Sunday, October 2, 2016

Things are getting better, yet the public thinks the opposite about crime and poverty.

Sometimes what everyone assumes is true is simply not true.  We are accustomed to so much bad
news, people simply are not receptive to good news.  Two areas in which what most people believe is simply wrong is what they think they know about crime and poverty.  Although there are occasional upticks and fluctuations in crime rates, crime has been on a downward trend  in America since about 1990. There was an upswing in crime in the 60's, peaked in 1980, declined and climbed back up and peaked again in 1990 and has been on a steady downward trend and is now at about the same rate as 1968.

There is also great news about poverty. While poverty rates in America are no better than in 1968, world wide poverty has been on a steady decline since 1980 and has fallen by half in the last two decades. Following welfare reform there was a decline in American poverty, but failure to follow the course has resulted in no appreciable poverty decline. World wide however, there has been a major reduction in poverty. The fall of communism brought the blessing of capitalism to many of the world's poor and even Communist China abandoned socialism as an economic system. Socialism has lost its luster in most of the world. Also, some philanthropy and aid, especially that aimed at fighting decease, has shown results. For most of human history until the 1960s, a majority of adults were illiterate; now, 85 percent of adults worldwide are literate. World wide, inequality is on the decline primarily because of gains by the poor in places like China and India. For more on the decline in poverty see this article, The best News You Don’t Know.

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