"It's Getting Better All the Time: 100 Greatest Trends...

Editor's Choice

January 28, 2001|By Michael Pakenham

"It's Getting Better All the Time: 100 Greatest Trends of the Last 100 Years," by Stephen Moore and Julian L. Simon (Cato Institute, 294 pages, $14.95).

Published in celebratory fashion by the unabashedly conservative Cato Institute, this is a compilation of serious capsules of research data that attest to the progress of the human race -- especially in the United States. Illustrated by clear and convincing charts and tables, and entirely sober in tone, it is an encouraging tale: elimination of diseases and control of others, diminution of the use of alcohol, vast increases in useful inventions, growth of generosity in the private sector, reduction in damaging accidents, significant progress for most minority groups. The list goes on -- right up to 100. Nobody's saying utopia is here, but this is a superb antidote for whining.

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