Our Best Days Are Ahead

(Via Instapundit) It’s easy to be a pessimist, what with the constant bombardment of bad news and dire prediction we get every day. So, it’s good to be reminded every once in a while that we’ve got every reason to hope for the best:

By then I had begun to notice that this terrible future was not all
that bad. In fact every single one of the dooms I had been threatened
with had proved either false or exaggerated. The population explosion
was slowing down, famine had largely been conquered (except in war-torn
tyrannies), India was exporting food, cancer rates were falling not
rising (adjusted for age), the Sahel was greening, the climate was
warming, oil was abundant, air pollution was falling fast, nuclear
disarmament was proceeding apace, forests were thriving, sperm counts
had not fallen. And above all, prosperity and freedom were advancing at
the expense of poverty and tyranny.

I began to pay attention and a few years ago I started to research a
book on the subject. I was astounded by what I discovered. Global per
capita income, corrected for inflation, had trebled in my lifetime,
life expectancy had increased by one third, child mortality had fallen
by two-thirds, the population growth rate had halved. More people had
got out of poverty than in all of human history before. When I was
born, 36% of Americans had air conditioning. Today 79% of Americans
below the poverty line had air conditioning. The emissions of
pollutants from a car were down by 98%. The time you had to work on the
average wage to buy an hour of artificial light to read by was down
from 8 seconds to half a second.

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