I have hope for Future America—the version of our country in the making—it’s how we got to where we are now, from where we were then, and how we’ll become a new version of our collective in the future.
Amid the negativity that permeates 24-hour news media and the melodrama exuded by the U.S. Senate, I do not have an overwhelming sense of hopelessness that one could reasonably anticipate from Americans faced by these governmental realities. I, instead, see a mass of activities that are leading us toward something better. A few examples:
- Housing Market Recovery: In many places, home sales are picking up, inventories are low, and new construction is on the rise. Wasn’t it the housing bubble that was one of the early indicators (or results) of the ’08 recession? Looks like we’re over the hump.
- Low Interest Rates: Zero percent federal interest rates have been expanding access to spending power, for the past four years. While – rates have the benefit of boosting immediate commerce, they tend not to bode well for long-term savings; but you can’t take it with you, right? Future America may have less need for traditional retirement schema.
- Stock Market Rallying: “Moderate economic growth” coupled with record highs on the stock exchange (the Dow Jones hit a new record high in early March 2013 and the NASDAQ and S&P 500 are also trading near their high mark over the past decade). Those investing now will reap the pay-outs later, congrats Future America.
- The Energy Renaissance: Increasingly profitable exploitation of America’s conventional and new energy resources offers our country potential economic, social, and political advantages, both domestically and globally.
- Precipice of Enhanced Social Justice: More and more of our country’s decision-makers are pronouncing public support for immigration reform and gay rights. These are important indicators of increasing levels of widespread tolerance and understanding of the benefits of social justice.
- Marriage Still Matters: Brookings recently reported that the divorce rate in America has decreased dramatically; likely in part due to young people waiting longer to get married, yet the same cohort indicates that “marriage is still very or somewhat important to them.” Future America is bound to enjoy a wide variety of societal benefits resulting from strong marriages and families.
Some may view these realities as symptoms, and others will indicate that they’re results. I will not make overtures in one direction or the other; these are simply realities.
Sure, we’ve had a fiscal cliff, sequester, and numerous continuing resolutions, but the budget woes of the Federal Government are not translating into comprehensive national failure.
Are you hopeful about the future of America?
Leave a comment and/or tweet me at @sreunb