We don’t mind seeing the end of 2017. If ever this country had a topsy-turvy year, it was 2017. The main event was President Donald Trump’s first year in the White House.

Whatever accomplishments President Trump and the GOP Congress achieved, those positives were overshadowed by the ongoing sexual misconduct disclosures about high profile individuals in several fields, including government.

America didn’t look too good to the rest of the world, but many other countries had their problems, too.

Conditions in America may have been bad the past year, they were minor to what happened in other countries. Worldwide violence was on the upswing and millions of people suffered not only deaths and bodily injuries, but starvation, loss of their homes, or huts, and a general upheaval in their lives. This, of course, is nothing new in some countries.

Where the people had some freedoms, there were cutbacks, or a total loss of that quality of life.

In so many countries, there are no opportunities to improve the people’s state of life.

There is worldwide trade and competition has never been more intense. The different trade agreements don’t seem to be working.

Countries are spending billions of dollars on military equipment and forces, and tensions are high in many parts of the world. We have more radicals than ever before and they seem to have no trouble arming themselves and spreading fear and destruction. Terrorists are hard to identify and contain. It appears we have more religious radicals than ever before.

The climate is a concern. Disasters caused so much damage and loss of life and property in 2017 that it is difficult to estimate the total cost. If not a record year in damages, it was close to being one.

There are bright spots. One is that unemployment is low, but there is a major shortage of skilled workers. Technological advances continue. Education continues to move away from traditional basics, is more narrow rather than well-rounded, costs are high and some institutions of higher learning may not survive. But education is more available than ever before if costs can be handled.

Needed infrastructure improvements are slow in coming  because of other demands for government dollars, including for protection of people. As long as the present conditions prevail, security measures are going to continue to eat up dollars.

We have a new federal tax act that will take time to determine the benefits to each class of people and companies.

The world’s moral code is a worry and that includes abuses in America. It always has been violated, and it varies in degrees country to country.

We remember better days. We can’t go back. We must remain optimistic. There are cycles to conditions. It’s better to be an eternal optimist than an eternal pessimist!