What a mess.

More than 20 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed. Millions of them have been out of work for six months or longer.

Millions are underwater on their mortgages. Student loan debt is ballooning. American's credit was downgraded last summer. The Census Bureau now counts nearly one in six Americans as living in poverty.

You can go on and on.

But, as Oscar Wilde said, "We're all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." Take off the doom goggles and look around, and you might see that America still has a lot going for it. Here are 19 examples.

Fool contributor Morgan Housel doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. Follow him on Twitter @TMFHousel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.