Top Ten List of Things That Are Going Great in America


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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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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