Why to be optimistic about our future

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We’ve been through bad times before and we’re still here. This country has survived a Revolutionary War against the world’s most powerful nation that was fought in our own territory, another fight against the Brits during the War of 1812 in which they burned the White House and came close to capturing the American northeast, a Civil War that pitted the northern and southern halves of the country against each other, not just one, but two world wars, a decade long Great Depression and a Cold War against the Soviet Union in which we had enough nuclear weapons pointed at each other to wipe out life on earth. After all that, we’re still standing strong. A debt driven crisis could make things very tough for us over the next few decades, but our history says we’ll pull ourselves up by our bootstraps when it’s over.

Technology and resource acquisition may advance faster than we anticipate. Did you know the United States is the Saudi Arabia of shale oil? We have the potential not just to become almost self-sufficient, but to become a net exporter of oil. Granted, that probably won’t happen under the liberal Luddites in the White House today, but it’s just a matter of time until this nation’s energy potential is unlocked. We could also conceivably pass Russia in natural gas production as early as 2015. When you couple that with technological advances right out of science fiction in 3D printing, algae based fuel, nearly cost-free medical diagnostics, vertical farming and robotics, we may have the ability to do better than most people expect over the next few decades.

Optimism is the very lodestar of the American experiment. We are a nation of immigrants who left behind everyone and everything we knew to take a chance for a better future. Pessimists stayed home in Europe or Asia, pulled by a history of thousands of years of living in one place as one people. Those who became Americans leapt toward a dynamic society that rewards individual talent and hard work—not social

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