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Unintentionally Hilarious Monetary Quote of the Day

November 10, 2013 in Economics

By Peter G. Klein

From a Chicago Fed paper on crypto-currencies:

Although some of the enthusiasm for bitcoin is driven by a distrust of state-issued currency, it is hard to imagine a world where the main currency is based on an extremely complex code understood by only a few and controlled by even fewer, without accountability, arbitration, or recourse.

HT: ZeroHedge, via Tom DiLorenzo.

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Improving with Age

November 10, 2013 in Economics

By Marian L. Tupy

Marian L. Tupy

Humanity is better off today than it has ever been.

That may surprise you because, after all, we are constantly bombarded by bad news: There is a drawn-out civil war in Syria, continued strife in Egypt, Ethiopian children are forced to work to survive, and women from India to Saudi Arabia are experiencing frequent violence and widespread oppression. Even in the United States, some Americans remain trapped in poverty.

In spite of all the negatives, life for most of humanity is still better than ever.

Humanity is better off today than it has ever been.”

Throughout history, life was very difficult. Those with ailments spent much of their lives in agonizing pain. Families lived in bug-infested dwellings that offered neither comfort nor privacy. Many worked in the fields from sunrise to sunset, yet hunger and famines were commonplace. Transportation was primitive, and most never traveled beyond their native villages or nearest towns. Ignorance and illiteracy were rife.

People also died young. The average global life expectancy of 30 years did not change from the Stone Age until 1900. Even in the richest countries, life expectancy at the start of the 20th century rarely exceeded 50 years. Average global income per person remained stagnant from the time of Caesar Augustus to the time of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Industrialization and globalization have been transforming our lives, mostly for the better, since the 1800s. Average life expectancy in the world has more than doubled to 68 years, and per-capita annual income has increased more than tenfold, to $14,000.

It is not only income and life expectancy that are improving, as Harvard professor Steven Pinker wrote: “Violence has been in decline for thousands of years, and today we may be living in the most peaceable era in the existence of our species.”

If anything, the speed of human progress is accelerating. According to Charles Kenny of the Center for Global Development, some “4.9 billion people — the considerable majority of the planet — [live] in countries where GDP has increased more than fivefold over 50 years.”

This acceleration has also led to a substantial reduction in the world’s poor. According to research by the Brookings Institution, “between 2005 and 2010, the total number of poor people around the world fell by nearly half a billion . Poverty reduction of this magnitude is unparalleled in history.”

More children in poor countries, including girls, attend schools at all levels of education. In Afghanistan, for example, the primary-school enrollment rate for girls rose from zero in …read more

Source: OP-EDS