It's Getting Better All the Time: The Greatest Trends of the Last 100 Years


There has been more material progress in the United States in the 20th Century than in the entire world in all previous centuries combined.

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There has been more material progress in the United States in the 20th Century than in the entire world in all previous centuries combined.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
How has the United States changed over the past century? Is life truly better now than it was in the past? Using statistical reports and other historical materials, Moore (fiscal policy studies, Cato Inst.) and the late Simon (business administration, Univ. of Maryland) argue that for the most part people entering the new millennium are much better off than their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. The areas covered include health, economics, race relations, safety, environmental issues, and women's rights. A number of charts and graphs, well complemented by an extensive index and a bibliography, shows the positive changes that have taken place over the past 100 years. Readers will appreciate the information provided by these colorful graphics, which readily allow for additional research on subjects of interest. Recommended for reference, general social science, and American studies collections.--Danna Bell-Russel, Library of Congress Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
This work by economist Julian L. Simon (d. 1998) was left unfinished at his death but was completed and prepared for publication by his colleague, Stephen Moore. The title states the bias, which is further explicated in the introduction: "...there has been more improvement in the human condition in the past 100 years than in all of the previous centuries combined since man first appeared on the earth." In support, 100 trends pertaining to the health and welfare of, mainly, US inhabitants are presented in graphs, with interpretive text that maintains the "getting better" thrust (and the conservative orientation of the author and the publisher). Interestingly, Simon's wife injects an alternate view in a brief foreword in which she discusses her reservations about describing the 20th century in the positive terms used in the book, and she tells of her conversations with her husband on the subject. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From The Critics
It's Getting Better All the Time surveys the greatest trends of the last 100 years, using statistical research and analysis to illustrate the progress made over this period. From work and health statistics to wage and asset analysis, this presents the facts surrounding our modern prosperity and the increase of luxury and health in modern society.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781882577972
  • Publisher: Cato Institute
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Pages: 294
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures vii
Foreword xi
Preface xv
Acknowledgments xvii
Introduction 1
Section I Health 25
Section II Diets and Nutrition 49
Section III Wealth 57
Section IV The State of Poor Americans 73
Section V The State of Children and Teens 81
Section VI The American Worker 91
Section VII Leisure, Recreation, and Entertainment 105
Section VIII Housing 117
Section IX Transportation and Communications 129
Section X Invention, Innovation, and Scientific Progress 145
Section XI The Information Age 151
Section XII Education 159
Section XIII Safety 171
Section XIV Environmental Protection 183
Section XV Natural Resources: An Age of Abundance 195
Section XVI Social and Cultural Indicators 207
Section XVII Human Achievement in Sports 223
Section XVIII The Remarkable Gains by Women 231
Section XIX The Decline of Racism 241
Section XX Freedom and Democracy 253
Section XXI The American People: The World's Greatest Resource 261
Notes 267
Index 287
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