With a meek one percent of wealthy, rapidly worsening global warming, and somehow darker times in politics, a lot of people have deemed the current era as the worst time to be alive.
Turn on the TV or browse through the latest news on social media and the majority of reports are negative – from wars and unrest in several countries to spread of contagious diseases that threaten the extinction of human race, it is just logical to feel scared for the future.
After all, these can be overwhelming and frightening, especially when you feel that the fall of the world into a deep abyss is looming.
But if there are people who believe otherwise, they are led by none other than the world’s richest and powerful. Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk, who has been infamous for his eyebrow-raising statements, recently claimed that now is the best time to live.
In a speech at the Neuralink event held at the California Academy Sciences, he showed how optimistic he was of what’s now and of the future. Those who think negatively haven’t read and understood history, he continued.
The SpaceX founder went on to say that we are at a point in life where we can make a lot of changes to enhance the quality of life and solve pressing problems like climate change.
Bill Gates, whose estimated net worth is around $104 billion, making him the second richest in the world, also echoes the same sentiment in his blog, Gates Notes.
The Microsoft founder cites the examples used by Harvard professor and psychologist Steven Pinker in his book Enlightenment Now – almost a hundred years ago, an average person spent 11.5 hours on doing laundry per week, which, by 2014, was only cut to 1.5 hours.
That’s not all, better nutrition and access to a cleaner environment, he said, were some of the reasons that helped in raising three points in global IQ score per 10 years.
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, who is the third wealthiest and has a valuation of $84 million, acknowledges that the wealth disparity in America is alarming and said it needs to be addressed.
But even so, the Oracle of Omaha sees the growing wealth and capitalism as to why now is the best time to be alive. In a 2016 letter, he said that the American babies are the luckiest.
The 88-year-old explained that this was possible because of those who created a system “that unleashed human potential,” which the successors have further cultivated.
Warren debated that although the development of wealth will be interrupted from time to time, he believes that it will never stop.
What the World Thinks
It’s quite accurate to say that we are living in a more prosperous world today with a booming economy and rapidly advancing technology. But does that translate to a better quality of life?
In a 2015 survey by YouGov conducted with 18,235 individuals in nine countries, only 10 percent in Sweden believed that the world is getting better; Norway, Denmark, and Finland, 8 percent; America, 6 percent; Germany and Great Britain, 4 percent; and France and Australia, 3 percent.