What's right with America?
Let's start with our much maligned economy. I'm not trying to sugarcoat it, times are definitely tough
for an awful lot of families right now. But you know what? We've made it through a depression; we've made it through wars,
oil shocks, and major terrorist attacks and we're still standing. In fact, we're not just standing, we're towering over the
rest of the world.
Our economy is almost as big as the next four largest economies on Earth (Japan, Germany, China and Great
Britain) combined. The state of California alone has an economy as large as the entire country of France. Illinois has the
same GDP as all of Mexico. New York matches the entire GDP of Brazil. Florida's economy is as large as South Korea's. Texas
has a GDP roughly equal to Canada's. Michigan's economy is as large as the entire country of Argentina.
It takes a lot longer to turn around an aircraft carrier than it does a dinghy, but the problem we have
is with our ship's captain -- our elected officials in Washington -- not her crew.
What's right with America? How about the way we educate our children. Sure, we
complain a lot about left-wing professors and how some wealthy private universities hoard their billions while charging obscene
amounts for tuition, but the truth is that our universities are always ranked among the best in the world.
Students aren't fleeing America to go to college in Japan, India, or China -- it's the other way around.
We open our colleges and universities to more than 80,000 foreign professors, scholars and educators a year and we have more
students in college right now than those three countries combined.
What's right with America? Our world-class universities don't require you to have
an elite family name or Rockefeller-type wealth to get in. We don't care about your race, gender or nationality. You just
have to be smart enough and work hard for it. What a concept, huh?
What's right with America? How about the way we treat the less fortunate? With
no help from our government, Americans gave a record $306 billion to charities last year alone. We give twice as much as the
next closest country and, relative to the size of our economies, we give 1,000 percent more than the French.
What's right with America? It's not just the wealthy who are generous. Two-thirds
of American families making under $100,000 a year give to charity. Compassion is ingrained in our culture like no other.
What's right with America? How about our supposedly third-world health care system?
We spend more on health care per person than Switzerland, Germany, Canada, or any other country you can think of. Do we still
have problems? Absolutely, but don't fall for "the grass is greener" crowd; every country has health care problems.
What's right with America? We love our country. World Values Survey found that
77 percent of Americans are very proud of their nationality. That puts us in a first place tie with the Irish. Australia was
next and no one else was really even close.
I could go on and on, but my point is that we don't need the so often wished for "change" in this country,
we just need perspective. People need to live within thier means and appreciate what we have and expect to WORK for what we
get... I've always said " Minimum effort equals Minimum wage"
While most of us inherently know that we've won the lottery by living here, we don't often think about
the reasons why.
So, for at least that one day, let's just remember that America still leads the world in the principles
that matter most: The rule of law, freedom of religion, equal rights, freedom from an oppressive government and, fortunately
for the all of us that live here, freedom of speech.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the