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thinkahol *

The Best Of Times | ThinkProgress - 0 views

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    One the oddities about the current economic doldrums afflicting the developed world is that if you look at the global average, this is almost certainly the best time to be alive in human history. Not only have we seen rapid per capita GDP growth in many poor countries, but even in countries that haven't gotten richer major development progress has occurred. Last, but by no means least, the world is getting much less violent:
    In fact, the last decade has seen fewer war deaths than any decade in the past 100 years, based on data compiled by researchers Bethany Lacina and Nils Petter Gleditsch of the Peace Research Institute Oslo. Worldwide, deaths caused directly by war-related violence in the new century have averaged about 55,000 per year, just over half of what they were in the 1990s (100,000 a year), a third of what they were during the Cold War (180,000 a year from 1950 to 1989), and a hundredth of what they were in World War II. If you factor in the growing global population, which has nearly quadrupled in the last century, the decrease is even sharper. Far from being an age of killer anarchy, the 20 years since the Cold War ended have been an era of rapid progress toward peace.
    This is major good news.
thinkahol *

American Democracy Beyond Casino Capitalism and the Torture State | Truthout - 0 views

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    With all due respect to Charles Dickens, it appears to be the worst of times for public and higher education in America, if not democracy itself; public schools are increasingly viewed as a business and are prized above all for customer satisfaction and efficiency, while largely judged through the narrow lens of empirical accountability measures. When not functioning as an adjunct of corporate value or a potentially lucrative for-profit investment, public schools are reduced to containment centers, holding institutions designed to largely punish young people marginalized by race and class.
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