We are pummeled with negative news every day b/c, frankly, it sells.
Fortunately, at the end of every year numerous columnists remind us both of how much improvement we have seen and how quickly things have changed.
From the Business Insider, we get Tech Products That Didn’t Exist Ten Years Ago. The list includes the iPad, Snapchat, Oculus, Stripe, Instagram, Lyft, Pinterest, Square, 4g, Slack, Airpods, Amazon Echo, and the Apple Watch.
From the WSJ, we get The 2010s Have Been Amazing! The author, Johan Norberg, states that “The 2010s have been the best decade ever.” “Extreme poverty fell by more than half from 18.2% to 8.6%” worldwide. Malaria has fallen by 60% while AIDs-related deaths have fallen by 50%.
Global life expectancy has risen by 3 years, and wealthy countries are using less aluminum, nickel, copper, steel, stone, cement, sand, wood, paper, fertilizer, water, crop acreage and fossil fuel every year. Deaths from climate related disasters have fallen precipitously too over the years.
And also from the WSJ, we get Andy Kessler’s column – In Tech Years, 2010 Was Eons Ago. Kessler writes “In 2009 we wore analog watches, had landline phones, hung out in bookstores, and even hailed taxis. Ah, the good old days. Please don’t make us go back.”
In 2009, jobless claims were 432,000 and unemployment was 10%. Today, jobless claims are 222,000 and unemployment is at 3.5%. Interest rates are also 2% to 3% lower. Oil dropped from $80 per barrel to $60, and the Dow Jones has jumped from 10,400 to 28,000.
iPhone prices have jumped from $199 to $999 BUT what you get nowadays was not even conceivable in 2009 with respect to resolution and computing power. Streaming now dominates entertainment and is wiping out and drastically changing entire industries. We now talk to computers (hello Alexa & Siri) and medical advances and conveniences are coming online daily (glucose monitors, DNA testing, video consultations, universal records, far cheaper testing, etc.).
This is not to say the world is perfect and I well realize that problems abound. BUT, things are improving far more than the “nattering nabobs of negativism” dominating our news sources might have us believe.
And lastly, this is reminder #2,985 that we all need to expect and embrace massive changes – at a much faster pace than ever before.
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