Light at the end of the tunnel seems dim

There’s been a general air of doom for the impending 2012 year. The Mayans decided to play the grandest trick on the world and pretend like they knew when it was going to end. This has left my ear filled with conversation from amateur doomsday theorists about all the coincidences occurring around the world that prove the world is coming to an end.

The debt in the U.S has topped an unprecedented level and now is equal to the entire U.S economy. In other words, the debt that the U.S has incurred is now equal to everything we’re producing in this country.

Long term projections show that the likelihood that the national debt will grow at a faster rate than the U.S economy, and the economy would have to grow at rate of 6 percent in order to keep pace.

President Obama’s 2012 budget shows the debt moving past $26 trillion in 10 years. Last summer’s deficit reduction deal could make that number $24 trillion. Among advanced economies only Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Portugal have debt larger than their economies. These countries all share the distinction of being at the center of the European debt crisis.

If that doesn’t cheer you up, consider the coming election. Many Republicans find themselves dissatisfied by their candidates. On top of that, President Obama has never looked more unimpressive in the eyes of many voters. The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that “21 percent of the nation’s voters strongly approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing as president. Voters strongly disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -20.”

Although declining, unemployment is still higher than it has ever been going into an election year since World War II. At 8.5 percent there is still much to be done by the next president in terms of job creation.

We’re also fatter than we’ve ever been. According the CDC, about one-third of U.S. adults (33.8 percent) are obese. Approximately 17 percent (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese. The number of overweight Americans not obese is 34.4 percent. According to a new study released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, three-fourths of Americans will be obese or overweight by 2020.

The whole world has gone to hell in a hand basket, and this is coming at a time when many of us will soon be entering the workforce within the next few years. Our generation is inheriting a great big pile of manure, and we will be forced to solve many of these problems.

However, over the break I had the chance to talk to a friend who was doing some work for children in Sudan. His church raised money to feed 100 children in Sudan with a bag of rice and beans daily. When he visited, he found many of the children lived naked digging through garbage to survive daily. I’m reminded of the story because many of the problems we have seem so small in the grander scheme of things.

Martin Luther King Day has passed with many observing the day by doing things that have little value. Dr. King said, “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” If the world comes to an end, then I hope that our time on earth would have been spent trying to make it better rather than just complaining about it.