David Strom

Those of us who inhabit the reality-based community are often struck by how liberals are always hitting the panic button.

Chicken Little was calm, cool, and collected compared to modern liberals.

Doom, gloom, crisis, and the collapse of civilization are seemingly always just around the corner. It’s as if Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famously upbeat “we have nothing to fear but fear itself” has been transformed into “we have everything to fear but fear itself.”

The dominant theme of contemporary liberalism is one of impending doom. Time and again you hear from liberal activists and politicians about the disastrous or soon to be disastrous state of the world, and in particular the Western world. (If only America looked more like Sub-Saharan Africa, with no power plants, the world would be a better place?)

Our economy is about to collapse because of trade; pollution is killing off life on earth; energy consumption is creating a global climate crisis; diseases such as SARS and the bird flu (remember these?) are set to wipe out large swaths of humanity; millions of Americans are one paycheck away from homelessness; income misdistribution is creating a newly Dickensian world; American international policies are creating worldwide disapproval of our country and our culture; internal security measures to combat terrorism are creating a police state; the war against terror and al Qaeda is being lost….

You name it, no matter what we are headed for disaster.

Except that we are NOT headed for disaster. As a matter of indisputable fact, the world has been getting to be a better place for human beings for a couple of centuries, after a millennium of near stagnation. Human life spans are increasing, wealth is spreading across the world through trade, the environment is getting cleaner in the wealthier parts of the world, and even the exotic diseases we seem to worry most about (ebola, bird flu, and other exotic diseases) have taken only a few hundred human lives each.

Since I was born in 1964, world population has nearly doubled, while the proportion living in poverty and without enough food has declined dramatically. The World Bank predicts that the ranks of the poorest of the poor will fall by half between now and 2015. Sounds like progress to me.

David Strom

David Strom is the President of the Minnesota Free Market Institute. He hosts a weekly radio show on AM-1280 "The Patriot" in Minneapolis-St. Paul, available on podcast at Townhall.com.

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