Happy Birthday, America, but it’s time to grow up.


I have a new column out in the Sunday Washington Post business section on, well, America. “It’s been 235 years already? America, it’s time to grow up.”  The sub hed is “Happy birthday, America. But at 235 years old, you’re flabby, creaky and easily led astray.”

The column speaks to the nation as if it were an exuberant young lad who has outgrown its youth, and needs to become a man. The tongue-in-cheek tone somewhat softens the tough love/ugly truths contained within.

Here is an excerpt:

Infatuation with “ism”s: Every few decades, you manage to get yourself entangled with some philosophy from the wrong side of the tracks. These torrid affairs always end badly.

Every adolescent goes through this phase. You see a pretty ideology from across the room. She bats her big, blue eyes at you, and you fall head over heels. As any more experienced country will tell you, these infatuations are merely a passing fancy. They are not the makings of solid, long-lasting philosophies.

Your parents made sure you had a good upbringing and a Constitution that sets up some fine parameters for you to live by. How about avoiding the passionate flings with these isms and instead work toward being more pragmatic, more practical, even more technocratic?

Pretty cool, my first front page of the WaPo Sunday Business Section!



It’s been 235 years already? America, it’s time to grow up.
By Barry Ritholtz
Washington Post, Print edition page G1 July 3 2011

Published online July 1 as America: You could stand to take some tips from a few other nations

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