Summary of The Smart Society

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The Smart Society book summary


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State University of New York professor and former provost Peter D. Salins directly dealt with human capital as head of the largest American university system. He discusses what makes the US a “smart society” – one where all citizens contribute socially and economically. Salins bemoans that countries threaten the US’s historic dominance in education and industry. He devotes most of his discussion to education as the most crucial contributor to human capital. Salins also addresses immigration reform with less polarization than many other commentators, though he is more controversial on welfare reform and is unabashedly nationalistic. His suggestions for practical reform are well researched and thought provoking. While politically neutral, getAbstract recommends familiarity with Salins’s ideas to elected officials, activists, parents, teachers, professors, and anyone involved in education, economics and immigration.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the US became and can remain a “smart society,” and
  • Why the US must reform its policies on education, productivity and immigration.

About the Author

Stony Brook University political science professor Peter D. Salins also directs the university’s graduate program in public policy. He is the former provost of the State University of New York, the largest group of state-run US universities.



“The Smartest Society”
Human capital creates a smart society – one that takes care of its people and helps the less fortunate. “Education is the single most important determinant of any person’s human capital,” but education without productivity diminishes human capital. However, societies...

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