I was ecstatic to see that Larry Ellison had a damn decent quarter at Oracle—enough in the black to initiate the company's first ever dividend payment! The same day I read the upbeat Oracle story, I was taking care of a nasty sinus problem (on a stop between Colombia and Lithuania) with a couple of visits to Houston's awe-inspiring Methodist Hospital System.
Oracle and Methodist got me thinking about how much is working and moving in the U.S. economy, though you sure as hell wouldn't know it from the press and its pundits—or the President's schedule-of-gloom.
We are getting the tar beaten out of us, to be sure, but the "American narrative," circa 2009, does not begin and end on Wall Street and/or Detroit.
The good news keeps pouring out of our research universities and medical centers. The good news is marked by venture-funded startups in every aspect of information technology (from materials research to devices to the Internet and other media) and biotechnology and renewable energy and green enhancements and materials science and medical devices. (And. And. And.) The good news is that the race is still on and excitement is still high in the likes of Houston and Austin and San Antonio and Seattle and Silicon Valley-SF-Berkeley and Boston-Cambridge and Madison and Raleigh-Durham and Champaign-Urbana and Northern Virginia-Bethesda and San Diego and LA. (And. And. And.)
No, my glasses have not acquired a rose-colored tint. But they haven't entirely fogged over either. Give up on the U.S.A. for the next 10 years? Fill your wardrobe with hair shirts? What a joke. The best may or may not be yet to come—but there's a lotta "best" going on around us every minute of every day.
I don't recommend a Grade A sinus infection as an excuse, but c'mon down to Houston Methodist Med Center—and watch America shine at what we shine at. You'll be blown away!