Living in the Worst Times? NOT

by ICBehindtheCurtain 12 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • ICBehindtheCurtain

    I just saw this article in US News, just thought I'de share it. The WTS and other religions love to push the idea that things are so bad now, that we are living in the worst times in history so we will only live for the "New System" BS, but the reality is that I wouldn't trade where we are now for any other time in history. If we on this board would have lived in the inquisition we would have been burned at the stake after endless hours of torture only for disagreeing with the church and choosing to be a free thinker. Every day that I am alive, I try to remember just how good we have it here and I am thankful for everything.

    Heard the Good News?

    By Michael Barone


    Things are better than you think. Yes, I know, most Americans are in a sour mood these days, convinced that the struggle in Iraq is an endless cycle of bloodshed, certain that our economy is in dismal shape, lamenting that the nation and the world are off on the wrong track. That's what polls tell us. But if we look at some other numbers, we'll find that we are living not in the worst of times but in something much closer to the best. What do I mean?

    First, economic growth. In 2005, as in 2004, the world economy grew by about 5 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund, and the IMF projects similar growth for several years to come. This is faster growth than in all but a few peak years in the 1980s and 1990s, and it's in vivid contrast to the long periods of stagnation or contraction in history. The great engine of this growth is, of course, the United States, which produces more than one fifth of world economic product and whose gross domestic product has been growing at around 4 percent--4.8 percent in the latest quarter. Other engines are China and India, each with about a sixth of the world's people, and with economic growth of 10 and 8 percent, respectively. But other areas are growing, too: eastern Europe (5 percent), Russia (6 percent), East Asia (5 percent), Latin America (4 percent), even the Middle East (6 percent) and sub-Saharan Africa (5.5 percent).

    Free-market benefits. Lagging behind is the euro area (1 percent) and the rest of western Europe (2 percent). Lesson: Sclerotic welfare states produce mass unemployment and stifle initiative and innovation. In contrast, the Chinese and Indian growth rates show how freeing up an economy produces rapid growth, and the continued contrast between the United States and Europe makes the same point. Free-market economic growth is enabling millions of people to rise out of poverty every year, even more than the experts expect. As the IMF writes, "The momentum and resilience of the global economy in 2005 continued to exceed expectations."

    It's worth noting, as the IMF does, that this growth is being achieved with minimal inflation. "The present era of globalization and low inflation has an important precedent: 1880-1914, the era of the classical gold standard," it says. That period ended with the outbreak of World War I, and there is no guarantee that the current low-inflation growth will continue. There are always downside risks in the economy. But we seem to be living by far in the best economic times in human history.

    But aren't we also living in times of record strife? Actually, no. Just the opposite. The Human Security Centre of the University of British Columbia has been keeping track of armed conflicts since World War II. It reports that the number of genocides and violent conflicts dropped rapidly after the end of the Cold War and that in 2005 the number of armed conflicts was down 40 percent from 1992. Wars have also become less deadly: The average number of people killed per conflict per year in 1950 was 38,000; in 2002 it was just 600. The conflict in Iraq has not significantly changed that picture. American casualties are orders of magnitude lower than in the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, and precision weapons have enabled us to vastly reduce the civilian death toll.

    After our victory in the Cold War, Francis Fukuyama proclaimed that we had reached "the end of history," by which he meant the end of any serious argument over what constitutes the best kind of society. That is disputed by the Islamist fascists who have made it clear that they will do whatever they can to inflict harm on our civilization; as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in his recent letter to President Bush, "Liberalism and western-style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity. Today those two concepts have failed." That's obviously nonsense, of course. Free markets and democracy are chalking up one ringing achievement after another--as we can see from the surge in world economic growth and the reduction of armed conflict--while the Islamists can achieve their goals only through oppression and slaughter. Yes, they can inflict severe damage on us by asymmetric warfare, as they did on September 11, and we must continue to take determined action to prevent them from doing so again. Yes, a nuclear Iran is a severe threat. But we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that, in most important respects, our civilization is performing splendidly.


  • MidwichCuckoo

    Oh no - this can only mean 1Thessalonians 5v3......(well, tweak it a bit)

  • Jankyn

    One of my favorite topics. Whenever my mom starts up about how bad things are, I love to point out that, had she lived at almost any prior time and place in history, she'd already be dead--either from childbirth, infectious disease, accident, or--get this!--food poisoning.

    No single invention has done nearly as much to prevent illness and death as the refrigerator. Add to that handy little items like food preservatives and expiration dates, and you've got a winner.

    The reason we have problems with overpopulation and depletion of resources is because things are better.


  • drew sagan
    drew sagan

    Life moves on. Good things happen, bad things happen and yes, the world actually has made improvements in many areas. The advancements in medical science are amazing. Simply accepting this fact dosn't mean that we look to science for all the answers, but we can't turn our heads to the effect it has had on the population of the world. People are living better, longer.

  • heathen

    I'd say in north america we have it going on and are a bit spoiled with the technological advances . I don't think anybody would care to live in africa where AIDS is ravaging millions of people . Now we are faced with yet another energy crisis that's making things a little more difficult . I think poverty in the US is pretty bad and worse than most people think . Mexico is very impoverished along with most of south america . I'm looking at some stuff that says it's only a matter of time before a big depression hits in the US , the dollar is really only worth about four cents as it is , the country is debt to private banks . If you are optimist I guess I'm pessimist and I'm seldom wrong ........

  • M.J.

    I would say it's a mixed bag. Definitely things are better as far as standard of living goes. Living conditions are better than they have been in history. Of course some aspects of society are worse, some better.

    But I can't help but feel a little scared about wacko terrorists with nukes.

  • bob1999

    What is there to be scared about?
    Come on, sing along with me "all my trials Lord.....will soon be over"
    Dying is not a bad's a good thing if you have faith.


  • greendawn

    No we are not living in the worst times, certainly no JW would like to have lived in the Middle Ages instead of in our times, there is respect for human rights, good medical science, good educational opportunities. In the Middle Ages things were very far behind.

  • heathen

    I think I would have been a pirate if I lived in the middle ages .....LOL arrrgh me hardies ....

    I do agree if you think too much about getting blown up it can take the joy out of being alive today . Never before has man had the ability to blow the entire planet to pieces but the big scare was during the cold war and we survived that . I don't think the terror network has the smarts to build a functioning nuke and get it to north america anyway . The world has always been a scary place .....

  • slimboyfat

    This is so true!

    We live in the best, most comfortable era in human history.

    The Watchtower propaganda does not fit.

    Witnesses often say "Oh, it can't get much worse, the end must be close."

    People live longer, are more healthy, have more luxuries, work fewer hours, have more freedom, have access to more information, are better educated than ever before.

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