Generally I would say "Amen", but the fact is that President Obama, of whom I am a great admirer, has spent four years mainly doing damage control. It should be patently obvious that misguided principles of "lower taxes" and "let the markets run free and wild" literally exploded in our faces, and hardly anyone has erased their powder burns yet. We sit here now an argue over billions, while TRILLIONS were wasted in Iraq, much of it going into the pockets of cronies an crony corporations. Afghanistan is another story, but serious waste there is also identifiable. This President accomplished in three years what the previous one failed to do in eight (eliminating Bin Laden).
In past forums, we have bantered about what kind of money would be needed to accomplish this that and the other for the benefit of America, and for the world as well. But it seems we can only resolve to spend massive amounts of money on crisis of our own creation, rather than on the ounces of prevention necessary to avoid those crisis. I philosophically weep every time I think about the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ we squandered 2001 thru 2008, and how we turned a blind eye to the excesses of the financial communities, who proceeded to wallpaper the world with their trainloads of financial derivatives (instruments which in small or moderate volumes ARE actually useful).
I feel that Don has seen too much of the negative aspects of humanity, and it has further been colored by what are now obviously the spectral opposite of "rose-colored" glasses. He therefore has lost hope, and only gains comfort in trying to make the rest of us wring our hands and wail along with him. President Obama got it right in his "The Audacity of Hope", and we might reflect on the pitiable nature of those with a lack of hope.
The topic of waste which Malcolm and Len introduced should be addressed, as a characteristic of higher standards of living. The higher that standard, the less people are concerned with, and care about the proper usage or disposal of waste. Again, without the vocal minorities who spend their lives pointing these things out, and who try to address them, humanity as a group WILL waste itself to death. Wasted food, pollutive & hazardous waste, fossil CO2 waste, wasted groundwater, wasted fuel, financial paper waste (often masquerading as "product"), even people and lives themselves. If there ever was an argument for better regulation of our activity, you merely have to look at the need for sewer systems as an analog for most all of mankinds activities. Waste must be regulated, handled, minimized, treated, and properly recycled in order to prevent us being buried by our own "waste" ... use the visual analogy that this conjures up in your heads to understand the real nature of many of Humanity's problems. We "consume", and "throw away" as easily as conditions allow, in all of our activities. Man advances by occasionally being more inventive and productive than consumptive. but it continues to take decades and centuries to make progress against the sadder parts of our inherent nature, and much of the wisdom gained by each generation simply dies with the bodies, only needing to be relearned at great expense by the next generation.
Conversely, if not for these problems, what would many of us do for a living? ;-) 5% progress, 95% damage control and maintenance seems to be the ratio of life for "productive" members of society ... at least that's my pet theory.