Day By Day

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The Best Of Times

You would never know it by listening to the news, but we are living in the Best Decade Ever. Sure there are a lot of problems, but as Charles Kenny notes in the latest edition of Foreign Policy:
For all its problems, the first 10 years of the 21st century were in fact humanity's finest, a time when more people lived better, longer, more peaceful, and more prosperous lives than ever before.
Global per-capita income is today at the highest level in history and has risen quickly in the past decade. The global middle class is expanding rapidly. The proportion of the world's population that is undernourished has been halved since the 1970's and every day, even despite recent rises in food prices, more and more people have access to adequate nutrition. Major infectious diseases are on the wane. Between 2000 and 2008 infant mortality mortality around the globe dropped 17 percent and life expectancy increased by two years. Literacy levels, especially for women, are at all time highs and women are better represented today in government positions than at any time in the past.

We are also living in a time of unprecedented peace. Between 2000 and 2008 the death toll from conflicts worldwide dropped by 40 percent and since 1990 the amount spent on military budgets has been cut in half. This past decade has been the most peaceful in the past century and it is quite possibly the most peaceful ever.

Put it all together and you realize that we are living in the best time ever. As Kenny writes, in the past decade: More people lived lives of greater freedom, security, longevity, and wealth than ever before.

And that is certainly something to be proud of. 

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