Today: 29.Sep.2020

Bruce Pardy, writer for Financial Post, Canada: If you live in a Western nation like Canada in the 21st century, you have more freedom, prosperity and peace than most of the rest of the world at most other times in history. Yet these countries have never been at greater risk. The threat is not pandemics, climate change or war but something more insidious. Modern Western civilization grew out of the Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries. The ascendancy of reason in human affairs produced the scientific method and later the Industrial Revolution. Add in the rule of law, individual liberty, private property and capitalism, and you have the basic recipe that has raised most of humanity out of poverty over two centuries.

Published in Canada

John Eidson, electrical engineer: Fed a constant diet of economic lies by anti-capitalists in our society, the millennial generation has been conned into believing that the wealthy get rich only by stealing an unfair slice of America’s economic pie. By taking more than their fair share, the theory goes, greedy corporate CEOs leave little but crumbs for everyone else. Such thinking is referred to as the zero sum theory of economics: that there is only one finite-sized pie to go around. In truth, America does not have a finite economic pie. Rather, it has a virtually unlimited supply of ever-evolving economic pies of varying sizes waiting to be made by enterprising people from every race and every income group.

Published in USA

Matt Ridley is the author of The Rational Optimist and a Member of the British House of Lords: Driven perhaps by envy at the attention that man-made climate change is getting and ambition to set up a great new intergovernmental body that can fly scientists to mega-conferences, biologists have gone into overdrive on the subject of biodiversity. They are right that there is a lot wrong with the world’s wildlife, that we can do much more to conserve, enhance and recover it, but much of the coverage in the media are frankly weird.

Published in UK

Max Roser, economist, geoscientist, philosopher, Founder and Program Director, Our World in Data: To see where we are coming from we must go far back in time. When you only consider what the world looked during our life time it is easy to make the mistake of thinking of the world as relatively static – the rich, healthy and educated parts of the world here and the poor, uneducated, sick regions there – and to falsely conclude that it always was like that and that it always will be like that. In 1950 two-thirds of the world were living in extreme poverty; in 1981 it was still 42%. In 2015 – the last year for which we currently have data – the share of the world population in extreme poverty has fallen below 10%. That is a huge achievement, for me as a researcher who focuses on growth and inequality maybe the biggest achievement of all in the last two centuries.

Published in People - 5 - World
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