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20 reasons why America is still the greatest Nation



From Alexander Green, Chief Investment Strategist, The Oxford Club:
It’s not fashionable to talk about America’s greatness these days…
Most of us prefer to grouse about the weak economy, the federal debt, political gridlock, stagnant wages, terrorist attacks, racial tension, the state of popular music or A-Rod’s batting average this season.
There is a sense among many that we are no longer an exceptional nation, that the country is in decline, that the American Dream is over, and that our children and grandchildren face a diminished future.
I disagree. And you should, too.
Let’s take an objective look at where we’re headed. But let’s begin with a few indisputable facts about the present:
  • American lives have never been longer. (In 1900, life expectancy was just 40 years.) This near doubling of the human lifespan may be the single greatest achievement in the history of civilization.
  • Our standard of living has never been higher. (Look around you at all the labor-saving devices, the huge variety of goods and services available, the luxuries – from flat-panel TVs to Starbucks’ lattes to Egyptian cotton sheets – that permeate your existence.)
  • Our homes have never been larger. According to the Census Bureau, the median square footage of newly built single-family homes is 2,400 square feet. That’s nearly 1,000 square feet larger than the median home built in 1992.
  • The American workweek – at 34.4 hours – has never been shorter.
  • Computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones – which are revolutionizing our lives – have never been cheaper or more powerful.
  • We are the world leader in technological innovation. The internet was created here. If we are no different from the other Western democracies, why were transformative companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Tesla and Uber – to name just a few – all founded here?
  • American cities have never been safer. (Violent crime is in a long-term cycle of decline.)
  • Educational attainment has never been greater. (Eighty-eight percent of Americans have a high school diploma. Fifty-nine percent have some college experience. Forty-two percent have an associate or bachelor’s degree.)
  • The essentials of life – food, clothing, energy and shelter – (in inflation-adjusted terms) have never been more affordable.
  • All forms of pollution – with the exception of greenhouse gases – are in decline.
  • The American military – the primary defender of the free world – has never been stronger. (The U.S. spends close to what the rest of the world does on defense: more than $600 billion. Per year.)
  • American agriculture is the envy of the world. Our farmers now grow five times as much corn as they did in the 1930s – on 20% less land. The yield per acre has grown sixfold in the past 70 years.
  • For decades, experts warned us that we had to end “our addiction to foreign oil.” Yet thanks to new technologies like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, we surpassed Russia two years ago to become the biggest energy producer in the world.
  • The U.S. leads the world in science, engineering, medicine, entertainment and the arts.
  • No nation attracts more immigrants, more students or more foreign investment capital.
  • Americans are the most charitable people on earth, both in the aggregate and per capita. The Giving USA Foundation reported last month that U.S. charitable donations rose 4% last year to $373.25 billion, a new record.
  • The dollar is the world’s reserve currency.
  • Americans are just 4.4% of the world’s population, yet we create nearly a quarter of its annual wealth.
  • Our economy is No. 1 by a huge margin. It is larger than those of Nos. 2 and 3 – China and Japan – combined.
  • And the Federal Reserve reported that in the fourth quarter, U.S. household net worth just hit an all-time record $86.8 trillion. This is nearly double the 2000 level.
Despite this good fortune, polls show that Americans are less optimistic about the future today than in 1942, when we were in the fight of our lives against Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito.
But enough about the present. Let’s also take a look at America’s past…
Our Declaration of Independence is a timeless statement of inherent rights, the true purposes of government and the limits of political authority. Our core beliefs are enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the longest-serving foundation of liberty in history.
Our nation’s growth and prosperity have been extraordinary. How did our small republican experiment transform and dominate global culture and society?
Geography played a big role. Buffered by two oceans and a rugged frontier, we had plenty of cheap land and vast natural resources. (But then again, so did countries like Russia and Brazil.)
Entrepreneurs were given free license to innovate and create. Profit was never something to apologize for. Rather it was viewed as proof that the businessman offered customers something more valuable than the money they traded.
Historically, we have opened our arms to tens of millions of immigrants who dreamed of a better life and helped to build this country.
In the process, we developed an astounding capacity for tolerance. Today, we live peaceably alongside each other, unperturbed by differences of religion or ethnicity.
I’m not suggesting that other nations don’t have proud histories, unique traditions or beautiful cultures. I’m delighted when I get a chance to visit Hong Kong or Buenos Aires, not to mention Paris or Rome. There’s a lot to love about day-to-day life in other countries.
But people around the world don’t talk about the French dream or the Chinese dream. Only one nation is universally recognized as the land of opportunity.
That’s because America cultivates, celebrates and rewards the habits that make men and women successful. Anyone with ambition and grit can move up the economic ladder. Everyone has a chance to improve his or her lot, regardless of circumstances.
It’s a good reason to maintain a positive outlook. And I’m in pretty good company here.
In his latest annual report to shareholders, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett wrote:
American GDP per capita is now about $56,000. That – in real terms – is a staggering six times the amount in 1930, the year I was born – a leap far beyond the wildest dreams of my parents or their contemporaries. U.S. citizens are not intrinsically more intelligent today, nor do they work harder than did Americans in 1930. Rather, they work far more efficiently and thereby produce far more. This all-powerful trend is certain to continue: America’s economic magic remains alive and well… The babies being born in America today are the luckiest crop in history.
American ingenuity, technology and capital markets are creating dramatic improvements in communications, transportation, manufacturing, computing, retailing, food production, construction, healthcare, finance, pharmaceuticals, robotics, sensors, artificial intelligence, genetics and dozens of other industries.
We can’t even imagine all the fantastic innovations that lie ahead of us.
The notion that America is exceptional is not, as some would argue, just a crude strain of patriotism.
Our country embodies timeless ideals, an optimistic attitude and an enthusiastic endorsement of the pursuit of happiness.
What should you celebrate about America this week? Try this: We are living longer, healthier, safer, richer, freer lives than any people in the history of the planet.
Yes, we face plenty of problems and challenges. And there are bound to be setbacks ahead.
But for this week at least, let’s celebrate how far we’ve come.
Carpe Diem,
Alex

Crux note: Money creates wealth, but so do character, conscience, attitude and wisdom. Only by incorporating each of these elements into your day-to-day existence can you experience what the ancients called “the good life.” That’s the message of Alex’s best-selling book Beyond Wealth, which this essay was excerpted from.
The Original Source ; http://thecrux.com

20 reasons why America is still the greatest Nation 20 reasons why America is still the greatest Nation Reviewed by NyTimes+ on October 12, 2018 Rating: 5
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