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Better Than We Know

In nearly every one of the presidential campaigns you hear lots of doom and gloom. And I agree that there are many things in this country that need to be fixed. But it is also worth remembering that things are better than we know.

David Harsanyi reminds us that in many ways, we never had it so good. He argues that we have lost any sense of context. Let’s compare our current situation to the Great Depression. Let’s compare our comfort to a Dust-Bowl-era family trekking across Oklahoma looking for work. Let’s compare our current gas prices and ease of transportation to someone waiting hours in the 1970s for rationed gas.

Someone in the millennial generation may feel slighted if they don’t look at the context of their lives. College enrollment has nearly doubled in the last three decades. True, many more of them are graduating with huge student loans. We can see why the slogans of Bernie Sanders resonate with them. But these young adults will do better in the world because they have a college degree, even if it takes them as long to pay off student loans as it took me to pay off college and graduate school loans.

Part of the problem is that some of them grew up in the comfort of large homes purchased at four percent interest rates and “low middle-class tax rates instituted by Ronald Reagan.” That world may not return any time soon, but our presidential candidates assure us that things will get better. Hillary Clinton talks about “solutions for America,” and Donald Trump says it is time for us to “start winning again.”

David Harsaynyi reminds us that: “every successive year the world becomes less poor, less violent, and freer.” In the midst of the doom and gloom, it’s worth taking a moment to remember that we never had it so good.

Viewpoints by Kerby Anderson

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