America Is Filled With Self-Centered Jerks

Frank Bruni: Individualism trumps the public good these days
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2012 12:54 PM CDT
Starter pistols might cause a TSA panic, but on the bright side, your luggage won't get lost.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Want to know what's wrong with America? Frank Bruni advises checking out the advice of best-selling "personal improvement guru" Tim Ferriss. If you're flying anywhere, Ferriss advises putting an unloaded starter pistol in your luggage. Sure, it will cause TSA extra work, but your luggage will be sure to be flagged and thus not get lost. In Ferriss' world, it's all about me, me, me—putting "personal advantage over the public good," writes Bruni in the New York Times.

The Ferriss example isn't an anomaly. "Selfishness run amok is a national disease," writes Bruni. Think people who scam on disability payments, or brag about cheating on their taxes, or well-to-do grandparents who fight any change to Medicare and Social Security, which would benefit their own grandkids. We live in a self-centered world now, complains Bruni. "Too many people behave as if they live in a civic vacuum, no broader implications to their individual behavior." Click for Bruni's full column.

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