Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
17 reasons to be optimistic
Old 04-10-2012, 02:36 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 1,571
17 reasons to be optimistic

Mathew Ridley has posted a list of 17 reasons to be optimistic on his blog http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog...;s-digest.aspx

While I am not as optimistic as Mr Ridley for a number of reasons (global warming, debt/deficit issues, extinction of species, desertification, etc etc etc), it's a useful reminder that there are a lot of positive things including:

Quote:
1. We're better off now
Compared with 50 years ago, when I was just four years old, the average human now earns nearly three times as much money (corrected for inflation), eats one third more calories, buries two thirds fewer children, and can expect to live one third longer. In fact, it's hard to find any region of the world that's worse off now than it was then, even though the global population has more than doubled over that period.
Quote:
12. We are the luckiest generation
This generation has experienced more peace, freedom, leisure time, education, medicine, and travel than any in history. Yet it laps up gloom at every opportunity. Consumers do not celebrate their wonderful field of choice and, according to psychologists, say they are "overwhelmed." When I go to my local superstore, I do not see people driven to misery by the impossibility of choice. I see people choosing.
One thing I don't aagree with is the environmental comments - globally, my unscientific $0.02 is that things are continuing to deteriorate.
__________________

__________________
Budgeting is a skill practised by people who are bad at politics.
traineeinvestor is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-10-2012, 02:49 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Reader's Digest? The toilet reading of the Merkin lumpenproletariat? Almost lost me right there.

But I think he is right, overall.
__________________

__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2012, 03:27 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
clifp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,450
Quote:
Originally Posted by traineeinvestor View Post


One thing I don't aagree with is the environmental comments - globally, my unscientific $0.02 is that things are continuing to deteriorate.

Global you are probably right, although China is starting to take environmental issues seriously. But in the US, the environment is improving. I remember growing up in LA in the 60s and 70s and around 8 to 10 days a month they cancel PE class because of smog. This happens infrequently now a few days a year.

You also so promising things like both the Bald Eagle and the Green Sea Turtle population increase so much that they could be taken of the endangered species list.
__________________
clifp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2012, 03:33 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp View Post
You also so promising things like both the Bald Eagle and the Green Sea Turtle population increase so much that they could be taken of the endangered species list.

And deer, gator, wild turkeys, etc. are so plentiful now that they have gotten to the point of nuisance levels. Not so just a few decades back.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2012, 01:01 AM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,196
We're lucky that we eat 33% more calories? That's a good way to spin it.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 08:36 AM   #6
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,501
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
We're lucky that we eat 33% more calories? That's a good way to spin it.
I think it means we're lucky that we can eat 33% more calories. That's better than having to do with 33% less.

The fact that so many people do just because they can is a different issue.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 09:35 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
I think it means we're lucky that we can eat 33% more calories. That's better than having to do with 33% less.

The fact that so many people do just because they can is a different issue.
In any case, I think we'd be luckier if it weren't the case that 66% of us are overweight and 35% obese.
__________________
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 09:53 AM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
WB52's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 169
I love the optimism! We are certainly blessed to be born at this point in history. Too bad the only negative predictions and spin sell media stories. It is nice to see this summary of good news versus the Good O'l Days.
__________________
WB52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 10:09 AM   #9
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,079
Quote:
Originally Posted by WB52 View Post
I love the optimism! We are certainly blessed to be born at this point in history. Too bad the only negative predictions and spin sell media stories. It is nice to see this summary of good news versus the Good O'l Days.
+1

Just read the article and it was really nice to see such optimism. We all know how much life expectabcies have increased but I was amazed to read that the average life expectancy in China has risen by 25 years over the last 50 years.

China's life expectancy is now 2nd only to Japan.
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 10:33 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MasterBlaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,359
Quote:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
English novelist (1812 - 1870)
__________________
MasterBlaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 12:46 PM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,372
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
In any case, I think we'd be luckier if it weren't the case that 66% of us are overweight and 35% obese.
I took the article to mean a global calculation of 33 percent more calories today than 50 years ago. That might be a good thing for parts of the world.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 12:57 PM   #12
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,827
Quote:
Originally Posted by WB52 View Post
I love the optimism! We are certainly blessed to be born at this point in history. Too bad the only negative predictions and spin sell media stories. It is nice to see this summary of good news versus the Good O'l Days.
+2

It seems like we never see the positive side on the major media. How can we rationally assess anything if we only see one viewpoint? I thought the article was refreshingly independent.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 01:04 PM   #13
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,079
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
In any case, I think we'd be luckier if it weren't the case that 66% of us are overweight and 35% obese.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
I took the article to mean a global calculation of 33 percent more calories today than 50 years ago. That might be a good thing for parts of the world.
I'm certain that it does mean globally.

Al, maybe a solution to the USA calorie intake problem may be to re-locate some "high calorie" folks to a part of the world that is under-nourished, and that should improve the figures of both regions.
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 01:19 PM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: seattle
Posts: 643
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
I took the article to mean a global calculation of 33 percent more calories today than 50 years ago. That might be a good thing for parts of the world.
IIRC, at the end of the 19th century, almost 50% of workers were involved in farming; it's something like 2% [usa] now.
__________________
bld999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 01:34 PM   #15
Full time employment: Posting here.
NYEXPAT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Miraflores,Peru
Posts: 868
The pessimist in me, see's more people living longer and possibly running out of money in their old age.
<<<<<HOWEVER>>>>>

The Optimist in me believes that this can never happen as the FED can print all the money we will ever need!
__________________
NYEXPAT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 07:59 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,554
I feel blessed to be living at this time in history also. I am so very thankful for indoor plumbing and not having to use outhouses. I know that there are many wonderful places in the world, but I am also so grateful that I was born in the USA.
__________________
Dreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 08:40 AM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,261
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYEXPAT View Post
The Optimist in me believes that this can never happen as the FED can print all the money we will ever need!
The pessimist in me is afraid that is exactly what they will do!

<<<<<HOWEVER>>>>>

The optimist in me, like others have said, still thinks this is the greatest time in history to be alive. But it could be so much better!

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 09:53 AM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
nvestysly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 417
Interesting article. My father was definitely a "glass is half full" person and I try to be the same although it's easy to get caught up in the gloom and doom stories.

In my opinion Warren Buffett is also a glass is half full (or even nearly full) person. I'm sure he'd admit there are plenty of problems in the world but our lives are so much better than in previous decades and if we keep working... we'll solve more of the problems that confront us today.

My frustration comes when I encounter people that are not making the most of their resources (time/money) and instead continue to do the things that put them into a bad situation.

This past weekend I gaves some copies of The Wealthy Barber, The Richest Man in Babylon, and The Millionaire Next Door to some family members hoping they will gain a better understanding of financial matters.

Back to the article... Maybe I'll send family members a link so they can take a look.

Thanks for posting.
__________________
Dreamin' of Streamin'
FIRE'd at 52 on 7/8/11
nvestysly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 10:24 AM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,196
I find it hard to be optimistic given my impression of the typical American.





__________________

__________________
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:05 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.