Focus Point - New Year's Reflections

Commentary by Pete du Pont

 I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis with best wishes for the new year. My grandmother was 14 when the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk, and 80 when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. "That's a lot of change in one lifetime," she said. She didn't know the half of it.

America has prospered like no other country in this century, and its rising tide has lifted all boats. It's worth remembering as the new millennium begins - for real - today -- all that has happened.

In 1900, we were an agrarian nation. Since then, we've seen the invention of the airplane, the computer, the microchip and refrigeration. We worked nine-and-a-half hours in 1919 to buy a basket of food staples; one-and-a-half hours today for the same basket.

Infant deaths are down, life expectancy up. Opportunity has increased for everyone. The poor are getting richer.

And now, the fun starts: Waves of opportunity generated by the Internet, biotechnology, alternative energy sources. Combine the new technologies with the freedoms guaranteed by the constitution, and the combination is unbeatable.

Bring on the next century. It's only going to get better.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, Hillary's memoirs.