Monday, January 01, 2018

Hey, it's 2018 ... and all is well

Remember how 2017 was supposed to be the year where everything went off the rails? When Trump's election had everyone who didn't vote for him, and some who did, in a funk?

Look around you. 2018 is here and we are remarkably well. The Long War is not getting worse. The economy is the best its been in a decade. Sure, you can pick around the edges for some not so great stuff, but the bold faced items are more than not OK.

Regardless if you give this politician or political party no, some, partial or all credit - it does not matter. Take some time and simply enjoy the fact that you are alive in one of the best times in human history.

Last week, Jonah Goldberg said it well;
If you were hovering above Earth looking to be born randomly into any time period in human history, you’d pick now if you had any brains. And if you could pick a place, you’d pick a Western liberal democracy, and probably the United States of America (though as much as it pains me to say it, you wouldn’t be crazy to pick Canada or the U.K. or Holland). Sure, if you could pick being rich, white, and male — and didn’t really care too much about the plight of others — you might take the 1950s. But even then, your choices for food, entertainment, etc. would be terribly curtailed compared to today. If you chose to be a billionaire in 1917, you could still die from a minor infection, and good Thai food would be entirely unknown to you. You’d certainly never enjoy watching a Star Wars movie on an IMAX screen in air conditioning. In other words, while your homes would be bigger and cooler if you were a billionaire in 1917, a typical orthodontist in Peoria in 2017 is in many respects much richer than a billionaire a century earlier. Still, that’s not the deal on offer. You have to buy an incarnation lottery ticket, and the results would be random. I’m not big on dividing people up by abstract categories, and I certainly don’t mean them to be pejorative. But as a historical matter, being born poor, gay, black, Jewish, ugly, weird, handicapped, etc. today may certainly come with some problems or challenges, but on the whole those traits are less of a shackle or barrier than at any time in the past. The only trait where I think it might be a closer call is dumbness. All other things being equal, a not-terribly-intelligent person with a good work ethic and some decent values might have had more opportunities before machines replaced strong backs. But even here, I can think of lots of exceptions.
As I bask in my day off doing a bunch of nothing, I will try to keep that in mind as I look forward to 2018.

Sure, the wheels may come off at some point - but they probably won't any time soon. I've done all I can do, so why not enjoy the good while it is here? The bad times will come back - they always do - but for now, it is time to enjoy.

Here's to what I hope, for you and me and ours, will be a great year.

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