United States Incompetence

Art Carey, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $17.95 (203p) ISBN 978-0-395-57039-5
Complaining that a two-lane bridge near his home took three years to repair, and moving on to ponder illiterate high school graduates, shoddy goods and the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Carey spotlights the ineptitude and outright ignorance endemic to American society. Chapters deal with the decline of the work ethic, the disarray of families, education, rising crime, violence and immorality in a nation of self-indulgent TV addicts. Carey ( In Defense of Marriage ) maintains that a pattern of grievance and feelings of victimization afflict both organized labor and affirmative action programs. He interweaves a common, conservative-leaning polemic against unions, AIDS activists, ``tenured radicals'' on campus and federal funding for controversial art. Ultimately the book is a familiar litany of symptoms, with few concrete proposals beyond calling for ``a resurgence of moral bravery'' to combat incompetence, diagnosed here as ``an attitude . . . an acquired characteristic.'' (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
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