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It's Getting Better All the Time: 100 Greatest Trends of the Last 100 years Paperback – October 2, 2000

4.0 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

How has the United States changed over the past century? Is life truly better now than it was in the past? Using statistical reports and other historical materials, Moore (fiscal policy studies, Cato Inst.) and the late Simon (business administration, Univ. of Maryland) argue that for the most part people entering the new millennium are much better off than their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. The areas covered include health, economics, race relations, safety, environmental issues, and women's rights. A number of charts and graphs, well complemented by an extensive index and a bibliography, shows the positive changes that have taken place over the past 100 years. Readers will appreciate the information provided by these colorful graphics, which readily allow for additional research on subjects of interest. Recommended for reference, general social science, and American studies collections.DDanna Bell-Russel, Library of Congress
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

"More Americans than ever are living in greater affluence than ever before," concludes Moore, the Cato Institute's director of fiscal policy studies, who presents the extensive research of Julian Simon, the foremost environmental economist before his death. The core of the book deals with the long-term trends in areas such as health, diet and nutrition, wealth and income, poor Americans, housing, transportation and communications, education, safety, environmental protection, social and cultural indicators, and freedom and democracy. The authors' thesis is that there has been more material progress in the U.S. in the twentieth century than in the entire world in all previous centuries combined. Yet in the book's foreword Simon's widow contends that the killing of millions of people around the world because of Nazism, Stalinism, and Maoism must also be factored into any analysis of that century. The astounding progress in the U.S. will hopefully be replicated in the twenty-first century and extended to other nations throughout the world. Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Cato Institute (October 2, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1882577973
  • ISBN-13: 978-1882577972
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,455,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Stephen Moore and Julian Simon have compiled the most significant data of how life in America has improved since 1900.
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is fashionable to bemoan the state of the world. The conventional wisdom is that global warming, Terrorism, drug abuse, crime, AIDS and all the rest of the crises threatening humanity lead us to the conclusion that the "good old days" were somehow better, safer and saner than today.
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
While the data is rather old, the premise still holds. a recent note from the EIA indicates a new low in the number of people in abject poverty globally - less than 300M and down from 1B three decades ago. yet another refutation of the naysayers.
Certainly, read Ms. Simon's introduction, as it gives the back story for the book's thesis and generation. Reviled during his lifetime as a librarian statistician w/o due education, Mr. Simon's works have had a lasting impact upon many. Despite Dr. Erich's gratuitous errors, his books too make strong selling, if not good reading.
The book is straightforward. Here are 100 fact trends. They indicate support for wealth, health and education based increases in the wellness of humanity. fear is disposed of with facts, a rarity in today's polemical society.
Enjoy these facts. Learn from others. Try The Improving State of the World as a follow on to this read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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. And the sad part is that their history isn't real history, it's fantacy! This book is a real eye opener.
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Format: Paperback
There is much excellent information here to gladden the heart of people who are gloomily convinced--as I once was--that the world is going to hell in a handbasket.
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.
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Format: Paperback
Stephen Moore, leader of the Club For Growth, and the recently deceased Julian Simon, made famous by his bet with Robert Ehrlich and also from his solution for airline overbooking, have contributed once again to the dragon-slaying of the social justice mythology. Their rigorous compilation of data on the continued ability of free market economies to create an ever rising surplus for all people is unsurpassed. I read Simon's "State of Humanity" a couple of years ago and it was equally as informative. Alm & Cox's "Myths of the Rich and Poor" also correlates with the data presented in this book.
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.
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