Richard Greene

Regardless of the election outcome, the U.S. is still No. 1

A giant American flag hangs on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange on Sept. 8, 2015.
A giant American flag hangs on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange on Sept. 8, 2015. AP

Regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s elections, we are still going to wake up the next morning privileged to live in the safest and most successful society in all of human history.

The biggest economy on earth will support the promise of personal success, the strongest military in the world will stand guard over us, and the American dream lives on.

While there have been reports of China becoming the No. 1 economy, Investopedia, which identifies itself as the world’s leading source of financial content on the web, explains it correctly:

“The U.S. economy remains the largest in the world in terms of per capita GDP … an economic superpower that is highly advanced in terms of technology and infrastructure” and standard of living, with a vast difference in incomes and productivity of the two countries.

U.S. News and World Report sums it up succinctly as the world’s largest economy and as the world’s most influential country, “giving it plenty of weight to throw around at international summits or in trade negotiations.”

Political rhetoric about the decline in our middle class, which comprises almost 80 percent of the nation’s population, fails the test of actuality.

The Wall Street Journal reports on Urban Institute findings that in 1979 only about 12 percent of the population was considered to be upper-middle-class. Today, more than 30 percent have moved into that category, making it larger and richer than it’s ever been.

China Daily: “Although outnumbered by China in the population of the middle class, the United States still ranks first at the list of middle-class wealth — $16.8 trillion accounting for 6.7 percent of world wealth.”

When it comes to protecting our shores, keeping us safe and preventing war, the U.S. military is the most powerful on earth and more awesome in strength than at any time since the world began.

The numbers of frontline personnel and the arsenals of aircraft, ships at sea, and weapons on the ground they control via cutting-edge technology ensures the security of all Americans and our allies across the world.

And, what about the American dream? Rumors of it being dead don’t seem to explain why thousands of people from all over the world wanting to join us arrive here every day, many at the risk of their lives.

CNBC reports that close to two-thirds of Americans believe they are living it every day – and that number continues to grow.

Daniel Mitchell, senior fellow at the Cato Institute writing in The New York Times: “The perfect isn’t the enemy of the good. The American dream exists all across the country … and if we can restrain the size and scope of government, there’s every reason to believe that the American dream will be strong for the rest of the 21st century.”

Steve Tobak, Fox Business: “The American dream is alive and well and achievable by each and every one of us, except those who believe it’s unattainable and those who choose not to pursue it.”

A new USA Today study shows that a majority of Americans are living the American dream — even if they largely don't realize it.

Two-thirds of us own a home, and from seven to nine out of 10 have a good education, have found a job we like doing, have decent health and medical care, believe we can give our children a better life than we have, feel safe, treated fairly and have enough food to eat.

Take heart. We’re going to be OK. Actually, much better than OK.

Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor and served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.

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