Day By Day

Monday, May 22, 2006

Michael Barone -- "The Best of Times"

Listen carefully children. Michael Barone is going to explain something important to you. Please try to keep focused.
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....
"Ha!", you say. "what's he mean by that?"

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.... 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.
And there's this:
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."
And this:
[T]he number of genocides and violent conflicts dropped rapidly after the end of the Cold War and 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.
Read it here.

Global peace and prosperity -- not bad. The big picture is as benign and hope-filled as it possibly could be. So why are you guys sweating the small stuff?

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