In 1980, more than half the world lived in extreme poverty. Now, thanks to the spread of free markets, that number has been slashed to less than a quarter, and if current trends continue it will be down 5% by 2030, only a little over a decade from now. What Nobel laureate Robert Fogel calls the “escape from hunger and premature death” has come a long way. Diseases are being cured, people with handicaps are getting prosthetic limbs, and even prosthetic eyes and ears. People in third world countries have smartphones now that connect them to the world, where a couple of decades ago they might have had to walk miles to make a telephone call.
So as you find yourself getting angry on social media, or yelling at the TV news, you might want to take a step back and reflect on the larger trends. In a few hundred years, people will remember our era for these great changes, rather than what someone said on Twitter. And they’ll probably wonder why people today seemed so upset.