Robert Schlesinger, managing editor for opinion at U.S. News & World Report, calls 2017 “a dumpster fire of a year, especially for those who reside and operate in the world of politics and policy.” Who, he asks, will mourn its passing?
Only a fool would mourn the turning over of the calendar in any year. But, as Roger Kimball demonstrates, folks who reside and operate in the real world can find plenty to celebrate about 2017.
* The Dow Jones industrial average rose from 19,762 on December 31, 2016 to 24,754 (as of last Friday), an increase of more than 25 percent.
* 1.7 million jobs were added to our economy and the unemployment rate dropped from 4.7 to 4.1 percent.
* Consumer confidence reached a 17-year high.
* GDP grew by more than 3 percent in the second and third quarters of the year (the fourth quarter numbers are not yet in, of course). In 2016, the growth rate was 1.5 percent.
* Illegal immigration into the U.S. declined by about 50 percent.
* Congress voted the majority of Americans (probably the vast majority) a tax cut.
I believe there is much more to celebrate, and so does Kimball. He cites an increase in the military budget that will strengthen and modernize our armed forces; a decrease in the nation’s regulatory burden; and a president who puts America’s interests, “not the interests of the permanent bureaucracy and its media and academic echo chambers,” first.
These blessings are controversial, though. The first list shouldn’t be. Most people, maybe even most who “who reside and operate in the world of politics and policy,” like rising stock prices, job creation, lower unemployment, consumer confidence, less illegal immigration, and lower taxes.
For us, 2017 was, on the whole, a very good year.