our opinions: ADVICE FROM AN EXPERT In The Comfort Zone Proud To Be An American T 92 his is the greatest country, with the greatest govern- ment, with the greatest opportunity for individuals in the history of the world. Even with the tumult over the summer, I truly thank God every day for the privilege of living in America. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Our allies around the world look to us for leadership and see us as a shining example of democracy. Tony Blair, the former English Prime Minister, told his ambassadors in 2003, “We are the ally of the US not because they are powerful, but because we share their values. I am not surprised by anti-Americanism; but it is a foolish indulgence. For all their faults and all nations have them, the US [is] a force for good; they have liberal and democratic traditions of which any nation can be proud. I sometimes think it is a good rule of thumb to ask of a country: are people trying to get into it or out of it? It’s not a bad guide to what sort of country it is.” More people continue to want to come to our country for education, health care and opportunity than any other country in the world. Ask anyone who has traveled exten- sively overseas and they will tell you that there is nowhere else they would want to live. There were a lot of famous people who threatened to move away based on our last presidential election, but I’ve not seen a single one relo- cate. Even they know that regardless of who our leader is, this is still the best country in the world to live and work in. Speaking of educational opportunities, we are consis- tently told about European nations who offer free or low cost college educations to their young adults. Yes, you have to pay for that opportunity in this country, but it is available to anyone who wants to further their educa- tion and expand their job opportunities in the future. And the whole world knows it. According to Time Magazine, International students attending US colleges last year topped one million students. In the US, 66 percent of high school students continued on to a college or university, By Brett Hobson CEO Comfort Experts according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the UK, less than 40 percent of students go to college and in Germany it’s even less, with only 35 percent earning a degree. And that’s after having to qualify to even continue your studies. Our numbers are higher because we have the opportunity to choose to make our lives better by getting additional training and education. We are the only country in the world where you can choose to live in a mansion or under a bridge. Those same freedoms that allow you to choose wheth- er you would like to further your education have allowed us to think, to innovate, and to solve problems. Most of us do not look to the government to solve our problems. Think of all the innovation and inventions that were created here. I know in my business I couldn’t be happier about the invention of the air conditioner in 1902. Other American inventions have included everything from the first powered flight to the World Wide Web. Our country has created a culture of creativity and innovation [like] the world has never seen. Hundreds of inventions that have made our lives richer, easier and more convenient have been developed by people with the freedom to think bigger and dream. “In God We Trust” is not just a slogan on our money. It’s what we need to believe in as we soldier on in an ever-changing world. Every day we get to choose what our future is, and I believe that our future is here in the United States. We need to support our president, our government and each other. All of us are needed to make us all successful. I’m proud to be an American and I hope you are too. Brett Hobson, President Comfort Experts P.S. We want to be your air-conditioning and heating professionals.