By: Victor Normand
Does it seem like all the news is bad lately? No matter where you look, something bad or very sad is happening. Natural disasters keep coming one after another, the political environment is chaotic and violence around the world is setting records. We can’t get away from very bad behavior by some of the powerful in society and millennials still can’t find good jobs.
To some extent, we find what we are searching for. Psychologically, we are wired to look for bad news as a matter of self preservation. We need to know what’s out there that threatens us, but are we being overwhelmed by bad news and is it affecting our behavior, dampening individual optimism in areas where optimism is justified? A recent article in Psychology Today found that negative news stories outnumber positive ones by seventeen to one.
But…there IS good news; you just have to look for it. Every day good things happen to people, so much good news in fact that most major news outlets have channels that post only good news, lots of it. Even Fox News has the site, http://www.foxnews.com/category/good-news.html where they keep the good news. There’s even a Good News Network. It’s interesting that much of this good news is segregated away from the Breaking News of the day.
But consider this, as in politics, good news is often all about the economy, and the economy doesn’t look bad at all. Writer Brian Sullivan included this list of good economic news in an article he wrote for CNBC last week:
- The latest CNBC economic survey shows optimism in the American economy at a 10-year high.
- Manufacturing activity is at a 13-year high.
- Service sector activity is at a 12-year high.
- There are a record 6.2 million open jobs in America.
- Semi truck sales are out-of-control strong.
- Intermodal rail traffic hit a record in the week that ended Sept. 23.
- Despite talk of retail’s impending doom, nearly 700,000 people got hired in the sector during the past year.
- The median home sales price rose more than 5 percent from last year.
- Car sales data released last week showed a huge rebound, with GM sales up 12 percent and Ford rising nearly 9 percent.
- Airlines are carrying a record number of people.
It would be a mistake to ignore the bad news, especially when there are things we can do to make things better for the future, but the sky is not falling and the Chicken Little in us has not overtaken our optimism.
As for our millennial children, we may be more worried about their future than they are. They are smart, well educated and living in one of the most open societies on earth. Despite our conflicts and uneven social progress, this country is still on the top of the list of best places to build a prosperous future.
The younger generation is moving at their own pace and in their own direction and that is very good news.