What Reason Is There to Be Pessimistic About the United States?: DeLong FAQ

What Reason Is There to Be Optimistic About the World?: DeLong FAQ

Global Optimism: Q: What is the single most important thing that makes you optimistic for the world?

A: Our enormous technological powers and our rapid rate of technological progress.

Couple that with the fact that since 1945 the world has been relatively peaceful, and how can you not be optimistic?

We have an extraordinarily rich human civilization that promises to become even richer. Compared to previous human history, since 1945 we have been killing each other at only a moderate rate—a rate that would still be considered ferocious for any other non-obligate carnivore, but a rate less than we managed to accomplish in previous centuries. The prospect of a world in which people are doing a better job of managing their deadly aggression against one another coupled with a world of wealth that by the standard of all previous human civilizations is extravagant and extraordinary--how can you look at that and not be optimistic?