A couple of weeks ago I wrote that Americans are too pessimistic about the future and listed many ways in which things are going well in the U.S. Of course, I also included one very negative trend: our rapidly increasing national debt and the possibility that the current surge in inflation could lead to a new fiscal crisis in the near future.
But, setting aside debt and inflation for now, consider some particulars on the positive side:
- The Pandemic is weakening into endemic status. The Omicron variant is more infectious than the delta variant, but the symptoms are also much milder, especially for those who are vaccinated. The pandemic is not going to just disappear someday but more likely will settle into a low-level steady-state like the ordinary common flu, which is dealt with in a routine manner that does not disrupt society.
- The U.S. is not abandoning Ukraine which wants to be free and identifies with the West. Russia is threatening to invade and, obviously, the West does not want war. But the U.S. is not abandoning Ukraine, either. We are still providing anti-tank missiles (starting in 2018) and are also currently providing military advisory support. It is very important for the U.S. to be visibly supporting freedom and democracy around the world, wherever they are under threat.
- Israel and the U.S. are pursuing a common policy on Iran. Israel has promised to support a strong nuclear deal with Iran that would permanently limit its ability to assemble a nuclear weapon. The U.S. is willing to restore the 2015 accord that President Trump abandoned – with Israel’s support – but only if it is “longer and stronger” than the original agreement. Iran has so far resisted such a new agreement but it is encouraging that the U.S. and Israel are working together on this important project.
- Economic Cracks in the Great Wall of China. Under Xi Jinping, China’s economy is systematically weakening and Mr. Xi’s priorities offer little hope for a quick turnaround. In fact. The U.S. and its allies could further compound Mr. Xi’s challenges by vigorous enforcement of trade laws, limiting Chinese access to technology and financing from the West, and imposing sanctions against China’s brutal human-rights abuses in Xinjiang and in various parts of the developing world which it is exploiting through its Belt and Road initiative.
Conclusion. I have been quite critical of President Biden’s overall record but he is doing some things right, especially in foreign policy where he is largely continuing policies started under President Trump. In particular, we now have effective bipartisan policies for dealing with our main adversaries: China, Russia, and Iran.