Dec 31, 2013

Why the world is getting better: A retrospect of 2013

Source: The Spectator
The rapid spread of globalization and capitalism has benefited millions of people around the world, especially in the developing societies. At the same time, it has annoyed and disappointed countless people, especially leftists, environmentalists and clergy. As per them, the world is coming to an end and the rapid economic growth has only accelerated our journey towards doom.  But, rarely do their gloomy predictions withstand the test of empirical evidence. If only the prediction of doomsayers governed the world, the world would have perished of global cooling in the 1970s, massive starvation in the 1980s and is supposed to end within a decade or two because of global warming (Hope you noticed the irony here). Despite their predictions, the life, in general is getting better for majority of the humanity as they have become richer and hence in a better position to attack enemies of humans such as poverty, illiteracy, operation, natural calamities and pollution to name a few. 2013 also saw a few changes that indicate a better future for human beings.

Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator has pointed out these changes in his article The biggest shocker of 2013? That it really is a wonderful world. As shown in the article, 

1. Deaths by malaria is decreasing rapidly as countries prone to it have grown richer and now are able to afford basic necessities like malaria nets. Places like Cambodia believe they’re three years away from extinguishing Malaria deaths. 

2. Looking at a broader picture, the world is living in the most peaceful time in modern history. The world-wide battle deaths per 100,000 people is decreasing rapidly. As economies are getting more integrated and interdependent, the war is becoming a costly thing day by day. This does not mean, every place in the world is peaceful. Many African countries are still engulfed in nasty civil wars but the overall trend is decreasing.

3. Global death rates due to extreme weather events is also declining. From 485 deaths out of 1000 deaths per year in 1920s, it has declined to 35 deaths out of 1000 deaths per year.

In the end of the article, the author has recommended a book which explains about the positive trends in the world and the causes behind them. In defense of Global Capitalism by Johan Norberg, happens to be one of my most favorite books and one of the few books that shifted my viewpoints very significantly. This book is a must read for anyone wishing to know about the status of the world and willing to do something to makes lives better. 

Fortunately, the book is available for free download. I have uploaded the book to slide-share and embed it below. Please feel free to read the book online or download it (recommended) for better reading.