Monday, February 13, 2012

Smile! And be Relatively Happy...

Last night while sitting around a home-made fire pit in my backyard, one of my friends told me that my blogs have become increasingly "cranky" with a "We are all going to hell in a handbasket" theme.  I respect his opinion and don't have many friends so I decided to ponder over his words as I sat by the fire  - alone - for awhile.

You know, I think he is on to something.  I am too young to be a curmudgeon.  I enjoy my life too much to be so negative.  So, at least for today, I shall reform and point out some things we should all be happy about.

1.  Our tax burden is nothing compared to our recent past.  In 1980 the highest tax rate was 70%.  That is 32 years ago, folks that Americans who worked really hard were really blowtorched by the IRS.  Today the top rate is 35%.  Not as low as Russia or Hong Kong, but low for our past.

2.  We rank 10th in economic freedom.  Yes, we used to rank 1st, but guess what?  There are about 173 nations ranked lower than us, and some - like North Korea and Venezuela - are not only ranked lower than us, but face far worse futures than we do.  So, let's hear it - "We're Number 10!  We're Number 10!"

3.  We are fat.  By that I mean we are not skinny.  By that I mean we have enough to eat and then some.  We also have then some and then some more followed by dessert.  So, I shall rejoice that my body-mass index means that I could get lost in the mountains of Montana for about 9 days without food and the only thing that would happen is that I would have to go to Goodwill for smaller pants.

4.  We have great toys.  Come on, think about this for a moment.  We spend more on sporting goods and entertainment than the entire GDP's of most nations!  Our televisions are so big that I could actually see acne on pretty-boy Tom Brady's face during the Super Bowl.  At least I think  - or want to think - it was acne.  We also have a billion television channels, new music, movies and books, new websistes, apps and other junk to fill our time in between desserts.  What a life this is.

5.  We have the freedom to complain about the President without overwhelming fear that he will burn our house down.  We get to go to the spiritual house of our choosing, read about God in our own way, talk about God to whomever will listen and talk about pretty much anything else without getting arrested.  See the Sedition Act signed by President John Adams for how things used to be.  Go see the Japanese-American who lost their homes in WWII.  Talk to women about how often their voices were heard back in the 1950s if you want more on how much more freedom of expression we have today.

6.  We have a President who does not look like any of the preceding 43 presidents.  This is a great thing.  Only in America can a minority with the middle name Hussein get elected in a nation that is 70% non-minority.  Do you think anyone during the 1860s or 1940s or 1960s would have ever believed this could happen?  Only in free America could this happen - and be expected to continue to happen.

7.  Poverty.  To live in poverty, which is not fun, you have to be below $22,000 per year for a family of four.  Take that $22,000, along with your car, cable t.v. and air conditioning that you have if you are poor in America and travel to Asia or Africa with it.  When you get there, tell people you are poor, what you have and what you eat every day.  They will hide in your suitcase to get here so that they can be poor in America too.
More later.  I am on my way to watch a baseball game.  What a country...


  1. We DO live in a great country. Thanks for these 7 reminders.
    You are definitely no curmudgeon, and I'm often grateful for your insights.

  2. You know I hate to say it, but you are starting to sound a little cranky. Of course I guess at this point in our lives, we've all begun to lose patience!! BTW I linked you blog to my Google+ profile, I hope that's cool. Later!

  3. Yes, it is entirely true that the USA is probably the best, if not one of the greatest countries to live because of many many factors. That is why, historically, millions of us give up virtually everything to come to this free country. Tell your friend that one cannot settle for less or just be "good", why not be the best if we have the means to do it...If this country is capable of being great with all of the barriers politicians place, just imagine what it could do freely. You're not a curmudgeon, you just understand what could happen if we continue down this path.
    Also very thankful for your insights, and the fact that they are more and more frequent.