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The Eternal Optimist

Positive Vibrations to Brighten Your Day

By @JeffMastronardo

I stumbled upon some interesting information the other day that I thought timely to share with you.  If you go online or turn on your TV, there is no doubt it will be easier to find headlines or articles about how bad the economy is or how bad it is going to get.  Below I have listed some stats that if you didn’t know, you should, and hopefully they can brighten up your day a little bit.

  • For the first time ever, there are more job openings posted in America than there are people looking for work.
  • Initial claims for unemployment in March 2019 dropped below 200,000 for the first time since men walked on the moon.  Relative to population (329 million at year-end 2018 vs. 203 million in July 1969) this is by far the lowest number ever recorded.
  • Household net worth is well over $100 trillion, yet household leverage – debt payments to disposable income – is lower than it’s been since 1980.
  • In 2018 the United States became once again the largest oil-producing country in the world.  In 2020 we will become a net exporter of hydrocarbon energy.
  • The iPhone in a middle school child’s backpack contains, by orders of magnitude, more computing power than NASA command on the day Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon.
  • The US is minting 1,700 new financial millionaires, excluding their homes, each day.
  • In November of 1960 over half the world’s population lived in extreme poverty, the majority of humans were illiterate.  The percentages today are barely 10 and 15 respectively.
  • In the next 24 hours, assuming this is an average day on Planet Earth, 217,000 people will have escaped extreme poverty, 325,000 will have gained some access to electricity, 300,000 more will have gained access to clean water and 600,000 will have gotten online for the first time.

The world isn’t perfect, and not everyone is living the American dream.  I merely wanted to highlight for you the amazing progress we have made and remind you that the news isn’t all bad.

The eternal optimist,

Jeff Mastronardo

Financial Coach


Data quoted in the above bullet points are excerpts taken from an interactive newsletter by Nick Murray [Longevity The New Inequality, Nick Murray Interactive Volume 19 Issue 5, accessed May 2019], which includes reference to the following as sources for this data.

  • Ryan Krueger of Krueger & Catalano 2017, Two’s Are Now Underestimated: The Mikan Drill for Stocks, Sure Dividend, <www.suredividend.com/mikan-drill-for-stocks>
  • Jeffrey A. Tucker 2019, Wealth Has Never Been More Equal, American Institute for Economic Research, <www.aier.org/article/wealth-has-never-been-more-equal>
  • Tracey Longo 2019, DALBAR: U.S. Investors Lost Twice As Much As The S&P In 2018, Financial Advisor Magazine, <www.fa-mag.com/news/u-s–investors-lost-twice-as-much-as-the-s-p-500-in-2018-43995.html>
  • Kenneth Rogoff 2019, Modern Monetary Nonsense, Project Syndicate, <www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/federal-reserve-modern-monetary-theory-dangers-by-kenneth-rogoff-2019-03>
  • Mark J. Perry 2019, Dynamic chart of the day: The evolving electricity mix of the US, 1985-2017, Carpe Diem AEI, <www.aei.org/publication/dynamic-chart-of-the-day-the-evolving-electricity-mix-of-the-us-1985-2017/>
  • Marian L. Tupy 2019, Food Prices in 1919 Compared to Today, FEE, <www.fee.org/articles/food-prices-in-1919-compared-to-today/>