Donate to JWR

In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 4, 2008 / 7 Kislev 5769

What happened to optimism?

By Cal Thomas

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article | During the Great Depression and World War II, truly challenging times, there were songs that boosted the spirits of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. "There'll Be Bluebirds Over the White Cliffs of Dover" was one; "Look for the Silver Lining," was another. More recently, the Broadway musical "Annie" lifted theatergoers out of what Jimmy Carter, in 1979, called our "malaise" with the song "Tomorrow" — "The sun'll come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun..."

Where is that optimism today in the midst of the sharp economic downturn? One doesn't hear much of it from politicians and especially not from the media, which trades exclusively in gloom and doom. President Bush has said he believes things will get better. That's not exactly a rousing sentiment. Barack Obama hasn't displayed much optimism, other than his campaign rhetoric for undefined "change." OK, so the economy is weak. Who thinks this is a permanent condition? Americans have always been optimists. Where is that optimism when we need it most?

Ric Edelman, the best-selling author of money management books, in his online newsletter (, reminds me of some things that ought to increase our optimism and keep us from judging the future by the current condition of our anemic retirement accounts.


Every weekday publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.

Edelman notes that the United States remains the largest, most powerful economy in the world. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 95 percent of the consumers of American goods live outside the United States. According to Ambassador Susan C. Schwab, U.S. Trade Representative, in the first seven months of 2008, U.S. exports of goods and services "were 18.3 percent higher than in the same period in 2007." Schwab added, "The United States remains a global leader in manufacturing, services and agriculture." The U.S. produces nearly one-fourth of the world's industrial output, making it the world's largest manufacturer. And, most importantly, significant growth is projected for many sectors of the economy. One example: employment in computer systems design and related services, according to the Department of Labor's Outlook Handbook, is projected to grow nearly 40 percent by 2016. Jobs in education services are expected to increase by 11 percent by 2016; health care service employment is projected to grow by 22 percent. Other sectors also expect sizeable job growth, such as energy, insurance and professional services.

You say that's not much solace to someone who has just been laid-off? Maybe not if that person sits at home waiting for opportunity to knock. But maybe so, if that person leaves the house and starts banging on opportunity's door.

There's plenty more cause for optimism. Listen up you laid-off autoworkers. Nissan, BMW's Mini and Audi will introduce electric cars in the next few years. They all have plants in America. The electric Mini is scheduled to reach showrooms next year. The future is not petroleum addiction, but alternative energy. In Bahrain, a new skyscraper, the Bahrain World Trade Center, features three wind turbines that supply 11 percent to 15 percent of the building's electricity needs. Floating, moveable wind turbines are being developed for ocean use as well, which will allow for large wind farms at sea.

Yes, we can free ourselves from the religious nuts that sell us oil and use the profits to underwrite terrorism.

Want more? Scientists have just announced a cure for Type-1 diabetes in lab mice. This breakthrough could mean a cure within a few years for more than 1 million American children who suffer from Type-1 diabetes, also called juvenile diabetes.

Pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies are testing a record 633 new biotech medicines, which could lead to better treatments and, eventually, to cures for cancer and infectious, autoimmune and cardiovascular disease.

While the stock market suffers from what history teaches will be a temporary setback, these other advances will have a permanent and positive effect on our country and the world.

So come on everybody (harmony!):

"The sun'll come out tomorrow, so ya gotta hang on 'til tomorrow, come what may. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow, you're always a day away."

Every weekday publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Click HERE to purchase it at a discount. (Sales help fund JWR.).

Cal Thomas Archives

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.

© 2006, Tribune Media Services, Inc.