Top Ten List of Things That Are Going Great in America

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I get requests from time to time:

I can do better than that. How about a top ten list of all the things going well in America right now?

  1. Unemployment = 4.9 percent. By virtually every measure, more people are re-entering the labor force and more people are finding work.
  2. Inflation = 1.4 percent. The annual inflation rate for food is 0.8 percent.
  3. Economic growth = 2.4 percent. This could be better, but it’s not bad: the US economy is stronger than China, Japan, or Mexico. We’re not losing, we’re winning.
  4. The average price of a gallon of gas is $1.81, its lowest price in a decade.
  5. 20 million people have gained health insurance since 2013, and health care costs are rising at the most moderate rate in decades.
  6. The abortion rate has been declining for 30 years and is now lower than at any time since the early 70s.
  7. Among teens, alcohol use is down, crime is down, violent behavior is down, illicit drug use is down, sexual intercourse is down, condom use is up, pregnancy is down, and cigarette smoking is down.
  8. High school test scores and graduation rates are up.
  9. There were only 22 US military fatalities in the Middle East in 2015, the lowest number since 9/11.
  10. Net illegal immigration has been negative for seven straight years. Since 2008, the population of undocumented workers in the US has fallen from 12 million to 11 million.

Unfortunately, there’s also one big thing that’s not going so well:

  1. Despite a reasonably strong economy, wages have declined since 2000 and have rebounded only slightly over the past couple of years.

It’s quite possible that this one thing is more important than all the others put together. And needless to say, anyone can put together their own list of ten things that are going badly: police shootings, ISIS, income inequality, etc. Nonetheless, when you look at the big picture, there’s an awful lot going right at the moment.

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LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

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