Another week, another mass shooting. Another week, another dozen allegations of sexual harassment and assault — in some cases involving children — made against entertainment elite. Another heartbreaking number of opioid overdose victims and veteran suicides. More hardworking families forced from their homes by unaffordable rents, or medical bills they can’t pay. More debt, more addiction, greater mental illness and dysfunction.

The most stunning thing about making a list like that — and it could go on — is that such things have become so routine, so commonplace. Where would you look these days for someone who can honestly claim to be untouched by social realities like these?

The truth is, we all know — whether we admit it or not — that something is terribly wrong with this picture. That’s the easy part. What’s hard is putting a finger on why. Why are so many Americans in so much pain and distress?


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