September 21, 2014

NO ONE HAS IT HARDER THAN THEIR FATHER DID:

Why the world is getting safer (Simon Kuper, 9/19/14, Financial Times)

Deaths in warfare have been falling for decades and probably centuries, as the Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker has charted. The global rate of war deaths, Pinker writes, slid "from almost 300 per 100,000 world population during world war two, to almost 30 during the Korean war, to the low teens during the era of the Vietnam war, to single-digits in the 1970s and 1980s, to less than 1 [this] century".

True, deaths in conflict rebounded after 2005. Nearly 200,000 people were killed in Syria alone from 2011 through April this year, estimates the UN. Yet Pinker says we're still at "a tiny bit over one" war death per 100,000 humans per year. Homicides, far more common than war deaths, are falling across the west.

And deaths from violence in recent years are vastly outnumbered by lives saved from infectious disease. Three great killers of poor people, Aids, tuberculosis and malaria, are in retreat.

Moreover, the worldwide death rate of children under five "roughly halved" between 1990 and 2012, says Unicef. The average human now lives to nearly 70. That's 20 years more life than in the early 1950s. Liberians have gained those 20 years since just 1992. On average, they now live to about 60.

In fact, a study published by the World Bank showed that from 1970 through 2008, death rates tended to fall even in war zones. The reason: gains from better healthcare trumped deaths from fighting.

At the End of History, there's nothing left to fight about and you're too wealthy to care even if there was.
Posted by at September 21, 2014 8:12 AM
  

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