When Harry Truman was president of the United States, he famously displayed on his desk in the Oval Office a sign that read: ‘The buck stops here’. He understood the need to take responsibility not only for his own actions but also for those of his administration, and that this applied even to the toughest of decisions — such as dropping nuclear bombs.

Personal accountability has gone out of fashion since Truman’s day, replaced by a culture of blame that seeks to excuse individuals from the consequences of their choices. The surge in the number of people walking away from their debts, not because they have suffered an accident or lost their jobs, but merely because they cannot be bothered to pay back the money they borrowed, is the latest manifestation of this corrosive attitude.

c/o-: Alister Heath, The Spectator 

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