It's difficult to find a place of gratitude during a time of great economic strife, when so many Americans live at or near poverty while the top one percent see their income exponentially grow. It's harder still to do so when finding solutions are rarely brought up in an intellectually honest way. Still, Fareed Zakaria thinks there is much to be thankful for and suggests--rather radically for a talking head on a cable news program--that our problems lie not in the economic sphere (so stop the fear mongering that we're just thisclose to experiencing a Greece-like crisis) but in the political:
The U.S., by contrast, remains one of the world's most competitive economies. It is home to the leading companies in the most advanced industries, houses the largest capital markets and continues to spawn new companies and, indeed, whole new industries. It exports everything from aircraft to entertainment to healthcare products around the world.
Its demographics are strikingly healthy: It will be the only rich country in the world to actually increase its population over the next 30 years - which means more young workers, producers, entrepreneurs and taxpayers.
America's problems are not economic, demographic or technological. They are political. Simple policy measures can change our fate.
If we built out our infrastructure, kept monetary policy pro-growth and reformed our tax code to encourage business investment, we would have growth, a manageable deficit and a bright future.
I will go one further than Zakaria is willing to go and agree that our problems stem from the political sphere, but that it is specifically, because we still operate under the false assumption that all ideas are equal and valid. We have had thirty years for Reaganomics to prove their worth. They have failed. And yet we still have politicians talking about how lower taxes are necessary to help job creators. We're still arguing about climate change and evolution as if the science isn't settled. We're still talking about how we need to fight al Qaeda in Afghanistan, even though there are less than 100 al Qaeda members, if that, in the country. We're still pretending that the American Dream has become unattainable to more and more citizens because we're still arguing for the same failed policies by the same wrong-headed pundits instead of taking them off the table.