By Michael Goodwin
At first glance, the idea that we are losing the freedom to fail sounds like a reason to celebrate. Losing the chance to fail should also mean we’re guaranteed to win, right?
Wrong. Misguided social perfectionists have given failure a bad rap, and too many of us have bought into their foolish view.
The economic meltdown of 2008 and 2009 put on vivid display this clash of old versus new American values. Bankruptcy laws were written for this very kind of moment, but many who bet the farm and lost demanded exemptions as America’s addiction to borrowing swiftly morphed into an expectation of bailouts. Trillions of taxpayer dollars and guarantees were poured into the breach.
Letting someone fail when we have the power to prevent it seems so robber-baron-ish, so social Darwinist, especially when the shock waves could ripple across the country. This Gilded Age comes equipped with safety nets for those in danger of losing their gilt.
Wherever you look, failure is an endangered experience. Read more