Magazine February 10, 2020, Issue

It’s Getting Better All the Time

(Lisi Niesner/Reuters)

In recent years I’ve written a number of contrarian columns arguing that modern life has, by nearly every quantifiable measure, improved for the vast majority of humanity over the past 40 years. 

These pieces serve a dual purpose: First, they allow me to push back, in my own small way, against the prevailing pessimism that dominates so much of our discourse. Second, they allow me to troll Millennials, who often seem to function under the ahistorical misconception that they live in a uniquely challenging era. 

My articles generate a barrage of criticisms, some more compelling than others, but there’s always one especially

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