As we enter into a new decade, it might make sense to look back to view the progress than mankind has made in these “last days”.
About 200 years ago everyone on the planet lived on the modern day equivalent of about $400 a year. The exceptions were tiny nobilities. In the late 18 th century life for all humans started to improve from one year to the next. Today we expect our cars, medical care and other systems to continually improve. Since the early 20 th century incomes have increased 1.5 percent per year.
Not only are we richer, we work less and have better products than ever before. A hundred years ago men began working in their teens with no vacations. One hundred years ago 26 percent of male workers retired by age 65, today over 80 percent do.
In developed countries the 99 percent of the poorest of the poor have refrigerators, in the US 64 percent have air conditioning and 60 percent have washers and dryers.
The probability of a 20-year-old having a living grandmother is higher than a 20-year-old having a living mother a century ago.
The list goes on and on. We live better, there is less starvation than anytime in recorded history, less water pollution than 100 years ago, we live longer and we are wealthier than any other time.
A sign of the last days, I think not.
The comments above are taken from the American economist Steven Landsburg. Please see his writings for more statistical proof that the world is getting much, much better.