Reasons For Optimism 50-54

50. Over Thanksgiving I randomly caught some segments of a (CNBC?) TV program about John Deere and the combines they design and manufacture. They are constantly working on new models that harvest crops more efficiently and more cheaply and are easier to repair and a host of other endless improvements. The show felt like a brief glimpse into the millions of quiet, incremental innovations that capitalism is constantly bringing us, and perhaps part of the reason we are still able to feed an entire planet despite the doomsayers of decades ago. It’s easy to get caught up in the big and more visible bad news and forget the subtle productivity improvements that are quietly advancing in thousands of industries year after year.

51. A British company claims the biggest engine advance since the jet, doing something with “heat exchanger technology” that supposedly overcomes speed limitations of other technologies and could make “any destination on Earth to no more than four hours away.”

52. 3d printing continues to advance.

53. Mexico is doing a lot better than many Americans realize, with economic growth, lower unemployment, and (finally) potentially falling crime. This is good for Mexicans, of course, but it’s also good for Americans who benefit from increased manufacturing trade along with the reversed flow of illegal immigrants.

54. The Supreme Court “declined to hear an appeal of a controversial Illinois law prohibiting people from recording police officers on the job.” It’s complicated, but it sounds like this means the lower ruling stands, which I think means that Illinois’s ban on recording police officers stays “struck down,” and while it may not explicitly prohibit such bans in other states, it’s still an encouraging precedent that other bans may not stand, either. I view this to be a good thing for transparency and accountability from government employees in their interactions with the public.

Now if we can just get the Senate to include Leahy’s warrant requirements for emails and Rand Paul’s citizen trial rights guarantee in today’s respective FISA and NDAA debates…

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