I first blogged about The Triple Package several months ago, and finally got around to reading it this past weekend. As I wrote in my earlier blog post, this book by Amy Chua, the author of parenting book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, continues her defense of un-American traits such as superiority, insecurity, and impulse control. According to Chua and her co-author Jed Rubenefeld, these traits might be un-American in modern times, but they are what made America great in the past and they are what causes the spectacular success of eight groups in modern America – Jewish, Indian, Chinese, Iranian, Lebanese-Americans, Nigerians, Cuban exiles, and Mormons. Conversely, the absence of these traits explains the stubborn lack of achievement in Appalachia and African-American communities.
Significantly, the authors aver that the Triple Package effect is typically most powerful with first- and second-generation immigrants, and then quickly fades in subsequent generations, with Mormons being an exception. They also argue that most studies that disparage the amount of social mobility in modern America are fundamentally flawed because they fail to consider the amazing mobility of first-generation Americans.
Also, significantly, the authors are concerned that American affluence and deficit spending will result in a nation that feels secure and declines to control its impulses. In that case, all that will remain is the empty swagger of superiority complex. Wowzers!