This chart shows the percent per capita of disposable income spent on food in the U.S. from 1960 to 2012.
If you focus on the blue line, ‘Food at home,’ you can see that over the last 50 years, the percent of our disposable income spent on food has dropped by more than 50 percent, from 14% to less than 6%.
This is largely a function of better food production technology, distribution processes and policies that have reduced the cost of food. We’re demonetizing food rapidly.
This chart depicts the actual and projected changes in the number of children (in millions) in hazardous work conditions and performing child labor between 2000 and 2020.
As you can see, in the last 16 years, the number of children in these conditions has been reduced by more than 50%. As we head to a world of low-cost robotics, where such machines can operate far faster, far cheaper and around the clock, the basic rationale for child labor will completely disappear, and it will drop to zero.
We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded by negative news from every angle. If you turn on CNN (what I call the Crisis News Network), you’ll predominantly hear about death, terrorism, airplane crashes, bombings, financial crisis and political scandal.
- I think of the news as a drug pusher, and negative news as their drug. There’s a reason for this. We humans are wired to pay 10x more attention to negative news than positive news.
- Being able to rapidly notice and pay attention to negative news (like a predator or a dangerous fire) was an evolutionary advantage to keep you alive on the savannas of Africa millions of years ago.
- Today, we still pay more attention to negative news, and the news media knows this. They take advantage of it to drive our eyeballs to their advertisers. Typically, good news networks fail as businesses.
- It’s not that the news media is lying — it’s just not a balanced view of what’s going on in the world.
- And because your mindset matters a lot, my purpose of my work is to share with you the data supporting the positive side of the equation and to give you insight to some fundamental truths about where humanity really is going. The truth is, driven by advances in exponential technologies, things are getting much better around the world at an accelerating rate.
NOTE: This is not to say that there aren’t major issues we still face, like climate crisis, religious radicalism, terrorism, and so on. It’s just that we forget and romanticize the world in centuries past — and life back then was short and brutal.
Here is one of ten charts highlight these truths – By Peter Diamandis – We will be posting them all in our upcoming posts.
Living in Absolute Poverty (1981-2011)
Absolute poverty is defined as living on less than $1.25/day. Over the last 30 years, the share of the global population living in absolute poverty has declined from 53% to under 17%.
While there is still room for improvement (especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia), the quality of life in every region above has been steadily improving and will continue to do so. Over the next 20 years, we have the ability to extinguish absolute poverty on Earth.
9 more charts on abundance to come!