Welfare - Poverty Category. Something to think about. Parks & zoos in this country usually have signs that ask us "Please Do Not Feed the Animals." The stated reason for this policy is because "The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."

Progress vs. Utopia

by Steven Pinker,
from CATO Institute,

Most people have no idea that extreme poverty has declined from 90 percent to 9 percent. They have no idea that there’s been a reduction in the number of wars and deaths in wars. They don’t know that the majority of people are literate, when that wasn’t the case until fairly recently. I don’t consider it optimistic to point this out. I just consider people’s worldview to be incomplete if they don’t know these things—and many people don’t.

There’s also a kind of political motivation at stake in the denial of progress. Some people are opposed to the very system that is responsible for the gifts of progress—science and technology, trade and liberal democracy, and international organizations and other institutions. Without those drivers of progress, people have to resort to an outside cause for society’s improvements, something apart from humans and institutions. It’s almost as if some people’s worst nightmare would be that things actually got better, be-cause that scenario would vindicate the idea that, as flawed as our current arrangements are, they’re a lot better than the alternative. Certain ideologies are committed to a narrative of decline.

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