Things Are So Good They’re Bad

Gregg Easterbrook has an amusing opinion piece in the Journal today. He points out that by any sane measure, things are going great for Americans. Yet people think the country is headed in the wrong direction while, at the same time, believing that their own situation is pretty good. Easterbrook sums it up by saying

Our impressions of ourselves and our neighbors come from personal experience. Our impressions of the nation as a whole come from the media and from political blather, which both exaggerate the negative.

He is, of course, right. And in an election year, everyone running for office must try to convince you that there are big horrible ugly problems lurking around and that only the office seekers can solve them. Sure. Of course, there are problems, but they’re pretty anemic compared to the problems of years past. Recognition of this is one of the very few advantages of growing old.

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