1. While $16T of national debt is troubling (of which China owns only 8%), the citizens of the United States own $150T of assets. In other words, we are leaving our children $9.37 of assets for every dollar of debt. Still a problem, but not the end of the world.
2. For the first time in more than one hundred years, China passed the United States as the world’s largest manufacturer. However, US manufacturing remains 10x as efficient as China’s.
3. On the note of manufacturing, the US manufactures more goods today than at any time in history. Our manufacturing output is just smaller than the entire economy of Japan.
4. There is $2T of excess reserves sitting in US banks, on a record $9T of deposits. Corporate cash balances, as a percentage of assets, are at the highest level since 1960. All of this money is earning essentially zero interest and will eventually be invested back into the economy.
5. Since 2008 more than $1T of investor money has flowed into bond funds. At some point, likely when rates go up and bond values collapse, this money will flow back into equities.
6. Computing power today is one million times more powerful and less expensive than it was 30-years ago. The computing power in an iPad would have cost $100,000,000 in 1980. Your smart phone contains more computing power than existed on the earth in 1950.
7. In 2007, 14.1% of consumer income went towards paying off debt. Today the household debt service ratio is under 11%.
8. Make a list of the 20 most important companies started in the last 40-years. I’m willing to bet that at least 19 of the 20 were started in the US.
9. On a similar note, according to Forbes, 19 of the 20 most valuable brands are US based.
10. The recently discovered shale gas technology (which needs to be carefully balanced with environmental concerns) has unleashed more than 100 years of relatively clean natural gas, at a price that has averaged 1/3 that of other developed countries. This technology has already created thousands of jobs and will create thousands more.
11. US oil production is up 25% since 2008.
12. In 1918, the millions of deaths caused by the flu pulled the life expectancy at birth to 35. Today life expectancy at birth is 78 and the biggest health problems facing our nation today are primarily lifestyle related.
13.When the first baby boomers were born in 1946, the S&P500 was at 18 (eighteen) and the US economy (as measured by GDP) was $200B. Today the S&P500 is above 1,400 and the US economy is north of $14T.
14. Since early 2009, the market has essentially doubled in value. At current CD rates, it would take more than 72 years to double your money.
15. The World’s middle class is expected to reach 5.5 billion people by 2025. Today it stands at 2 billion, and in 1980, the middle class contained fewer than 300 million people.
16. In 1970, nearly 12% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty (incomes of less than $1 daily). Today that number is 2.3%.
17.Moore’s Law dictates that the cost of computing will fall 97% in the next ten years. Robotics costs continue to fall at a rate of 30% annually, while China’s labor costs are increasing at a rate of 20% annually.
18. Three weeks ago Iran’s currency collapsed, largely due to US sanctions.
19. The earnings yield of the S&P500 is 7.5%. The yield of the 10-year treasury is 1.5%. The S&P500 has virtually unlimited upside potential, bonds can only go down from here.
20. The US produces more research papers, issues more patents, spends more on research, and awards more science and engineering doctoral degrees than any other country (and by a large margin).
21. Doctors can now print, PRINT, 3D medical devices based on CAT scans of body parts.
When considering all of this good news, not to mention all of the bad news in the past that we somehow survived, how can someone possibly be pessimistic about the future?!?
Just for fun, read back through this list to see how many of these facts were covered by your favorite media source.