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Smile: Life In Modern America Is Actually Very Good

In my most-recent column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, I play a role most unpopular these days: bringer-of-good-news. The world ain’t perfect (duh) – and no future is guaranteed – but compared to the past (even the relatively recent past), life in these United States today is, for most Americans, wonderful.

Here’s my opening, after which I go on to recommend Max Roser’s Our World in Data, and Marian Tupy’s HumanProgress.org:

To encounter the news today is to encounter an America verging on destruction. Global warming will soon incinerate us, but not before income inequalities turn ordinary Americans into the slaves of oligarchs. And as these ghastly fates unfold, those of us who somehow escape being raped, robbed and cheated out of employment by immigrants — and who aren’t murdered by gun-wielding maniacs — will be impoverished by demonic mandarins in Beijing who’ve arranged for their own slaves to drown us in floods of underpriced goods.

The only hope of avoiding existential calamity, of course, is to turn over goo-gobs more power and money to your favorite tribe of politicians. Being superheroes, these politicians — and only they — can save us from Armageddon.

Pause. Breathe deeply. And consult two indispensable websites to get a truer, and much happier, picture of the state of humanity in general and of America in particular.