BOSTON (CBS) – Let’s face it, few if any of us are without sin of some kind, your faithful commentator included.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

I’m not proud of it, but I admit to sometimes taking more napkins than I need immediately when I get my DD, and I do not always come to a complete stop before taking a right on red.

I refuse to believe that most of us don’t try to be honest and law-abiding, within reason.

But columnist Rich Karlgaard makes a compelling case in the latest Forbes Magazine that we are living in what he calls the “Age of the Cheats,” an era where cutting corners and circumventing the rules to gain advantage are something close to standard operating procedure.

Karlgaard cites some obvious examples from the sports world, the baseball steroids scandal, doping in the cycling world, and so on.

And he notes “rampant” cheating “in everything from education to finance to government. The financial meltdown of 2008 was a bonfire of bad behavior on all sides. Fannie Mae is built on the lie that every American is capable of paying a mortgage. Mortgage lenders steered victims into loans they could never pay. But the victims were not all innocent. Many lied on loan applications, claiming incomes they never had..…. A new and growing form of cheating is taking place in our high schools. During tests, particularly SATs, kids are popping speed and prescription drugs meant to treat attention-deficit disorder. Anything for an edge…. Our politicians call reduced growth rates ‘cuts in spending.’ Our biggest banks take obscene risks and cry poor when they don’t work out.”

It’s hard to argue with any of that.

And it’s a depressing commentary on the cultural influence of the “me” generation, narcissistic baby-boomers who place personal gain and self-serving spin ahead of honesty and truth.

But Karlgaard notes Americans have “risen above moral rot before,” transcending “slavery and civil war, as well as periods of rampant corruption and paralyzing resentment.”

Can we do it again?

Only if more of us start understanding that a world where it’s always about you is a very nasty place to live for everyone else.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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