200 years ago brutal poverty was the norm across the planet. Not so today. Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com
When I look at the political news or any news in general I get very pessimistic about our future.
In contrast, when I look at the amazing things happening beyond the headlines in today’s newspaper I feel incredibly optimistic.
Consider that private companies are developing the technology for space exploration. Consider the energy revolution created by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Consider radical changes in technology that are making so many things easier, faster, and cheaper. Consider that anyone that wants to do so can publish their own book, distribute their own music, or create a feature movie.
As a tiny illustration, look at my company and pastimes. Technology allows me to run a high quality CPA practice without any staff. In my spare time I am a publisher and journalist. Anyone in Europe or North America or most of Asia could easily do the same and at minimal cost.
(Cross post from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)
When I look at long-term economic trends I am incredibly optimistic.
For yet one more explanation of why that is the case, consider a column by Glenn Reynolds at USA Today: Actually, things are pretty good / Free markets and free inquiry have changed the historic ‘norms’ of poverty and violence.
Until relatively recently, an illness-filled short life of dirt-eating poverty was the normal condition for practically everybody on the planet. In the last 100 or 200 years life has gotten radically better for practically everyone.