In these fraught political times, it’s good to take a step back from the day to day minutia. In the grand scheme of things, global quality of life has dramatically improved. In 1820, 94% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. Even in 1910, 82% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. Until 1945, less than 10% of the world’s population lived in a democracy.
That is not to say that everything is perfect right now. Social mobility is stagnating and equality of opportunity has receded in many developed countries. We have not done a good job at helping those left behind by globalization and the technology revolution. We can and must do better. However, it’s useful to express our gratitude for how lucky we are to be alive in these extraordinarily prosperous and peaceful times.