I opened my browser to CNN.com today to be faced with: “America the Miserable? Have Americans had their optimism “beaten out” of them by the lagging economy, terrorism fears and two wars?”
Ladies and gentlemen, I know bad news gets attention (we used to say it sells newspapers, but today it gathers eyeballs and clicks). However, this fixation of the media with doom and gloom, Armageddon, the end of American civilization as we know it, etc. is just too much.
Let’s review where we stand today:
- The stock market has rebounded, and is close to 10,300 at the end of today’s session.
- The financial industry has stabilized, we’re no longer in danger of massive collapse, and many banks have already paid back their TARP loans
- Unemployment is still high, but this is a lagging indicator and already starting to inch downward
- Cash for clunkers got people buying cars again, removed older inefficient cars from the street and the used car pipeline, and helped dealers clear out inventory
- There has NOT been a terrorist act on American soil since 9/11, in spite of less than exemplary performance by our intelligence agencies. Several potential terrorist acts have been stopped before they could be executed, and we learn after each of these.
- We did NOT have an H1N1 flu epidemic, because proper precautions were taken. As a result of the high sensitivity to the potential for pandemic flu, we vaccinated a lot of people and raised the general consciousness about proper hygiene and illness prevention techniques–something that’s good for all of us long-term.
- The war in Iraq is going about as well as can be expected. The war in Afghanistan is also going about as well as can be expected, unfortunately. The problem there is we went into a quagmire where we had no chance of winning. Tribal conflict has been ongoing in this area of the world for a thousand years. Why did we think we could win when no one else could make headway in this mess?
- American scientists, entrepreneurs and athletes continue to excel in their respective fields. We continue to see innovation and creativity in all walks of life.
So please CNN and the rest of the media world, call off the funeral. To quote Mark Twain, the rumors of our death are greatly exaggerated.This is still a great place to live and work and we are still the envy of most of the rest of the world.
Let’s change our perspective and look at the glass half full as our economy rebounds and we move forward to ongoing American success.