quinta-feira, janeiro 22, 2004
Don't Worry Be Happy (via Dissecting Leftism)
Artigo no OpinionJournal.
In 1958 liberal economist John Kenneth Galbraith's best-selling "The Affluent Society" assured us that living standards had risen so far they couldn't rise any further. In 1960 Prof. Paul Erlich concluded that 65 million Americans would perish from famine in the 1980s and food riots would kill millions more. Scientific American predicted in 1970 that in 20 years the world would be out of lead, zinc, tin, gold and silver. And Jimmy Carter's 1980 "Global 2000" report forecast that mass starvation and superplagues would ravage the globe in the final year of the millennium. They all more or less agreed with English philosopher Thomas Hobbes that our lives would be "solitary, nasty, brutish, and short."
And they were all dead wrong. Gregg Easterbrook's new book, "The Progress Paradox, How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse," documents the opposite:
Almost everything about American and European life is getting better for almost everyone. Public health is improving by almost every measure. . . . Environmental trends are nearly all positive. . . . Drinking, smoking and most forms of drug use are declining. Teen pregnancy is declining. Welfare rolls are shrinking without increase in poverty. . . . Crime has declined. . . . Education levels keep rising. . . . Armed conflict and combat deaths worldwide are in a cycle of decline. Global democracy is rising, military dictatorship and communism are on the run.
Mr. Easterbrook's data on the escalating quality of American and global life are broad and deep, and if you are a CNN/New York Times buff, astonishing and irritating. Optimists have turned out to be fully correct; pessimists alarmingly misguided
posted by Miguel Noronha 5:37 da tarde
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