Hanson: Life in the Twilight

The Good News

America is in great shape energy-wise. We have more gas and oil reserves than ever before. Indeed, the United States could shortly become the world’s largest exporter of coal. Our cheaper power rates may bring energy-intensive industry back from Europe and Asia.

If America’s small colleges are nearly broke and our public schools failing, nonetheless our blue-chip universities’ math, science, and engineering departments, and professional schools, remain the best in the world. California alone has more centers of higher learning rated among the world’s top 20 universities than does any other single nation save the United States itself.

Agriculture is booming. Net food exports are at record levels. Our military, despite the sequestration cuts, stays preeminent. We are not witnessing the sort of social unrest that is now common from Greece to the Middle East to Brazil, thanks to the Founders’ brilliant Constitution and a popular culture that is still more inclusive than tribal. The U.S. may be the global nexus for modernist disruption, but it is of the enormously profitable sort, typified by the cultural domination of Twitter, Facebook, Apple, Google, and Starbucks. Even Egyptian protestors in jeans and T-shirts look like those on Venice Beach. If they were not rioting in between texting, they could be rollerblading along the Pacific.


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  • Mary T

    CA may have more blue chip learning facilities, you have to pay attention to the graduates that come out of said places and also to the profs that supposedly teach there.