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How to find the lost decade

“Emergent problem” is indeed an outcome/output of a dysfunctional system and as such any attempt to correct it requires systems science approach.
A few fundamentals: All systems are inter-connected, indicating that one system’s output is another system’s input. The profound litany of intractable societal problems, listed by David Brooks, stems from those malfunctioning relationships. Systems’ output is categorized as an emergence or simply the value that systems attempt to produce and impose on all related systems as one of their inputs. The emergence is generated by what is termed self-organization of systems’ components through their relationships which, however, must have a definite directional velocity of gradient flow of energy/information that is aligned with the polarity of the systems. It simply means that the relationships must be system-optimizing and not self-maximizing (Yes, you can make money but not at the expense of harming the larger system).
A “change” that this administration originally campaigned on, and attempted on many fronts to subsequently introduce, needs also to be viewed as an emergence with all the pre-change and post-change-affected relationships. The complexity of such context is so vast and dynamic that it cannot be fully modeled. That leaves only one viable option which is to introduce any change in the most system-optimizing context otherwise even well intentioned adjustment may grossly miss its mark.