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America's Still Got It

America's Still Got It

Hello and good day!

I've been under the weather lately, but I hate to sit in my house all day.

I am accustomed to spending every afternoon in our chocolate shops, serving customers, and walking around offering free hot chocolate and free frozen bananas dipped in chocolate to people in the shopping center Unfortunately, I don't yet have the juice to walk my normal several miles per day, back and forth and back and forth across the center.

Instead, I've been feebly sitting on a bench with a sign that reads, "Free Frozen Chocolate Bananas", and pointing towards the store when people look at it. I don't want to go into the shop because I don't want anybody else to catch what I have.

Turns out that sitting on a bench just watching people in a shopping center isn't too bad. And the sign has worked well. I especially enjoyed watching people yesterday, on the fourth of July. After four hours of watching, I started to get a feeling about this country we live in.

America's still got it.

It still has the special sauce that makes the United States of America a really good place to be.

First off, on the fourth of July, in a shopping center, what you mostly see are people who don't attach a lot of emotional value to the fourth of July. The folks who care most about the day are usually at home grilling and hanging with friends and family, or celebrating however they celebrate.

In the center, I saw and heard a lot of people who are recent immigrants to the United States. There was a good, steady flow. This fact alone, that the USA is still a magnet for immigrants, is a very good sign.

Complaining about immigrants is common, unfortunately. However, the fact that people are willing to leave behind their homeland and native culture, their family and friends and all other social ties, to venture out and come to this country, is a powerful signal.

Immigrant inflow is a strong indicator of national wellbeing in my opinion.

Of course, it isn't good for people to come over and mooch off a system they aren't paying in to. Nor do we want criminals and other ne'er do wells sneaking in. Immigration should be done in a rational and orderly way. It shouldn't be a free for all  But it is a good sign when a country has a lot of folks wanting to come over.

That got me to thinking about why exactly all of these foreign-born people are moving in to live in our neck of the woods. On a hunch, I pulled up data on where the biggest companies in the world are located.

Did you know that 70% of the world's largest companies are located in the United States? That is an amazing statistic.

There are roughly 200 countries in the world and one country is home to 70% of the world's biggest companies. Also fascinating to consider is that most of the biggest companies in the world were founded in the last 40 to 50 years which was a time of extensive globalization.

Think Apple and Microsoft and Tesla and Meta and Amazon. All of these companies were founded by first generation entrepreneurs and scaled to the moon.

What makes that possible? And why does it happen in the United States so much more frequently than in other places?

I have a master's degree in accounting and for about a decade of my life studying economics was my primary hobby. It used to bore my brother terribly when I'd start talking economics, so much so that he'd pretend that he was falling asleep by leaning back in his chair and letting out an obnoxious snore.

I won't bore you with all the nitty gritty details. But suffice it to say that the United States has the freest capital markets in the world. A business with growth potential has much easier access to resources here than anywhere else. The rules are less restrictive, and investors can keep more of their gains. Also, there is less risk that a greedy dictator will throw you in jail on trumped up charges and steal your wealth.

Free capital markets create big, strong companies, and this leads to a flourishing economy that attracts immigrants who are looking to improve their circumstances.

As I was sitting on the bench, looking at recent immigrants and thinking about the fourth of July, another thought occurred to me. A country can only have an Independence Day celebration if at some point in the past it has liberated itself from an oppressive ruler.

I don't know much about the history of Asia. I know that India liberated itself from the British. I know that the Philippines liberated itself from the Spanish. Here in the Americas, North and South, every single country was colonized by a European empire.

I don't know much African history, but I believe that most African countries had to overthrow foreign rulers at some point. That being the case, it occurred to me that most people in the modern age have a shared history of rebellion against oppressors.

This creates a fighting spirit and a desire for freedom.

I believe that this spirit is still very strong in the United States and acts as a glue that holds our vast multi-cultural society together. It is world historic to have people of so many different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds living together in relative harmony.

Yes, there are problems. There are always problems. And we should try to fix as many of them as possible.

But the times we are living through are by far not the most chaotic and tumultuous in our country's history.

If you are looking for a great book to read, consider The Golden Age by Gore Vidal. It is about FDR and the lead up to World War 2. It is an excellent and entertaining work of historical fiction.

Worried about a president acting as a dictator? Consider FDR, who served four terms! Do you think anybody could get away with that today?

Worried about the economy? Consider the great depression. It is highly unlikely that Americans will find themselves standing in breadlines ever again. American families on average throw away 40% of their food!

Worried about war? Consider World War 2 and its aftermath. War is always gruesome, no matter how big or small. But we are unlikely to have another worldwide slaughter on that scale because of mutually assured nuclear destruction.

Quite the opposite of what most people seem to think, we are living through some of the best times ever here in the United States.

The underlying framework that makes this all possible is freedom. And I believe that the desire for freedom is still very strong in our country.

More to come tomorrow as I am out of space for now.

Thank you so much for your time today.

I hope that you have a truly blessed day!