2012 has been the best year, ever — really!

posted at 1:31 pm on December 24, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

We find plenty of reasons for some pretty deep-seated pessimism around here — certain Western democracies’ stubborn march into entirely self-inflicted rates of economic growth much less robust than what they could and should be figuring highly among those reasons — but all in all, I generally subscribe to the school of rational optimism. Sometimes (and I consider Christmas to be a perfect sometime), it’s rejuvenating to take a step back and remember that, while the beguiling promise of big government cyclically rears its ugly head, individuals are everyday responsible for free-market driven innovations and efficiencies that continually make the world a better and better place in which to live.

2012 has been a spectacular year in terms of net global prosperity, accompanied by less hunger, less disease, and less war than ever before. All of the gloom-and-doomers fears of “peak oil” and overpopulation and widespread famine and the like have all miraculously failed to materialize, and standards of living around the world continue to improve.

Take global poverty. In 1990, the UN announced Millennium Development Goals, the first of which was to halve the number of people in extreme poverty by 2015. It emerged this year that the target was met in 2008. Yet the achievement did not merit an official announcement, presumably because it was not achieved by any government scheme but by the pace of global capitalism. Buying cheap plastic toys made in China really is helping to make poverty history. And global inequality? This, too, is lower now than any point in modern times. Globalisation means the world’s not just getting richer, but fairer too. …

Advances in medicine and technology mean that people across the world are living longer. The average life expectancy in Africa reached 55 this year. Ten years ago, it was 50. The number of people dying from Aids has been in decline for the last eight years. Deaths from malaria have fallen by a fifth in half a decade. …

War has historically been humanity’s biggest killer. But in most of the world today, a generation is growing up that knows little of it. The Peace Research Institute in Oslo says there have been fewer war deaths in the last decade than any time in the last century.

Walter Russell Mead had a great example last week of just how wrong all those Malthusian naysayers have been about their hysterics over a skyrocketing population smothering the earth and its resources:

This past June, the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization warned us that “Land and water resources are now much more stressed than in the past and are becoming scarcer.” A new report suggests that is incorrect.

While the world has indeed hit “Peak Farmland”, says the report, the reason for the coming reduction in land devoted to agriculture isn’t due to exhaustion but to declining population pressures. By 2060, the report predicts, 10 percent of the earth’s arable farmland in use today will be restored to its natural state. That’s land 2.5 times the size of France, or ten Iowas…

Slowing population growth. The restoration of massive swaths of farmland to nature. Increasing world food supplies. Lower food prices for billions of people. Massive water supplies beneath the driest deserts. Abundant oil and gas. The 21st century is looking like it will be a very different kind of place than the greens and Malthusians have warned us about.

And hey, what about energy scarcity? Pfffft. Thanks to improved efficiencies and new technologies (a.k.a. hydraulic fracturing!), both our total fossil-fuel usage and carbon emissions are on the way down. What’s more, the sane thinking involving the threat of climate change is looking a lot less catastrophic than we have always been led to believe.

I will of course always continue the fight against our own self-imposed big-government folly that really is the single and only thing holding us back from the full fruits of our own genius, but so far, free(ish) markets and human ingenuity is still the more powerful and winning entity in helping people across the globe. Just a few glad tidings for you, friends — enjoy the holiday!


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so it’s all downhill form here?

bannor on December 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM

How will the media hype this?

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Man bites dog: “Vietnamese rescue US man who drifted for 8 days” http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/national_world&id=8930290

davidk on December 24, 2012 at 1:36 PM

How will Obama hype this?

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2012 at 1:37 PM

How will the media hype this?

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2012 at 1:36 PM

From what I’m hearing, the fire was set to lure the firemen in.

Shooter “eliminated.”

davidk on December 24, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Be of good cheer! Just be forewarned that we’ll always have the lemmings with us, prophesying gloom and doom while trying to dip into your wallet.

GarandFan on December 24, 2012 at 1:38 PM

so it’s all downhill form here?

bannor on December 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM

No, it’s always uphill, into the wind, both ways, and in two feet of snow. But you must always be thankful for that.

Didn’t your parents teach you that?

NeighborhoodCatLady on December 24, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Just a few glad tidings for you, friends — enjoy the holiday!

Merry Christmas!

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Be of good cheer!

I find that difficult … is there a government program for that?

darwin on December 24, 2012 at 1:39 PM

From what I’m hearing, the fire was set to lure the firemen in.

Shooter “eliminated.”

davidk on December 24, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Who was the shooter? What was the motive

Did the gun go off by itself?

How is the media going to hype, make hay of?

How will it benefit Obama, the Great?

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2012 at 1:40 PM

2012 has been the best year, ever — really!

…new medication?

KOOLAID2 on December 24, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Hating on Malthus? That’s a lump of coal for you right there little missy!!

abobo on December 24, 2012 at 1:43 PM

We find plenty of reasons for some pretty deep-seated pessimism around here

And they are growing. There is more than a touch of “Après nous, le Déluge” in our Christmas celebration. My extended family knows that this time next year, if we are still here; it will be far, far worse for us. Global poverty improving in parts of the world that hate us is of no worth when we and the rest of the developed world are descending into poverty and tyranny.

Subotai Bahadur on December 24, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Merry Christmas and happy New Year to all good the HA virtual people. You have been a refreshing addition to the all other voices in my head.

BoxHead1 on December 24, 2012 at 1:50 PM

all the

BoxHead1 on December 24, 2012 at 1:51 PM

the good

BoxHead1 on December 24, 2012 at 1:51 PM

lol….color me unconvinced.

Merry Christmas Erika!

Have sincerely enjoyed your work, and you’ve been a great addition to HA.

Tim_CA on December 24, 2012 at 1:56 PM

2012 was a freaking disaster and 2013 will be even worse. Have a (fill in the blank) New Year.

rplat on December 24, 2012 at 1:58 PM

How will it benefit Obama, the Great?

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2012 at 1:40 PM

This will give the opportunity to present another one of his famous “eulogies”.

You know – where he talks about himself then draws parallels to the deceased.

Tim_CA on December 24, 2012 at 1:59 PM

I appreciate the sentiment, no matter how much it is divorced from reality.

We’re screwed.

wolly4321 on December 24, 2012 at 2:11 PM

2012 is the year of John Roberts’ malignant SCOTUS ruling on Obamacare, and of Obama’s reelection. In 2012 it has been established that individuals no longer are the final arbiters for thier own health care, and that doctors must absolutely defer their expertise to bureaucratic approval. A decade or so from now, when health care has crashed in terms of quality, availability, and innovation, a reasessment of 2012 will be in order.

86 on December 24, 2012 at 2:13 PM

wolly4321 on December 24, 2012 at 2:11 PM

I want to know the background of the shooter.

Media? Obama?

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2012 at 2:18 PM

I’ve heard that his friends say he was conservative.

/lost

Tim_CA on December 24, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Wanna make 2013 even better?

Embrace your inner Cloward & Piven! Demand free stuff! Go for the gusto and grab all the guvmitt swag you can while the gettin’ is good!

Santa’s just makin’ the first of many first goodie drops tonight – there’s a whole lotta spreading the wealth around on tap in the the next few years!

Don’t be so Grinchy, ya’ll! The good times is gonna roll!

Them Rich Folks are just gonna keep that gravy comin’, right?

Right?

Bruno Strozek on December 24, 2012 at 2:24 PM

No, it has not been a good year. But “optimism” isn’t really the answer or the issue. Facing reality is. America is being corrupted and destroyed. A poison is being released in our collective bloodstream and we’re not diagnosing it or fighting it as an enlightened, courageous and organized political force. We’re losing, even being routed, primarily because we’re not fighting. We’re not fighting: this single and seemingly unalterable truth is consuming us with frustration and anguish.

Andrew Breitbart’s death pretty much snuffed out our enlightened and radical spirit of warfare. His lessons have been lost. His sites have degenerated into pugnacious flailings. Perhaps because too much of Andrew Breitbart was about personality, i.e., phenomenal, idiosyncratic and non-transferrable. But reduced to its essence, his lesson was simply to confront the Left in a bold, cheerful and straightforward manner. To think of yourself as a culture warrior always on the offensive against a vile enemy which had picked a fight with you and America. I see no signs that we have absorbed this lesson or attitude. We have more means of criticism and expression than ever before, but it all seems defensive.

My hope and optimism is in direct correlation to the degree that we take the fight to them.

rrpjr on December 24, 2012 at 2:29 PM

The end of the world has been postponed until further notice.

Mother Gaia will have her earth-gasm later. She is too busy now to even tip over Guam.

SparkPlug on December 24, 2012 at 2:30 PM

2012 has been the best year, ever — really!

Not feeling it…need more eggnog…..

HotAirian on December 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Hating on Malthus? That’s a lump of coal for you right there little missy!!

abobo on December 24, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Nope… Obama outlawed coal, you’ll have to send her something else,carbon neutral of course… o_O

SWalker on December 24, 2012 at 2:43 PM

How does this compute with this thread topic?

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2012 at 2:43 PM

2012 has been the best year, ever — really!

Can we bundle this line and sell it to Fannie Mae?

Not feeling it…need more eggnog…..

HotAirian on December 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Ditto! Perhaps some good Cognac to rinse the eggnog down?

Merry Christmas to all

Rov

Rovin on December 24, 2012 at 2:50 PM

rrpjr on December 24, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Breitbart was a ray of hope and a huge loss. The election put us squarely, in large measure irreversibly, on the road to socialism and statism. It’s an ugly day for America.

I’m pretty much living in Galt’s Gulch. Lots of small business owners I know are making arrangements to move there too.

petefrt on December 24, 2012 at 3:06 PM

While I’m all for persevering and not giving into despair, facing reality is important. I really don’t think 2012 was the best year ever.

2012 has been a spectacular year in terms of net global prosperity, accompanied by less hunger, less disease, and less war than ever before.

These are good things, but look for the Left and Obama to say the opposite and for the complicit progressive media to agree. We are being propagandized constantly. As for energy, we’ll have to fight tooth and nail because the Dems would prefer us peasants to live back in the Dark Ages as they party.

And what about liberty? A good health system? Employment? Free enterprise? Solid community coherence? Decency and good character? Freedom of religion? Those are in short supply, and getting shorter here at home. There are too many terrible things going on internationally to even enumerate.

We should be grateful and happy for what we do have in our lives that is good, because that keeps us sane and from becoming bitter and angry, but setting our faces like flint to reality is what needed right now.

INC on December 24, 2012 at 3:08 PM

all the

BoxHead1 on December 24, 2012 at 1:51 PM

the good

BoxHead1 on December 24, 2012 at 1:51 PM

BoxHead has been into the eggnog. And that’s … OK …

It would make my day if Erika would post a shout-out here to us peons, like the Hamster, Ed, or AP might. I don’t even know if she has a posting account, or knows how to post.

I should post something worthy of an Erika reply. Sigh. I’m dry. Can’t think of anything! Maybe … we’re still a free country, with freedom of speech, and assembly. And that makes us great and is what will last, not the taxes and regulation and redistribution of wealth and cronyism and disregard for the rule of law. Sorry … that’s all I got.

Merry Christmas to Erika and to everyone! :)

Paul-Cincy on December 24, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Due to a lack of trained trumpeters,

The end of the world has been postponed until further notice.

SparkPlug on December 24, 2012 at 2:30 PM

NeighborhoodCatLady on December 24, 2012 at 3:30 PM

2012 will be the best year – compared to 2013, 2014…

Maddie on December 24, 2012 at 3:32 PM

petefrt on December 24, 2012 at 3:06 PM

I’ve moved there too.

rrpjr on December 24, 2012 at 3:33 PM

The horizon is full of dark clouds and lightning.

http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2012/12/23122012-q4-2012-global-risk-analysis.html

The organic waste is en-route to the rotating airfoil. The only thing left to do is to make sure that the enemies of our country suffer along with us. Do not patronize Democrats and other Leftists. Do not hire Democrats and other Leftists. Do not give charity to Democrats or other Leftists. They worship the State, let the State be responsible for them. If you have to lay people off, try to include political leanings to the Left in your decision matrix. They hate us. We might as well get back at them.

Subotai Bahadur on December 24, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Reagan was President when I was your age, Erika. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to see you in a bikini. Just throwing it out there.;>)

wolly4321 on December 24, 2012 at 4:04 PM

No.

vityas on December 24, 2012 at 4:04 PM

$6 trillion of new debt in 4 years can buy an awful lot of global happiness.

jukin3 on December 24, 2012 at 4:35 PM

No, it’s always uphill, into the wind, both ways, and in two feet of snow. But you must always be thankful for that.

Didn’t your parents teach you that?

NeighborhoodCatLady on December 24, 2012 at 1:39 PM

You had shoes?

my brother and I shared one shoe.

We took turns hopping to school.

/ my uncle Louie (may God rest him)

Tim_CA on December 24, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Romney was our nominee, Romney lost to Obama, we didn’t re-take the senate, the Three Stooges (Boehner, Cantor and McCarthy) are still the House “leadership.” my Tigers lost the World Series, the NHL is locked-out, I didn’t win the PowerBall jackpot and the NY Times, Washington Post, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, NPR, PBS, NBC and Comcast are still in business.

Not exactly my idea of a good year!

bw222 on December 24, 2012 at 4:39 PM

BoxHead has been into the eggnog. And that’s … OK …

Paul-Cincy on December 24, 2012 at 3:25 PM

**burp**

BoxHead1 on December 24, 2012 at 4:40 PM

bw222 on December 24, 2012 at 4:39 PM

C’mon buddy – At least Newsweek is gone.

Pull up an eggnog, kick up your feet and laugh at the coming sh!tstorm…!

Tim_CA on December 24, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Tim_CA on December 24, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Obviously, you see the glass as half full. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

bw222 on December 24, 2012 at 4:50 PM

What Planet are you from?

Drill and Fill on December 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

NeighborhoodCatLady on December 24, 2012 at 3:30 PM

hahaha. Great name. NeighborhoodCatLady

SparkPlug on December 24, 2012 at 5:16 PM

bw222 on December 24, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Back at ya !

;-)

Tim_CA on December 24, 2012 at 5:34 PM

So, we clearly can sustain the growing population caused by all those hundreds of millions of men out there spreading their seed amongst multiple women, and/or having human litters with one woman?

Who needs food and water anyway? All that matters is that irresponsible males feel good and masculine, and that maybe some religions pick up some more members in the future.

Ah, all is well on Planet Earth.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 24, 2012 at 6:05 PM

In 1990, the UN announced Millennium Development Goals, the first of which was to halve the number of people in extreme poverty by 2015. It emerged this year that the target was met in 2008.

I guess this is one thing we can “blame Bush” for…..weird how liberals aren’t discussing.

William Teach on December 24, 2012 at 6:17 PM

In 1990, the UN announced Millennium Development Goals, the first of which was to halve the number of people in extreme poverty by 2015. It emerged this year that the target was met in 2008.

I guess this is one thing we can “blame Bush” for…..weird how liberals aren’t discussing.

William Teach on December 24, 2012 at 6:17 PM

and the fine print reads, “But a decreasing American middle class will have to work harder to support everyone else in the world, and all Americans will have to do with much less.”

We find plenty of reasons for some pretty deep-seated pessimism around here — certain Western democracies’ stubborn march into entirely self-inflicted rates of economic growth much less robust than what they could and should be figuring highly among those reasons — but all in all, I generally subscribe to the school of rational optimism. Sometimes (and I consider Christmas to be a perfect sometime),

Oh, brother.

I knew the Communists couldn’t pull off “wealth redistribution” without at least acquiescence from those who agree with Barry that a person (or a country by extrapolation) can have too much, and that it doesn’t matter how much it sucks for us down here because after all, our true rewards await us in the Hereafter.

Great.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 24, 2012 at 7:04 PM

How will it benefit Obama, the GreatIngrate?

Schadenfreude on December 24, 2012 at 1:40 PM

FIFY, Schadenfreude.

Sterling Holobyte on December 24, 2012 at 11:53 PM

SO:

More People That EVER are Slaughtering each other in The Middle East:

– Syrians are killing each other and using chemical and biological weapons on each other

– Christians are being killed and persecuted in Iran and Egypt

– Women are being buried up to their waist and stoned in Egypt and everywhere in The Mideast

– The Muslim Brotherhood are oppressing MILLIONS

More people are unemployed in America than before The Great Depression
More people’s retirement have been ruined that EVER BEFORE in the history of the world
More RIGHTS and LIBERTIES have been taken away from Free Citizens than EVER BEFORE in history

And the LIBERALS come out with THIS Sack of Propaganda and LIES – and YOU PUSH IT?!!!

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU, HOT AIR?!!

williamg on December 25, 2012 at 12:15 AM

This is Right up there with: “The Private Sector is FINE!!!” and Hot Air is RIGHT THERE WITH OBAMA!!

williamg on December 25, 2012 at 12:16 AM

“They cry peace, peace when there is no peace.”

tommyboy on December 25, 2012 at 8:01 AM

Things always look terrific when you open up storage and start chowing down on the seed corn. We’ve never been better fed!

Global prosperity sprang directly from the triumph of America and the imposition of Pax Americana. No culture but America’s has ever actually believed in real freedom and the freedom of enterprise that is central to freedom. As long as American guns were protecting it, the world played along.

America is broke. Its once proud and independent minded people have been corrupted to the point they have embraced turning their heritage into just another eurosclerotic nanny state of a particularly cumbersome form.

All of the new contenders for global dominance have populations even more corrupted than America’s. None of the rising stars embrace real freedom. They are all tribal and predatory in their thinking. In other words, they are the way people have always been.

The rise of America was a freak event. Now it is history.

As America’s debt and decaying character drag it down into secondary status, the world will descend back into the horror we found it in in the 20th Century. The world will get back to the business of tearing itself apart, but now armed with the weapons of apocalypse.

The good news? Living at the top is better than having lived at the bottom. Kind of rough on our children and grandchildren, though.

Merry Christmas, kids!

fadetogray on December 25, 2012 at 8:28 AM

You see if the UN, assorted politicians, & a mentally & morally deficient media can worry about this, or seem to, there will be Importnat Matters to be done, & by Important People, their jobs to be maintained, their salaries, benefits, & sense of importance, that’s quite necessary,to be fulfilled. That way the crisis is permanent.

arand on December 25, 2012 at 11:19 AM

fadetogray on December 25, 2012 at 8:28 AM

Bravo.

rrpjr on December 25, 2012 at 11:45 AM

I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but my understanding of the bible and prophetic underpinnings, its only going to get worse as time goes by.

So, these days at some point will be looked on as “the good old days”.

44Magnum on December 25, 2012 at 4:10 PM