So it’s no wonder a USA Today poll shows that Americans think the country’s brightest days are behind hit.
But they’re wrong.
Citing the gloom of the economic downturn four years ago, USA Today’s Susan Page says Americans were still more optimistic on the eve of President Barack Obama’s first inauguration.
“Then, even during an unfolding financial crisis, Americans believed by a double-digit margin that it was likely young people would have a better life than their parents, one facet of the classic American dream,” Page writes. “Now, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds they’re narrowly inclined to say that’s not likely. By 50 percent-47 percent, respondents say the country’s best years are behind us.”
We’re not just weary, she adds, we’re wary.
“In the new poll, more than three of four Americans say the way politics works in Washington is causing serious harm to the country,” Page writes. “Results from the nationwide poll … underscore the rocky road Obama and other officials face in convincing Americans the nation can address its most persistent problems — and that they can be trusted to lead the way.”
Maybe America just needs a break. Because there are many reasons to be optimistic about the nation’s future — they’re just not in Washington.
We’re on the cusp of an energy revolution.
“U.S. oil output is surging so fast that the United States could soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest producer,” the Associated Press reported in October. “Driven by high prices and new drilling methods, U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons is on track to rise 7 percent this year to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day.”
We’re also reducing greenhouse gas emissions drastically. And that’s driven by something amazing: the free market. More and more natural gas is being used, and it burns more cleanly than coal and oil.
There are exciting education reforms taking place — outside of the Washington beltway. Our neighbor Louisiana is now engaging in the biggest experiment in school choice ever. The program only includes 5,000 of the state’s 556,000 kids for now, but Gov. Bobby Jindal hopes to expand it.
And Texas colleges are stepping up to a challenge to offer a “$10,000 degree,” as an answer to spiraling tuition costs.
High schools are rediscovering vocational and technical training — and are starting to produce some of the highly skilled and highly paid workers we’ll need for our bright future.
High-tech manufacturing jobs are returning to the U.S.
“Apple is just one of several companies — Google is another — that has or plans to import manufacturing jobs stateside because of the economic and political advantages of producing them at home,” USA Today reported in December.
Of course Americans are tired. It’s been a tough year. But that’s no reason to despair. It’s a New Year. And it can be a bright one.