-segregation, a tendency to move toward communities similar to you regarding topics such as politics, socio-economic status, and religion. The article The Big Short further describes this migration toward like-minded people and it’s dangers for our country. Groups are becoming more polarized as they continue to hear one-sided campaigns and shut out the other side with refusal to listen. This is part of the reason politics have become so sensitive to debates because the polarization is making us forget how to talk with those with different beliefs than us.

The complacent class in America is self-segregating because of successes like technological and military. It feels as though they have all the resources necessary to continue their lifestyle. There is no need to reach out to other groups because all the answers can be found inside. Often times this is not done explicitly. Groups purposefully do not remain in their bubbles of like-minded people and refuse information from opposing beliefs, much of it has happened subconsciously.

Complacency has lead to a lack of initiative in solving national and world problems. For example, the U.S. debt exceeded $20 trillion in August of 2017, because the problem has gone on for so many years left unattended. There is a sense of selfishness that if a problem is not affecting a group directly, the group will do little to change it.

The sense of complacency has led to segregation and lack of initiative, but it goes the other way as well; segregation has led to complacency. The more we live within like-minded communities, the more we see the positives of the cooperation stuck within those areas, and the more we become ignorant to the rest of the world becoming stagnant due to lack of cooperation at a larger level.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Why is America becoming more complacent? by Mary is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

1 Comment
  1. Beth 7 months ago

    Hi Mary! I find this topic fascinating, yet terrifying, so I was glad to see you write about this. I think a lot of people partake in this “self-segregation” without even realizing it because they are afraid or being challenged, even though that’s what leads to growth. This is the reason why people can hardly even have a discussion without it turning into a wordy fight, as we often see in political discussions. I also liked how you brought in the idea that if a problem isn’t affecting a group directly, they won’t do anything to take action against the unjust activity. It is frustratingly true, and I could list a hundred issues that could be solved if people could just listen, discuss civilly, work together and think about what they would want if they were in this situation.

    Check out this podcast on the issue:
    https://one.npr.org/?sharedMediaId=517915510:518087629

    Thanks for sharing!!

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