The Carmi Rotary club had a very interesting recap of the decade that is coming to a close in a few days, the 2010’s. Rotarian Don Drone shared an article he had read by author Johan Norberg, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.
In the article, Mr. Norberg explained several very positive statistics. First and foremost, he shared that the gaps in basic living standards has closed significantly in the past ten years. To back this stat up, the World Bank reported that the rate of extreme-poverty world-wide fell more than half in the past decade. This means that for the first time in history, more than half the world’s population can be considered “middle class”.
Progress in the health of the world has been equally impressive. People have better access to vaccines, clean water, sanitation, and general health care than ever before. In fact, global life expectancy has increase by three full years in the past decade. An even better fact, the childhood mortality rate declined from 5.6% to 3.8% over that same period.
In answer to the question, “doesn’t all of these advances mean a decline in the world’s resources?”, the answer is a resounding “no”. Rich countries are actually using less natural resources such as: silver, lead, copper, steel, water, and other commodities.
Of course countries still have the ability to reduce their standards of living on a case by case instance. The author sites Venezuela as a prime example. That nation once had a thriving economy and a high standard of living. With the rise of socialism and the takeover of all major industries, that country has collapsed into a third world nation with little hope of recovery.
Mr. Norberg’s final statement is an optimistic one, he states, “Mankind creates faster than it squanders, and can repair more than they can destroy.”
At the close of Don’s presentation, Tom Logan treated the club to a short game of Christmas trivia, with candy canes and chocolate Santa’s as prizes for correct answers.
In club business, Morris McCall won the 50/50 drawing and managed to claim the day’s cash prize as well. J.R. Hubele was named as the day’s phantom.
The club decided to skip next Thursday’s meeting due to the Christmas holiday but will resume their schedule on Thursday, January 2nd.
The Carmi Rotary clubmeets every Thursday at noon at the First United Methodist Church on Main Street in Carmi. Anyone wishing to learn more about this civic organization is welcome to attend a meeting or speak with any Carmi Rotarian.
Story courtesy of Randy Adams