When I was in school we had the occasional class discussion in history or social studies about the role of the frontier in U.S. economic development. Back then (this was the 1960s) if the teacher was sharp this would sometimes segue into a discussion about the implications for America of being without an obvious frontier — a condition that was widely known even then. Those conversations have stilled for some reason with the rise of what seems to me to be societal stupidity, but it is my growing sense that this is at the heart of our current economic malaise. We need a new frontier.

America has had several important frontiers in its 235 years. First […]