by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Ben Shapiro uses a National Review Online column to challenge one of today’s standard political complaints.
One of the more tiresome lines we hear over and over from our politicians is this: The world is worse today than it was yesterday. The rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer. A dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to. Our futures are less bright every day. As of June 2017, a full 58 percent of Americans believed their children would be worse off financially than their parents, while just 37 percent thought the opposite.
That dark perspective came to my mind as I traveled to the University of Connecticut last week. While I was waiting to speak, I browsed my iPhone (invented 2007). I then walked up to the microphone (invented in 1964) and spoke to some 500 students, as well as thousands of others watching via digital livestreaming (invented in 1993) and thousands more who would watch later on YouTube (launched in 2005). The entire event was filmed on a series of digital cameras (invented 1975). When I finished, I tweeted about how things had gone (Twitter launched in 2006). …
… All of which is to say that in a free, capitalist system, things are always getting better. My grandmother spent the first three decades of her life with precisely none of the amenities I mentioned above, which only constitute a short list. There are so many life-changing advancements we take for granted today that it’s hard to single them all out. Our quality of life is significantly better than it has ever been. …
… The power of our system hasn’t just meant better lives for our own citizens: It’s also meant better lives for billions of folks all over the world.