In a society without a strong moral base, everything is up for grabs. We can see this in those nations without strong governmental or cultural institutions, where theft, corruption, and even tribal barbarism often reign. But what about a rich society with strong civil institutions? How can we begin to tell when things might be going a bit awry? I suggest that a simple test is the extent to which we act to get everything for ourselves without respect for what we are producing of value for society itself. This column explores federal legislation, special interests, and private behavior in terms of how they reflect a trend of expecting something for nothing.
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