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Living the American Dream: Author Steven Johnson highlights progress

AmericanFlag112712_optBY REBECCA SHEEHAN
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
COMMENTARY

Day in and day out, Americans tend to only focus on the negative and leave little room to celebrate all the successes that are happening around us. In our nation, half of all marriages end in divorce and too many people are on unemployment and continue to struggle in their efforts to secure a job. According to bestselling author, Steven Johnson, (who discusses science, technology and personal experience in his books), as Americans we are actually living the dream – and just don’t realize it yet.

In a CNN.com opinion article, Johnson writes that over the past 50 years the world’s population increased, while those living in poverty have decreased by 50 percent. At the same time in Latin America infant mortality and life expectancy have both improved by an astounding 40 percent. That is definitely a success story.

But at the same time, some things are headed in a negative direction. For example, in the past decade alone the poverty level has greatly increased, while wealth inequality is at a level that has not been seen since the 1920s, Johnson writes.

In Johnson’s opinion, there is one prominent, positive social trend that has been overlooked by the general public – the astonishing drop in the U.S. crime rate. The violent crime rate (crimes per thousand people) dropped from 51 to 15 between 1995 and 2010. This is indeed something to be positive about for our nation as a whole. And yet according to a series of Gallup polls conducted over the past 10 years, more than two-thirds of Americans believe that crime has been getting worse, year after year.

Johnson believes Americans need to start celebrating our steady progresses right now, this way the next generation can truly be inspired to continue to march onward and upward.

To read more about the progresses that are being overlooked in our nation according to Johnson, check out his full opinion article at: http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/24/opinion/johnson-progress-overlooked/.

 

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