Let’s see how much good news we can put in one blog entry. For today only, skip the usual negative comments and leave only optimistic thoughts based on real trends and actual news items. I’ll start. Remember to suspend skepticism for just one day. My examples focus on the United States because I know it best. Feel free to expand.
Energy: Amazingly, some say the United States is well on its way to being energy self-sufficient, thanks in part to huge new oil fields in North Dakota and hundreds of other developments in conservation and green energy. One good example is a recent discovery that the United States has far more geothermal potential than anyone predicted.
Crime: On a historical basis, it’s low. And if the trend of public opinion about legalizing marijuana continues, one entire category of crime will disappear. We’re near the tipping point.
Healthcare: It’s better than at any time in human history. Doctors can successfully treat more problems than ever. It’s expensive, but arguably there has never been a better value for your dollar.
Inflation: It’s low.
Housing costs: If you have a job, it’s a great time to be shopping for a house. If you own one, prices have stabilized in some regions.
Cars: Gas mileage is better, safety is better every year, and GPS navigation is simply awesome.
Iraq: We’re getting out by the end of the year.
Terrorists: Bin Laden is dead and so are dozens of his commanders. Al Qaeda has probably never been weaker.
Arab Spring: Dictators are falling. Democracy is springing up. Is Iraq’s success with democracy part of that inspiration? Maybe. Iraq was like the first runner to break the four minute mile. Egypt proved it wasn’t a fluke.
Israel/Palestine: It’s relatively peaceful in that region lately, with only minor flare-ups. Abbas has taken his fight to the United Nations and shown that political success can make a Palestinian leader as popular as violence has in the past. Prisoners have been exchanged. The Palestinian economy is growing at a nice clip.
Kids: I read somewhere that the IQ of kids has increased so much that we have to continuously adjust what qualifies as the “average” score of 100. An average kid in 2011 is a relative genius compared to an average kid a few decades ago.
Stock Market: At this writing, the stock market has had a terrific month. Corporate profits are good.
Social Security: The program is well-funded for decades.
Outsourcing : The manufacturing advantage of China and other countries compared to the United States is lessening. A factory robot costs the same no matter where you buy it, and wage gaps are narrowing. As the Chinese start demanding the same safety and environmental standards of other developed countries, which is inevitable, the playing field will become even. That’s probably good for everyone.
Smartphones: They have their flaws, but we’re still in the early days of this technology. Battery life will improve, 4G networks will expand, and there will be an app for everything.
Communication: We’re all lucky to be alive in the age of the Internet.
Occupy Wall Street: I love those hippies and nuts. They’re honest, committed, and right about the system being broken. And I give a solid B+ to the local police and governments for being flexible. Nicely done. I’m inspired by the whole situation.
Your turn. What else is going great lately?