Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Economic Crisis, Yet We Progress

Amid all the bad news about the stock market and the fears that the theory of "decoupling" has been proven wrong, we may loose sight of the amazing economic and social progress that has taken place. When I look around my apartment, I realize that thanks to global trade and moderate credit, I have a very comfortable life. I can now go to the store and buy French music and movies, something I could not do when I was I learning French in high school back in 1991. I bought a surround sound system from Sony for $300. How cheap is that? And will own it for several more years. Even the poor in the United States have TV sets and cell phones.

So along those lines, I wanted to post this talk, again delivered at TED last year. The statistics are great, the graphics informative, and the speaker is amazing. Take look and a listen! Be impressed. Watch poverty nearly disappear and see the health and longevity of the world improve!


4 comments:

Dr. Strangelove said...

Great presentation! Loved it. And it made me think, too. Thanks, USWest!

Raised By Republicans said...

Great Presentation! Can you give the url so I can use this in class!?

I love the "Grandma Verified Statistics."

And of course you are right about our increasing standards of living. A group of young professors and I were chatting about this the other day. We were talking about how we all have houses and cars (mostly pretty nice, new cars) and eat lunch out most days etc etc. I remember when I was a kid and my family lived in a house not much bigger than the one I have to myself now. We ate a lot of mac and cheese and hotdogs and my parents shared a single used car (a beat up Dodge then a beat up Chevy). And my dad was a business school professor at a major research university. Today I know that assistant professors in the B-schools of major research universities make two to three times what I make but I have a far higher standard of living today than my family had 30 years ago. It's not because B-school salaries have risen so much faster than salaries in the Arts and Sciences. Rather, as US West points out, it is trade that has done this.

Capitalism. Trade. The free market on a global scale!

USWest said...

He did another talk in 2006 which was very similar and quite good as well. This talk here was the follow up to that.

The URL for this talk is http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/list
His is the second talk down. You can also type his name into You Tube and both talks will come up.

Pombat said...

Good presentation, thanks for that. Love his finale :-)

What I don't get in USWest's initial post, and RBR's follow up comments though is this: the consumerist nature of this "increased standard of living" - how cheap things, 'stuff', is, how everything people own is newer, and apparently therefore better, now.
Why?

My disconnect is on two levels - one is the global tree-hugging one, that the more new stuff gets made, the more the earth suffers for it; and the other level is more personal, because I don't actually see the need for lots of new stuff - Spotted Handfish & I have a television that used to belong to his parents, which is older than I am (and for which we have the circuit diagrams, which are kinda cool). We have no intention of replacing it until it completely stops working, because we don't need to. In fact, I get very frustrated when it comes to the longevity of things - I own a nearly-four-yr-old mobile (cellphone), which I'm going to need to replace soon because some of the keys only work half the time - I wish it would carry on working properly for several more years instead!