GIVING THANKS: The world is not going to hell in a handbasket. What is wrong can be easily fixed, says Allister Heath in The Daily Telegraph.
Thanksgiving in the United States is a time to pause, reflect, and give thanks for all that we have. But after a decade of war, financial crisis, and corruption scandals, and with public trust at an all-time low, is there much to give thanks for?
“Contrary to what environmentalists, anti-globalization campaigners and other economic curmudgeons like to think, the world is not going to hell in a handbasket….
… Humanity as a whole is doing better than it ever has: the world is becoming more prosperous, cleaner, increasingly peaceful and healthier. We are living longer, better lives. Virtually all of our existing problems are less bad than at any previous time in history.”
In fact, according to Danish political scientist Bjorn Lomborg’s book How Much Have Global Problems Cost the World, “on almost all important metrics, the human condition is improving at a dramatic rate; his thesis is backed up by oodles of other data and research.”
Lomborg’s research indicates that from War…
“There were fewer battle deaths (including of civilians) in the first decade of the 21st century than at any time since the Second World War.”
“In 1900, one person in 550 globally would die from air pollution every year, an annual risk of dying of 0.18pc. Today, that risk has fallen to 0.04 pc, or one in 2,500; by 2050, it is expected to have collapsed to 0.02pc, or one in 5,000.”
… things are getting better. According to Heath, “thanks tocapitalism, globalization, technology and a reduced tolerance for violence, humanity has never had it so good.”
This includes focusing on customer service, rejecting corporatism and re-embracing genuine free markets, supporting competition, reforming the tax code, increasing transparency, and address ethics and fraud.
“Crucially, corporate Britain’s response must not be solely defensive. Companies must never apologise for making profits or seeking to enrich shareholders through legal means. They should not give money or cave in to those who seek to undermine them. Instead, they should constantly explain how they contribute economically.
Last but not least, business needs its customers to understand financial concepts. They need to help promote numeracy and an understanding of basic business and economic ideas.
There are no miracle cures; but for all of our sakes British businesses must urgently begin to take their critics seriously, up their game and begin the fightback before it is too late.”