Because entrepreneurs put a ton of time into their businesses, every once in a while it's a good idea to step back a bit (one step, probably not two) and catch up with what's happening beyond our entrepreneurial world.
The Big Stuff first: The Cubs are doing all right, generally looking good to at least reach the NL playoffs; the Sox are doing better than most anyone expected. Still, there's not likely to be an all-Chicago World Series.
In the rest of the world, based upon data from the Pew Research Center, a respected, nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, D. C:
• It may be a bit of a surprise, but not so many of us are so big on cutting federal spending.
• As of last November, there were more immigrants in the U.S. than in any other country. According to Pew, "More than 40 million people living in the United States were born in another country. Those 40 million account for about one-fifth of the world's immigrants (2016 data).
Both federal spending and immigration are regular discussion topics.
Let's look first at spending. Pew data collected in March indicates that, given the option, 72% of us would increase spending on education and veterans' benefits; only 9% would cut money going to education and just 4% would reduce federal dollars going toward benefits for our military veterans.
Sixty-two percent would boost spending on infrastructure; 55% would spend more on Medicare; a similar percentage would increase environmental protection spending and slightly more than half would increase spending on health care (53%) and scientific research (52%).
Collectively, we aren't that eager to reduce spending. The three programs we were most willing to cut were "assistance to needy in the world" (28%), and assistance to the unemployed and military defense; 23% of us would reduce spending in those categories.
Immigration certainly is another key issue. According to the Pew data, the U.S. foreign-born population reached a record 43.7 million in 2016. Today, immigrants are 13.5% of our total population.
Pew estimates that 76% of the immigrants in the U.S. are here legally; in 2016, 45% were naturalized citizens.
Nearly every country in the world is represented in the U.S. immigrant population.
If you pay much attention to the TV talking heads, it shouldn't be much of a surprise that, according to Pew, our trust in the federal government is at a historic low: Just 17% of us trust the government to do the right thing always or most of the time; 71% of us say we trust the government some of the time.
It's likely more of a surprise that, except for what Pew designates "a brief period following the 9/11 terrorist attacks," it has been more than 40 years since public trust in government was above 50%.
Hmmm. Maybe we should get back to our entrepreneurial tasks.