Clearly, honesty is the foundation of being good. Honesty is the baseline. Pay your taxes, return the wallet you found on a park bench, and write down exactly how many golf strokes you had on a particular hole.
Stretch anything far enough and it'll begin to tear, fragment, break apart. That, I suspect, may be a reasonable summary of what's been happening in our twenty-first-century world. Under stress, things are beginning to crack open.
It may be easy to call for public inquiries at the drop of an ethical hat, but it isn't especially meaningful. It demurs decision-making and abdicates the responsibility, one that our politicians should feel, for articulating a strong and compelling portrait of society and its ills.
Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff told me today in an exclusive interview that the high unemployment rate and high levels of debt in the U.S. will sooner or later trigger serious "social unrest from the income disparities in the U.S."