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Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

The great USA is resilient!


The United States of America remains, by far, the single greatest country on earth. I say that with faith and a strong confidence that we will emerge tall and proud from the problems plaguing our nation.

As America prepares to commemorate another Independence Day, the country undeniably has witnessed better days. Our economy is in a shambles. High unemployment has brought on desperation. Politically, the populace is polarized. Less than thirty percent of Americans surveyed by Rasmussen believe the country is headed in the right direction. In a column headlined, Greatness Slips Away, the New York Times’ Bob Herbert wrote, “We no longer rise to the great challenges before us. We can’t seem to do much of anything.” Renowned columnist Thomas Sowell is even harsher, asserting, “American democracy is being dismantled, piece by piece, before our very eyes.”

I repeat: The United States of America remains, by far, the single greatest country on earth, especially now because one of our national strengths is an uncanny, unmatched ability to adjust and recover. There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic, despite the permeating gloom and doom.

A 2008 Rand Corporation study concluded that the United States accounts for 40 percent of the world’s spending on scientific research and development, employs 70 percent of the world’s Nobel Prize winners and is home to three-quarters of the world’s top 40 universities. The average American worker is nearly 10 times more productive than the average Chinese worker. So much for the assumption that we have lost our global competitive edge. Rand emphasizes clearly that the United States continues its reign as the science and technology leader in the world.

During a languishing economy, it is a testament to a nation that collectively empathizes with its unemployed, yet can take some comfort that all is not lost. Economist Stephen Rose writes in his new book, Rebound: Why America Will Emerge Stronger From the Financial Crisis, “the number of Americans earning between $35,000 and $70,000 declined by 12 percent between 1980 and 2008. But that’s largely because the number earning over $105,000 increased by 14 percent. Over the past 10 years, 60 percent of American adults made more than $100,000 in at least one or two of those years, and 40 percent had incomes that high for at least three.”

According to Rose’s research, over half of American households do not have credit card debt after paying their monthly bill, between 62 and 68 percent of Americans say they live better than their parents, shrinking manufacturing jobs are being replaced by managerial and skilled professional jobs, and the rise in the proportion of high-wage high-skilled jobs is directly due to dramatic improvement in average education levels with today, only 10 percent of workers lack a high school diploma, 60 percent have some postsecondary education, and 30 percent have at least a four year college degree.

Scholarly author Dinesh D'Souza writes, “We live in a country where construction workers regularly pay $4 for a nonfat latte, where maids drive rather nice cars, where plumbers and postal workers take their families on vacation in Europe or the Caribbean. “ D’Souza adds, “The United States is a country where the poor live comparatively well.”

D’Souza’s claim is verified by a Heritage Foundation study that utilized Census Bureau data authored by Robert Rector that reads, in part:

“Overall, the typical American defined as poor by the government has a car, air conditioning, a refrigerator, a stove, a clothes washer and dryer, and a microwave. He has two color televisions, cable or satellite TV reception, a VCR or DVD player, and a stereo. He is able to obtain medical care. His home is in good repair and is not overcrowded. By his own report, his family is not hungry and he had sufficient funds in the past year to meet his family's essential needs. While this individual's life is not opulent, it is equally far from the popular images of dire poverty.”

Economic conditions, while still troubling, are such for most Americans that they will be poised and in fairly decent shape while economic recovery hits full swing.

Let’s not forget other key factors working decidedly in America’s favor.

The US economy is the most vibrant. Our workforce is ready, willing, and able to fill and succeed in future job opportunities. We are the envy of the world for our innovation and ingenuity. The value of our goods and services remains high. Educational institutions are second to none.

The road to recovery will be slow and arduous. However, it’s a path we have been down before. We are veterans at rebuilding after a calamity. Remember 9-11, Katrina, the dotcom debacle, the Mexican peso crisis, the Asian financial crisis, previous recessions, the Great Depression?

We are well aware of the numerous national problems that abound. Come Independence Day, we set them aside to reflect, not on our shortcomings. We celebrate a rich and glorious history, marked by a national tenacity and perseverance that will carry us through to even brighter American chapters.

God bless the United States of America!

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