Happy new year and here is why we have had ever happier new years in the lifetimes of anyone alive today.  Regardless of the politics of nations, or the decline of social standards, or anything else we might deplore or fear, the living standards of people all over the world improve.  Industrialization, world trade, technological innovations all make the lives of people better. The world poverty rate is in steady decline.

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I know we all think we miss aspects of the agrarian past, like a slower pace of life or the family values that seemed to come more easily to such a society.  Many are also shocked by how many people there are in the world, which is a result of better food, cleaner water, better hygiene and medicine and a relative prosperity due to global trade.  Are jobs going overseas such a bad thing if it means millions of people do not have to live in degraded conditions?  If we see an  “80% reduction in world poverty in only 36 years, from 26.8% of the world’s population living on $1 or less in 1970 to only 5.4% in 2006.” can we begrudge the world some jobs? No.  We should simply make more jobs here, which apparently would have the effect of raising the living standards of the world still more.

Some people  are appalled by the gap between the rich and poor.  Yet if the poor are richer than they were, then how awful is the gap?  If America prospers, so do other nations.   It is a simple chart of economic progress, but the implications within the data is that we are making headway against our perpetual foes: pestilence, war, famine and death. This is good news and good reminder for cheer in the coming year.

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Hat tip to John Moser

Articles by Kate Pitrone

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