Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hold on a sec. Before we get too much in a dither....

Today we're going to try and put the world in a more accurate perspective. Are we really going to hell in a handbasket, or are we just focusing on the wrong things.  Maybe we are actually doing much better than we think.  Get a load of the following facts:

_ The number of people killed in battle – calculated per 100,000 population – has dropped by 1,000-fold over the centuries as civilizations evolved. Before there were organized countries, battles killed on average more than 500 out of every 100,000 people. In 19th century France, it was 70. In the 20th century with two world wars and a few genocides, it was 60. Now battlefield deaths are down to three-tenths of a person per 100,000.

_In 1970, there were over 958 million people who were considered chronically hungry.
  • In 2010, there were slightly fewer chronically hungry individuals, but still a staggering 925 million.
  • Yet, in 1970 the world population was only 3.7 Billion.
  • Whereas in 2010 it reached 6.8 Billion.
  • When you look at the ratio of hungry people to the relative global population, in 1970, 25.8% of the world was hungry.
  • Whereas in 2010, only 13.6% of the world was considered hungry.
  • That’s a 47% decrease in 40 years.

    _ The rate of genocide deaths per world population was 1,400 times higher in 1942 than today.

    _Income. The middle class today are wealthier (in terms of real dollars’ buying power) than the rich only a century ago.
    Environment. Aside for greenhouse gases, Easterbrook shows that virtually all forms of pollution and environmental damage are in decline in the west. CFCs, industrial pollutants, lead in gasoline, just to name a few.
    Crime. After peaking in the 1980s, violent crime is down significantly in the United States.
    Class Divide. The richest may have more money, but the lifestyle they can buy (travel, home ownership, air conditioning, etc.) are no longer restricted to a minority of the population.
    World Poverty. Although some pockets of the world continue to stagnate, the overall reduction in global poverty should be celebrated.
    Education. More people are going to school than ever before, Easterbrook argues. And college degrees are now open to more people, rather than just the elite class.
    Health Care. Sure, there may be flaws in any system, however people are living longer and healthier lives than before. Easterbrook claims that most diseases worldwide (AIDS is a notable exception) are in decline, and have been for years.
    Prejudice. The leader of the United States is black. Even if prejudice still exists, keep in mind that over half a century ago, men like Obama hadn’t even secured voting rights.

    _ There were fewer than 20 democracies in 1946. Now there are close to 100. Meanwhile, the number of authoritarian countries has dropped from a high of almost 90 in 1976 to about 25 now.

    In fact it is difficult to find any area in which we have not substantially improved.  Please tune in today from 11a~2p on AM 1230 KBAR and tell me your take on things.

    Steve Mitton



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