Michael Barone’s newest column is out and he is sharing the good news the MSM don’t report:
Things are better than you think. Yes, I know, most Americans are in a sour mood these days, convinced that the struggle in Iraq is an endless cycle of bloodshed, certain that our economy is in dismal shape, lamenting that the nation and the world are off on the wrong track.
That’s what polls tell us. But if we look at some other numbers, we’ll find that we are living not in the worst of times, but in something much closer to the best.
What do I mean? First, economic growth. In 2005, as in 2004, the world economy grew by about 5 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund, and the IMF projects similar growth for several years to come. This is faster growth than in all but a few peak years in the 1980s and 1990s, and it’s in vivid contrast to the long periods of stagnation or contraction in history
The great engine of this growth is, of course, the United States, which produces more than one-quarter of world economic product and whose gross domestic product has been growing at around 4 percent — 4.7 percent in the latest quarter. Other engines are China and India, each with about a sixth of the world’s people, and economic growth of 10 percent and 8 percent, respectively. But other areas are growing, too: Eastern Europe (5 percent), Russia (6 percent), East Asia (5 percent), Latin America (4 percent), even the Middle East (6 percent) and sub-Saharan Africa (5.5 percent)
And take a look at the information Barone has on world violence and war:
But aren’t we also living in times of record strife? Actually, no. Just the opposite. The Human Security Centre of the University of British Columbia has been keeping track of armed conflicts since World War II. It reports that the number of genocides and violent conflicts dropped rapidly after the end of the Cold War, and that in 2005 the number of armed conflicts was down 40 percent from 1992.
Wars have also become less deadly: The average number of people killed per conflict per year in 1950 was 38,000; in 2002, it was just 600. The conflict in Iraq has not significantly changed that picture. American casualties are orders of magnitude lower than in the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, and precision weapons have enabled us to vastly reduce the civilian death toll.
Michael ends his piece with this paragraph:
Yes, [Islamists] can inflict severe damage on us by asymmetric warfare, as they did on Sept. 11, and we must continue to take determined action to prevent them from doing so again. Yes, a nuclear Iran is a severe threat. But we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that, in most important respects, our civilization is performing splendidly.
This isn’t quite the picture the MSM paints.