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It's Getting Better All the Time: 100 Greatest Trends of the Last 100 years Hardcover – October 17, 2000
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From Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
We all know about major technological advances, but the details of the obliteration of diseases, the accumulation of material wealth and increased opportunities for ownership are astounding.
This book will trounce the nay-sayers, negativists and should silence the loudest "Chicken Little".
This book is as useful as a research tool, as it is for pleasure reading.
But, if things are so bad why is infant mortality going down around the world? If things are on the edge of anarchy why are proportionately fewer of us hungry, or sick today than one hundred years ago. If things are going to hell in a handbasket why is our life expectancy steadily improving?
These are inconvenient questions. The answers are tough on the prophets of doom.
Luckily, the conventional wisdom is wrong. Stephen Moore and Julian Simon prove this convincingly. Facts are often inconvenient. But, if you want to know the facts, this is the book for you.
An interesting phenomena occurs when you present this book to die-hard socialists. They continue to disclaim its validity by eg. citing the disparity between CEO compensation and the bottom 25% of the population. In fact they present you with statistics of their own which seemingly refute the data in this book. When you probe and ask them how their statistics were compiled they become evasive and fuzzy, but they continue to rely on them to underpin their position. They engage in the fallacy of inductive logic which consists of reasoning from the particular to the general i.e. if they used the Canadian health care system for a cough and they were satisfied with the results of their medical care then ipso facto such a system is good. In addition it's better than the U.S. system because it's cheaper, etc. They ignore all the other inputs and outputs that any cursory economic study would investigate. It's almost like they would suffer an emotional crisis if they had to accept relity i.e. like the conclusions in this book.Read more ›
This book is obviously intended as a reference guide. As such, sometimes the material seems a little shallow. And while very meticulously documented, on occasion the source citations are a little too vague for my tastes. For example, a chart on water pollution trends (on page 189) only cites the "various years" of the Council on Environmental Quality's Annual Report, and only shows numbers for 1972, 1982, and 1992, without showing us clearly whether an actual trend is visible.
Despite these minor flaws, this is an excellent reference guide showing the often startlingly positive outlook for humanity on planet earth. It's a good reference that's worth having on your shelf.
However, you may find it difficult to contradict the fear-mongers if you lack the hard data to dispute their pessimistic views.
As regular Environment & Climate News readers know, my normal book reviews read more like "Cliff Notes" for students, because I recognize only a small percentage of you will actually buy the books I review. Not this time. I will only surf across this compendium of positive human progress.
You must buy the book, absorb it carefully, and present its contents continually to those who don't recognize they live in the golden days of our nation.
The central premise of It's Getting Better All the Time, published in 2001 by the Cato Institute, is that there has been more improvement in the human condition in the past 100 years than in all of the previous centuries combined.
That is a difficult premise to accept for those who hear and read the daily news of school shootings, homelessness, AIDS, global warming, declining student test scores, and a widening gap between rich and poor. Yet over the course of the twentieth century, by nearly every measure of the human condition, life has improved dramatically.
Be it health, wealth, nutrition, education, speed of transportation and communications, leisure time, the proliferation of computers and the Internet, or gains for women, minorities, and children--these all demonstrate an amazing improvement of the human condition.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book has been out since the turn of the century, yet it still demands attention from detractors and supporters - always a sign of good writing. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Good news is hidden from us. Read all about the real facts here.Published 19 months ago by Katie Bracken
If you believe growing the world's human population to 9 Billion is good news for the world then this is the book for you. Read morePublished on May 3, 2013 by Malcolm Russell
To get a feel for Steve Moore's work just read an old book of his :
Bullish on Bush: How George Bush's Owenership Society Will Make America Stronger. Read more
I like never read so-called "nonfiction." It's all fiction, except that what people call fiction is a lot funner. We'd all be better off everyone would admit nonfiction is made up. Read morePublished on August 27, 2012 by Dotty
Wake up people! The good old days wern't all that good. Too many people are living in their history instead of moving into their destiny. Read morePublished on August 2, 2011 by Timothy Hacker
Negative and disturbing news sells, but is it the truth? Frequently, news is positive when you look a long-term trends but positive news don't "sell newspapers". Read morePublished on November 24, 2009 by Arthur J.
Great book. Very encouraging. Silences all the negative doom and gloom reports
people can tend to feed on. Read more
Potential readers of this book have a right to know that this book was not authored by Julian Lincoln Simon, as the title indicates. Read morePublished on December 11, 2004 by Gregory McMahan