Included these comments:
(…) But even so, I am impressed at how easily people talk to me here, how quick they are to return phone calls, how happy strangers are to show me around their hometowns. There is also more of an intellectual ferment here than in any other country I know. The think-tanks are bigger and pack more intellectual firepower. The universities are without peer, and eager to share their insights with mere scribblers such as me. Many of the politicians I meet think deeply and hard about the issues facing the country. So do many of the businessfolk, and many of the citizens I meet carrying placards in the street.
I’m optimistic about America’s future. The country has high unemployment, crushing debts and a political system that resists making painful but necessary changes. But America also offers a higher material standard of living than anywhere else, and more freedom. By that I mean not only the absence of restraints but also the availability of choices. This is why people with get up and go, get up and come here. And that is why America will keep growing, adapting and improving.
(…) My successor will be older, wiser and wittier. He knows far less than I do about golf, but far more about the Middle East. I’ve known him for years—he was my boss’s boss when I first joined The Economist—and I cannot recommend him highly enough. He will also take over this blog.
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