Beyond the 'fiscal cliff': 6 reasons to be optimistic about America's future

As Americans take stock of 2012 and gear up for 2013, it's tempting to adopt "decline think" about the country, especially since there is still no deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" of steep budget cuts and tax increases. But here are six reasons Americans should still be optimistic about their future.

3. America's strengths are not to be discounted

Let's not forget America's strengths. It is the only country that can project military power globally. While China will increasingly challenge its power-projection capabilities in the Asia-Pacific, it is unlikely to rival US military capabilities on a global scale for some time.

The US accounts for roughly a fifth of gross world product, has the world's only reserve currency, maintains a higher-education system that attracts the most international students, and nurtures an entrepreneurial environment that continues to entice many of the world's most creative thinkers.

While America's relative advantage in these categories may well continue to diminish, the country will remain a linchpin of the global economy.

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