Starting this article with ‘I hope you had a chance to catch the Treasury Secretary’s appearance at today’s Senate hearing’ might not be the most typical way to grab your attention – but stick with me.

The head of our nation’s coffers, Dr Martin Parkinson, spoke to members of the Senate today, and his words bear repeating. Some key snippets from Fairfax:

“There is an overwhelming negative sense about much of the national discussion and debate”

And this:

“It is almost as if most Australians seem to think we live in Greece. We don’t. We actually have an incredibly bright future ahead of us”

The future belongs to the optimists

At The Motley Fool, we’ve long been realistic optimists. The future will assuredly be better than the past – and likely considerably so. We’ll have periods of stagnation and even short periods of decline. But in the medium and long term, our system of democratic capitalism – despite its faults – will deliver greater prosperity in the months and years to come.

Bruce Jackson, our General Manager, yesterday highlighted some companies that are gunning for growth. He couldn’t be more right.

Growth matters

Even those companies that won’t deliver ‘out of the ballpark’ growth, still have aspirations to be bigger and better.

Woolworths (ASX: WOW), Wesfarmers (ASX: WES) and Metcash (ASX: MTS) may have the grocery market sewn up, but they’re still planning to get bigger.

Even our banks – already sharing the market between them – are looking for ways to deliver higher profits. ANZ (ASX: ANZ) is looking to Asia for growth, NAB (ASX: NAB) is trying a different marketing angle, and Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) is aggressively ramping up its online offerings.

Companies getting it done

This week alone we’ve seen great earnings performances from Domino’s (ASX: DMP) and we covered the impressive results from carsales.com (ASX: CRZ), minnow 1300 Smiles (ASX: ONT) and trend-beating Noni B Limited (ASX: NBL)

Ours isn’t an economy without its problems, but we were heartened to hear no less than Dr Parkinson agreeing with our basic tenet: don’t buy the gloom and doom.

Foolish take-away

The future will be better than the past. Some companies will fail to keep up with technology or the competition, but many have bright futures, and some of today’s minnows will be tomorrow’s giants.

Be optimistic, be Foolish – and have a great weekend.

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Scott Phillips Is The Motley Fool’s feature columnist. Scott owns shares in Woolworths and Domino’s. You can follow him on Twitter @TMFGilla. The Motley Fool’s purpose is to educate, amuse and enrich investors. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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