America is a Gift

Happy belated 4th of July! I hope you had a great weekend. For my part, I enjoyed a quiet weekend that included grilling and a hike.

More than I should have, I also enjoyed watching video clips of alarmed newscasters in places like Los Angeles showing massive displays of illegal fireworks going off. People were going to celebrate their country in their own way regardless of what some state and local governments had to say about it. (Note to governors and mayors all across the nation: You can’t require people to stay at home, then actively support gathering for protests, then revert back to lockdown mode again by telling people they can’t gather to celebrate!)

And we should celebrate. We live in the greatest country in history in terms of widespread economic prosperity, opportunity, and individual freedom and liberty.

America is a gift.

Notice that I didn’t say a perfect gift. There are plenty of things current and past that indicate America is a work in progress, but the direction is good.

Another thing I did to celebrate the 4th was to start reading another book on the American Revolution. In this space in the past I’ve mentioned great titles like 1776 by David McCullough, Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett Fischer and Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. (If you’re interested, you can order them from a great local bookstore, Old Firehouse Books.)

Now I’m reading Valley Forge by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin.

What I’ve learned from such books is that life is complicated, even brilliant and courageous people are flawed and sometimes deeply so, and America was and is a unique set of ideas and ideals unlike anything that came before it. And while mistakes were made, the United States has had the system to improve and self-correct. We are far better today than the country we started to create 244 years ago.

What does any of this have to do with business in Northern Colorado? If we have learned anything from the Covid-19 closedowns, it’s about the outsized impact of government on business. It’s certainly something to ponder as you look around at who is representing you in government and whether they really care about your rights as a businessperson.

American is a gift and one we can’t take for granted as citizens and businesses.