Top 10 Reasons Life Is Getting Better All The Time
Be prepared to see a lot of doom and gloom this week. Those year-end video and photo montages, year-in-review summaries, and "a look back" reflections are inevitably gloomy even in boom times. That's likely to be especially true in 2008, a year that, admittedly, wasn't particularly filled with hope.
The last 12 months may prove not to be the most fondly recalled in recent American history, but things aren't all that bad. Most social indicators are still moving in the right direction. In general, our standard of living continues to improve. Advances in technology are helping us beat the diseases most likely to kill us; giving us more leisure time; making us more comfortable; giving us more convenience; and with the Internet, putting much of the world—quite literally—at our fingertips.
So here's the good news:
1. Crime rates are falling.
2. Sex crimes are down.
3. The divorce rate is at its lowest point in four decades.
4. Life expectancy is up.
5. Mortality rates for eight of the 10 leading causes of death in America are dropping. Deaths from the two biggest killers—cancer and heart disease—have been in decline for a decade. Deaths from the third leading cause of death, stroke, are also down.
6. For six years, both incidence of and deaths from cancer have been in decline.
7. Since 1991, fewer teens are having sex, fewer are having sex with multiple partners, and more are using condoms when they do engage in intercourse.
8. The abortion rate is also at its lowest point in 30 years.
9. Juvenile violent crime is still 40% lower than it was in 1994. The juvenile murder rate is a whopping 73% below its high in 1993.
10. We have more leisure time. Americans work on average eight fewer hours per week than we did in the 1960s.
Source: Randy Balko at Reason Magazine