Today is Independence Day, America.  Happy birthday to us all.  It seems like a perfect day to share what I think are ten things about this country that make it the best place to live on the face of the Earth.

The Founders

Let us admit from the outset that we got lucky.  Real lucky.  Imagine some of the greatest minds in political theory, law, and philosophy all clustered in one small geographical area at a time of great political significance, and then imagine them all coming together to forge a lasting political framework the likes of which had never before been seen in history.  From Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence to Madison’s Constitution, talk about the right people being at the right place at the right time.  Incredible.

The Rule of Law

The most significant accomplishment of the Founders has to be the system of government they established, in which the law triumphs over all over factors.  We should not take for granted the durability and justness of the system they put in place.  Has it been perfect?  Of course not.  Wealth and power still often tilt the scales of justice, just as gender and race often contributed to the miscarriage of justice in the past (and sometimes, in the present).  Still, ours is a system built on the rule of law, and we are immeasurably better off for it.

The Land

The United States is a paradise of natural resources and beauty.  If you have never taken it upon yourself to travel throughout the country, do so.  Mountains, rivers, lakes, beaches, prairies, and vistas of lush beauty can be found everywhere.  We have space.  We have abundant resources.  We have rich soil.  We really have it all in terms of the natural world.