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Another Masonomist Likes the Naughts

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Tyler Cowen writes


Putting aside the United States, which ranks third, the four most populous countries are China, India, Indonesia and Brazil, accounting for more than 40 percent of the world's people. And all four have made great strides. Indonesia had solid economic growth during the entire decade, mostly in the 5 to 6 percent annual range. That came after its very turbulent 1990s, marked by a disastrous financial crisis and plummeting standards of living.

Even in the United States, the fact that people are living healthier longer represents an improvement above and beyond the GDP statistics.

Earlier, Bryan Caplan pointed out that we did not have a world war, Hitler, or the Soviet Union, which is an improvement the decades from 1911-1990.

Combine economic and geopolitical developments. If you take a random sample of people from around the world in various decades, chances are your sample in the aughts will be the healthiest and happiest.


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CATEGORIES: Growth: Consequences



COMMENTS (6 to date)
Bob Murphy writes:

Earlier, Bryan Caplan pointed out that we did not a world war, Hitler, or the Soviet Union, which is an improvement the decades from 1911-1990.

I know I'm going to be accused of "moral equivalence" here, so let me state that I am not saying one is as bad as the other.

OK now on to the question: Why exactly was a world with the Soviet Union so scary? Because they were trying to use their might to intimidate and/or literally take over as many countries as they could, right?

So, from the point of view of people outside of the US, especially the kind of countries that were subject to the imperialism of the Soviet Union...are they thinking the world is really great (on that score) since 1990?

Jayson Virissimo writes:

OK now on to the question: Why exactly was a world with the Soviet Union so scary? Because they were trying to use their might to intimidate and/or literally take over as many countries as they could, right?

60+ million deaths in the 20th century caused by the USSR is pretty scary. The fear they created is almost insignificant next to the weight of this fact.

Alex J. writes:

Bob,

Yes. If nothing else, consider the rate of land mines being placed vs. removed.

fundamentalist writes:

A slight variation on the name for the past decade is the naughties.

Mr. Econotarian writes:

We've really cranked down our genocides. The only thing we had going in 2000-2010 was Darfur, "just" 200K-400K.

No comparison to Rwanda 1994 (500K-1M), Cambodia 1975-9 (1.7M-3.0M), or the Great Leap Forward in China 1959-62 (20M-43M).

Tim Fowler writes:

Jayson gets to the core of the issue, but beyond the death, there was also the destruction, the fear, the need for the US and other countries to spend an enormous amount of wealth to prepare defenses against the threat (since the USSR fell the US has been spending something like 3 to 5% of our GDP on defense, as opposed to several times that in the cold war), and just all the people that where abused or had their freedom limited by the USSR.

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