The economy grew at a strong 3.5 percent clip in the third quarter, according to initial estimates.
That came on the heels of an even stronger second quarter growth of 4.6 percent.
The economy has grown that way, above 3.5 percent, in 4 out of the past 5 quarters, the only hiccup coming during one of the harshest winters on record.
The jobless rate, which peaked at 10 percent during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, is down to 5.9 percent.
The U.S. is in the midst of the longest string of monthly private-sector job growth in its history.
The country is creating about a quarter of a million jobs every month. That streak is expected to continue when job numbers for October are released next Friday.
Weekly jobless claims, which topped 660,000 during the Great Recession, have been below 300,000 for several weeks, reaching a point analysts don’t believe can get much better.
More businesses are expected to continue hiring.
Roughly $1 trillion has been trimmed from the 2009 budget deficit.
Our energy production has soared.
Health care costs - the primary threat to the country’s long-term fiscal health - remain on a historic slowdown even as millions more gain health care coverage.
The price of gas has fallen to a $3 average. More than half of gas stations have prices below that mark, including those in the Myrtle Beach area with signs displaying $2.59 and lower.
The Dow Jones and S&P 500 are breaking more stock records while the NASDAQ is at its highest post-bubble level.
The third quarter brought the highest wage gains since 2008.
Inflation remains below the Federal Reserve’s benchmark.
Mortgage rates remain at all-time-lows.
Violent crime remains on the downward trend it has been on for a couple of decades. The same can be said of teenage pregnancy and the abortion rate, which is at an all-time-low.
We’re not supposed to talk about such things, though.
We are supposed to be afraid of an Ebola outbreak that has yet to emerge in the U.S. - one person infected elsewhere has died here - while potentially allowing that unfounded fear to make it harder to fight the disease where our help is needed most.
We are supposed to afraid of a reckless Russian president who invaded another country only to have the international community destroy his economy with harsh sanctions, forcing the supposed strongman to slowly, quietly back down.
We are supposed to be afraid of ISIS, which has been stymied by airstrikes and is being met on the battlefield in a more significant way because of it.
We are supposed to fret that we are fighting another war while forgetting that all of our troops are still out of Iraq and tens of thousands more are still leaving Afghanistan later this year.
We are supposed to ignore the recent jump in wage growth because we haven’t made up for everything we lost during the Great Recession.
We are supposed to ignore the falling jobless rate because too many people still don’t have jobs.
Because the housing market hasn’t returned to the inflated heights it reached during what we now know was an artificial bubble, and credit markets are still too tight, we have no right to notice that home prices have slowly healed and mortgage rates remain at historic lows even as too many American homeowners have underwater loans.
We are not supposed to be thankful for the sun rays finally bursting through dark clouds that have hovered over us for far too long.
We aren’t supposed to highlight our faults - a too-high gun violence rate, too much domestic violence, a literacy rate too low among some groups, too much poverty and inequality - to push ourselves to never settle for where we are, to constantly push for improvement.
No. We are supposed to highlight such things to be afraid and angry and downtrodden, to make sure others join us in our self-imposed misery.
Never mind that the U.S. remains the envy of the world and that our economy, already the globe’s largest and most important, is growing at a rate most other industrialized countries would kill for.
Why? Because it makes us feel better to believe we are heading to Hell in a hand basket instead of acknowledging that we’ve always dealt with struggle and pain and confusion and mishap - even self-inflicted wounds brought on by greed and selfishness and discrimination - and adjusted and came out better every time.
Some time not long ago, American exceptionalism stopped being a declaration of the U.S. as a beacon on a hill and became a declaration of exceptional exaggeration of our vulnerabilities.
And we so enjoy that new, perverse exceptionalism that attempts to wake us from that stupor are met with disdain.
How dare you insist things aren’t as horrible as we want to believe?
How dare you tell me not to get carried away with irrational fear?
Don’t you dare tell us we don’t have to always be angry and short-sighted and hyper partisan.
We are Americans, after all. We’ve never had anything to be grateful for.