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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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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