Thanksgiving has come and gone, yet the holidays are an excellent time to be thankful for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon us as a nation. Today the “holidays” can be credibly defined as Thanksgiving through Jan. 1. Or, if you watch the Hallmark Channel, from July through Jan. 1.

Everyone should read newspapers and watch the news on TV in order to be well informed. However, if you watch too much news it’s easy to get the impression that the world is going to hell in a handbasket and there is no hope for the future.

This despite the fact that the economy is booming; unemployment is at its lowest point in 50 years; black and Hispanic unemployment is at the lowest point in history; and gas prices are low. We also haven’t gotten into any new wars lately, and all of us seem to have enough time on our hands to waste it on Facebook or Twitter. The Chiefs are 9-2 and Missouri is going to a bowl game.

Unfortunately, many of our college professors are teaching students how bad America is and that the United States is the No. 1 problem in the world instead of a country of solutions. In fact, this may be the only place in the world where wealthy business owners who have spent years building their business can spend $50,000 a year to send their child to an elite university to be taught how bad capitalism is.

Is this a great country or what?

Yes, there are a lot of wars and other major challenges, but that has always been the case. Jesus told his disciples, “There will always be wars and rumors of wars.” This was in answer to their questions as to when the end of the world would take place. Many people at that time were concerned that wars meant that the end is near, but he was telling them that was not the case.

His statement, though, has been relevant throughout the ages and, unfortunately, always will be. There always have been and always will be those tyrants who want to destroy or take over a certain country, many times committing genocide along the way. That is why the United States must always be prepared to defend ourselves and help defend other countries.

Many people today seem to think this is the worst country on earth and we are living in the worst of times. Many celebrities have claimed over the years that they were going to move to Canada or Europe if a certain person were elected president. No. 1, you can’t just “move to Canada.” It’s not that simple, but that’s another story. None of them ever actually move out of the country, maybe because they ultimately decide that things here aren’t so bad after all. Besides, taxes are higher in Canada and Europe.

Other folks tend to believe that each generation of kids is worse than the one before it. All I know is that we have great kids in our readership area — I see them in action every day.

When somebody says today’s world is terrible, I always want to ask them, “When would you have rather lived?” How about coming over on the Mayflower and suffering or even dying from disease? How about during the Civil War? Actually, Missouri was probably the worst place to live during the Civil War and many years before and after.

There was no indoor plumbing until well into the 1900s, and many rural folks didn’t have this convenience even into the 1950s. Then there was World War I and the worldwide Spanish flu epidemic in 1918; the Great Depression; World War II; the Korean War; and the Vietnam War.

I grew up in the 1950s, which was a great time to live if you were white, but not so great if you were black. Also not so great if you had a husband, wife, father, uncle or other relative in the Korean War in the early part of the decade.

There will be major challenges in the future. The federal government just released a gloom-and-doom report on climate change that stated our GDP could drop by 10 percent by the year 2100 if we don’t solve climate problems. I’m not a math genius, but I believe that means we have 82 years before doom overtakes us. 

By the way, have you noticed that scientists’ dire predictions are stretching out further into the future each time? They once predicted climate Armageddon in five years or 10 years, but now it is more than eight decades away.

Most improvements in lowering carbon emissions have stemmed from technology and capitalism (natural gas replacing coal, for example). Can you imagine the technology that will exist 80 years from now? Eight decades from now there will be vast improvements in many areas. 

Unfortunately, though, there will still be tyrants in the world, which means more wars and rumors of wars.

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