Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the report concluded that additional civic knowledge increases a person’s belief in American ideals and institutions.
The ISI survey showed that, overall, “Sixty-three percent of Americans disagree that America corrupts otherwise good people, 61 percent of Americans disagree that America’s Founding documents are obsolete and 56 percent of Americans agree that prosperity depends upon entrepreneurs and free markets.”
It further found that people with greater civic knowledge are less likely to believe that America corrupts otherwise good people, less likely to believe that the Founding documents are irrelevant, and more likely to believe that the free enterprise system works.
As our economy works to recover from another meltdown, we need to keep thinking big. We need to help more Americans learn the basic principles of civil society. The way forward is in understanding our great shared history.
When the Empire State Building opened, former New York Gov. Al Smith said it was “built by the brains, the brawn, the ingenuity and the muscle of mankind.” The same applies to the United States. Let’s make sure we pass the very concept of American greatness down to the next generation.