4th of July

July 3, 2014

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

It’s 4th of July. Time to celebrate this great country of ours. I know bad things happen here. We have hunger and obesity. We have school shootings. Even last year, the Boston Marathon could not escape the violence. I turn my television on and see the wounded warriors back from the Middle East wars without their arms or legs. Our government is 17 trillion dollars in debt.

Listen to the news, and it seems the whole world is suffering in turmoil. But that’s just not true. Yes, with wars in the Middle East and Ukraine, we cannot ignore the brutal violence. However, according to the Brookings Institution, the world is making progress. “In 1980s, more than half of all people in developing countries lived in extreme poverty. By 2005, this was down to a quarter.” Cut in half. Steven Pinker writes in his book that we are living in the most non-violent period in human history.

Here in the U.S., we have made enormous progress in lifting up the poor. We still have “haves and have nots,” but the have nots have a lot more than they used to have. In the 1970s, three fifths of the poor didn’t have a car. More than three fourths have a car today. They have government support they didn’t used to have.

People from a host of other countries would give anything to live in the U.S. Look how they flood across our southern border?

We have a lot to celebrate this 4th of July. Listen to the words of this song. The words will make you proud to be an American.

O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain. America! America! God shed his grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!

Have a great 4th of July!

That’s it for this week. Until next week, I am John Block in Washington, D.