The Economist is being positive this week and argues that the world is more prosperous and peaceful than ever before, and than we want to believe. Examples of nice things:
- "In 2007 Unicef, the United Nations child-welfare body, said that for the first time in modern history fewer than 10m children were dying each year before the age of five. That is still an awful lot but it represents a fall of a quarter since 1990"
- "The long march to literacy is nearing an end: three-quarters of people aged 15-25 were literate in 1975; now the rate is nearly nine-tenths."
- "Last year the global economy entered its fifth year of over 4% annual growth—the longest period of such strong expansion since the early 1970s. Moreover, growth was spread around fairly evenly."
- "In 1990 those on $1 a day accounted for more than a quarter of the population of developing countries. By 2015, on current rates, the proportion of very poor people should have shrunk to 10%. Moreover, these monetary measures probably understate the real gains from things such as lower child mortality, safer water, literacy and other social achievements."
I tend to agree.