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March 11, 2018

4 Charts That Challenge the Pessimist's Worldview

1. Violent crime in the US has declined consistently since the 1990s. Don't let the politicians trick you into thinking the world is falling apart and that you need them to fix it. Also, don't let the politicians trick you into thinking an influx of foreign born men causes violent crime to rise. Indeed, the chart below show that the two are actually negatively correlated.

2. The legalization of abortion in the US hasn't resulted in a free-for-all. Quite the contrary, abortion rates have declined consistently since the early 1980s and are at pre Roe V. Wade levels. Thank the widespread availability and use of contraceptives. Female labour force participation is also correlated with lower abortion rates. Causation could probably work both ways ("I don't want to get pregnant because I plan on having a career" vs. "I have a career so I don't want to get pregnant"). All of this is good for society in general.

3. Child mortality has declined significantly around the world over the past 200 years. We live much healthier, sanitary lives. We're more educated about safe childbirth and early life care. Medicine has improved greatly. 

4. Absolute poverty around the world has declined dramatically over the past 200 years. I think most would be shocked to learn that 94% of the global population once lived in absolute poverty (>$1 per day). Life truly sucked for most. Today, however, less than 10% of the global population live in absolute poverty.

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