Sunday, February 11, 2007

Will conservatism hold us back?

The US likes to think of itself as a young country, yet it has one of the oldest constitutions on Earth. American consumers have resisted abandoning the dollar bill even though it is worth little by the standards of a century ago, and every other Western country has dropped equivalent value bills. People resist change in these ways even as they adopt new technology at a greedy pace. Why does the US have this dichotomy between conservatism in ideas and ways of life, yet eagerness to see new technology?

I suspect that in a world where technology moves at a bewildering pace, it is important to have a psychological anchor. People need something to hold on to. If we want consumers and citizens to adopt new activities and concepts we have to allow them a stanchion to hold on to.

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