Why are Americans so optimistic?on January 1, 2014 @ 9:11 am (Updated: 9:18 am - 1/1/14 )
Income inequality is near an all-time high ... we're talking 1930's levels ... the purchasing power of middle class families is stagnant.
The President's approval rating is in the tank, and Congress's approval is a third of that.
And 71 percent of Americans think government is broken.
And yet the latest Fox News poll finds that - a solid majority of Americans, 54 percent think that a year from now the economy will be better.
Which says we remain stubbornly optimistic.
European countries undoubtedly are clucking their tongues at our innocent sunshine-and-puppy-dog enthusiasm.
But I think there's a reason that we have remained mostly unruffled by the stagnant economy, and even the angst of health care reform.
It's because our TV is so good.
Our screens are big, our speakers are Dolby, and our entertainment industry can make TV out of anything.
Even duck calls for heaven's sake! Cooking shows that force you make an entree out of Oreos and Oysters!
And remember, it's not just television that's on the television, it's also video games with real actors in virtual worlds that look real enough to step into, and the immersion is so complete that your real-life basement could flood and your attic catch fire and you'd never know -- so what do you care about GDP?
When I was growing up, the three networks were flush with money and free to run all the upsetting news they could find and people watched whether they wanted to or not.
Today, the news needs to pay for itself, and so it comes in every different flavor imaginable.
Which means you need only be as upset as you choose to be.
And so as long as the lights stay on, the computers don't crash, and the data charges don't get too high, life is good.
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