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These truths to be self-evident, that all men are created over the years, a member of Congress, I get to have a lot of really interesting people and the experts on what they're talking about. This is the podcast for insights into the issues. China, bioterrorism, Medicare for all in depth discussions, breaking it down into simple terms. We we hope we hold these truths. We hold these truths with Dan Crenshaw.


Welcome back, everybody. Today, we're going to talk about why you should maybe be a little bit more optimistic, a little bit happier. And I think it would be a good thing. I think one of the problems facing our society is there's a lack of gratitude, this this sort of overwhelming feeling that everything is worse than it's ever been before. And that's a problem.


That's a deep psychological problem. And maybe we'll hit that today. But we're really going to talk about is the objectivity of of that assertion and whether it's really true or not, at least in the aggregate. I don't want to take away from anybody's personal hardship, but in the aggregate, surely, as it informs policymaking, it helps us to have some context and some facts about what is true and what isn't when it comes to what is improved and what hasn't and where we really are.


So we're having a repeat offender on Marion Tupi.


Marion, thanks so much for being back on. Delighted to be with you. And so the reason you're back on the show is because you're the editor at Human Progress Dog, your center senior fellow at the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, and the co-author of the Simon Project.


You specialize in globalization and global well-being and the politics and economics. You specialize in Europe and South Africa. You're from South Africa, right?


I was born in Europe. I grew up in South Africa, in Britain. And now I'm a very proud American citizen and I take the debt on very proudly. Good.


And well, I'm glad to have you, you know, been studying this for a while. I just got a recent book out, The Ten Global Trends that every smart person needs to know and many other trends you will find interesting. If you're not smart, I guess you don't need to know it, but so.


Well, I mean, part of the reason part of the reason behind the title is that a lot of smart people who should know better are actually confused about the state of the world. Now, you can understand that people who have nothing better to do and who work hard and, you know, don't necessarily follow the latest trends in the reduction of poverty or violence or whatever.


But people who who are responsible or who should be more responsible and who should be telling the truth about the real state of the world, very often don't. And so it is intended for smart people, but also any other person who wants to do it or read the book.


Well, before we get into the the actual statistics behind all the trends.


And there's a lot, you know, poverty, death rates, health care, pollution, racism, you know, war, you know, all of these metrics.


And we'll get into all of them. But but you said you said just said something that was interesting. And I kind of I just want to hit on that, which is the people who should be telling the truth about where we're at in the world. Don't. Now, that's interesting. And the question is why?


What is their motivation to not tell the truth about what the world really is? Well, I don't think well, a lot of people are what I would call Midwich, which is to say that they are pretending to know much more about the state of the world, much more about the literature out there than they really do. I don't think that people in general go out there and lie, you know, intentionally. I just think that a lot of people simply are not aware of the latest statistics.


Very often people perception of the world is about 20 years of. But also there are a lot of a lot of negativity biases in human brain where even people who should know better will focus on the negative simply because our brains are structured in such a way that we are much more pessimistic than we ought to be. Maybe we have discussed this the last time, but it's worth repeating that the idea of availability heuristic, where basically we will we will we will pull from the memory file in our brains those memories, which are very tragic or very traumatic.


So, for example, like an airplane flying into a building and and that gives us a sense that, you know, it is that things like that happen much more frequently than they really do. Whereas, in fact, your likelihood of dying due to terrorist causes in the United States is much lower than, say, for example, slipping on a wet bathroom floor and killing yourself that way. But because nobody has ever seen a person killing themselves by slipping on a bathroom floor, we don't really we don't really pull that memory from that memory file.


Terrorism is terrorism is much more sort of present in our brains than than accidents that are much more numerically likely to happen. Also bad is much more powerful than good. We are much more concerned with losses rather than gains. Good things tend to happen over long periods of time, which is to say that, you know, to build a house or finish a degree in college or reduce global poverty takes decades, whereas bad things can happen very quickly, like the covid pandemic, which sets humanity back.


So there are a lot of these negative biases in the human brain. So it doesn't mean that you need to go out and deceive people, just means that you are much more likely to focus on the negative because we are humans and because we have evolved to look at the negative side because the world was much more inhospitable in the past than it is today.


Yeah, it's it's kind of an evolutionary adaptation and that makes a lot of sense. I would agree with that as far as it concerns the masses. But I do. But I do think and I and I and I do see sometimes that there is an elite few that knowingly perpetuate these myths. I mean, somebody has to aggregate the data, right? Somebody has to actually write the papers and the articles and and spin people into this frenzy and so on.


Yeah, well, it's just that this elite few that has a motivation that is that is that goes beyond negativity bias. They I think they I think they know that they're being dishonest and they know about negativity bias. They're these are well-informed, educated people who know how easy it is to, as you said, manipulate people with the bad over the good.


It's just more powerful and in in order. And I think there's a and taking it a step further, I think that there's a there's a bias towards crisis.


There's a bias towards crisis because crisis demands action and action is everything. In order to take action, you get power. It's a really it's a power grab, I think, by by a select few. And I think I think it's you know, if I if I especially how the left thinks they always have an interest in making you believe that things are worse than they are, that people are starving, the people are dying, that everything's a disaster.


And the only way to solve it is if you give them more power to fix it and take the extreme actions that they that they want and that they they put inside their agenda. Well, I'm sure that there are some bad apples out there. I wouldn't want to deny that. One of my pet peeves is when people are talking about the massively shrinking middle class in the United States. That is, I have a few friends who keep making this point all the time.


And I show them the statistic and say, you know, the reason why the middle class is shrinking in the United States is because the upper class is expanding. You know, you always have to add up to 100 percent, but that makes them mad.


You know, that's what's so it's it's a crazy thing. Exactly. And you're like, wait, what?


It's at an and and some people and some people will repeat that.


And those people simply, I don't know. I mean, they cannot be helped and that shouldn't be happening. People shouldn't be shouldn't be saying that.


So, yeah, it is what it is. Yeah.


Again, it's biased towards everything is a disaster. And that's why you need that. That's that's why we need us.


The kind hearted people who actually care, you know, it's a disaster. So I'll just I'll read a couple a couple quick myths debunked or just statistics that are that are pretty incredible.


Extreme poverty has declined from forty four percent to 10 percent between 1991 and 2015. Infant mortality has declined from forty three percent to four percent the same time period. So we're looking at the last 40 years basically just to round it out. Life expectancy has risen from 40 to 70. You mean population growth rate has crashed?


We're having fewer children, although some would argue that's that's not necessarily a good thing.


At least for some countries, deaths from natural disasters have declined over 90 percent.


This is an important one when it comes to conversations about climate change and increased intensity in hurricanes. We produce 25 percent more food than we need or largest surpluses in history. There's no scientific scenario for either of these trends to reverse themselves. Deaths from natural disasters are at their lowest point in one hundred twenty years.


Just twenty nine hundred people died from natural disasters in the first half of 2020, far lower than the average figures for the last decade.


So. I mean, there's there's there's at least, what, 10, 10 major ones that you want to go over, what's as you did all this research already? Which one of these was the most surprising was it would have to do with poverty, the environment, social issues.


Was there is there any point in your research where where you yourself even surprised? Greening of the planet is something that was really surprising, I mean, we could talk about all sorts of things which are incredibly important, such as the increasing life expectancy and more food on the table around the world, including in the poorest countries in the world. But I think that the greening of the planet was very interesting. I think the stats go from 1986 to 2012 or so.


And, you know, an international team of scientists found that the world has greened by 13 percent. And the reason for that, of course, is that CO2 is plant food. And the more CO2 in the atmosphere you have, the you know, the the more fuel each and the more trees grow and so forth. And so that was one of the one of the very optimistic things that we have found that I wasn't aware of. Just to give you an example.


What about where what else on the environment? Let's stick to that. Let's stick to that.


Well, this is one where people people think our world is about to burn up like a match.


Yeah, I mean, that is actually quite astonishing, if I may digress a little bit, because it seems that there is a certain section of the population here in the United States, but also throughout the world, which sees the covid as an affirmation of their view that we are in a climate crisis, whereas the two are, as far as I can tell, completely unconnected. I mean, covid is covid is an outbreak of a pathogen. Those things have been going on since the dawn of humanity.


And yet it seems like moving into the new administration, we are talking it seems like the environment is going to be their number one priority, which it seems crazy they keep talking about. It is a crisis, although, you know, there is going to be a mild to climactic change for for many decades to come.


And and so I'm not on board with with the whole world is a world is blowing up as a result of climate change. And I think that we have time and I think that we should address it by by technological change and innovation. And this is where some of the trends in the book come into it. So, for example, the world has much more natural gas reserves than than than we were aware of. And natural gas is falling in price.


And that's a good news, because if you can switch from burning of coal and oil to natural gas, you are going to basically slash your CO2 emissions in half. Natural gas is much better for the environment than burning of coal.


And and, you know, moving forward, I hope that people will change their minds about nuclear power because here you have a steady stream of power that doesn't emit any CO2 into the atmosphere. So that's a pretty cool concept. You know, it's a technology we've had for 70 years and it's a tragedy. We are not making greater use of it. But if we cannot help it and if people keep on being very negative about nuclear power, then the next step would be fusion reactors.


And maybe instead of subsidizing solar panels and windmills, we should be putting more effort and money into creating fusion reactors, which will provide humanity with plentiful energy without any negative environmental externalities. Other things on the environment that we found was a massive increase in aquaculture, which is a cool thing. If you don't want to kill a lot of wild fish, why not simply grow them, you know? So here is a revolutionary concept here. And because that's a problem because because not everything is rosy.


Like overfishing stresses me out a little bit, right? Yeah.


So obviously the fishing tends to happen in the global commons. In other words, where nation states don't have control over fishing areas, those tend to get overfished when, you know, when they're when property rights are not properly established or they're being challenged in some way. And so, yes, overfishing is a problem because it's it's a free for all. And so the way around it, what you want to do is to is to increase aquaculture. Aquaculture is not being done in the primitive sort of way that it was done, you know, 50, 60 or 70 years ago where the fish were raised in pools and fed lots of antibiotics and so forth.


Now we just put a big you that now we raise them in the actual ocean itself, can produce a lot of shrimp, lot of a lot of a lot of salmon and even even caviar. So that's pretty cool, too. And so and so, yes, there is a lot of positive news on on that score as well.


Yeah, that's extremely necessary, especially in the Pacific. The Chinese are guilty of this more than anybody. I mean, they they will they will go across the ocean to get into other other countries economic exclusion zones and overfish there. It's it's a big problem. And they're very militant about it. We're talking about the greening of the earth. So I got some statistics from from your book. Your tree canopy in the US alone is increased by 34 percent.


That's a huge amount just in the last 40 years.


Globally, land areas the size of Alaska and Maine and Montana combined that. That's basically the the increase in tree canopy around the world. I remember growing up in the 90s and the big thing was the rainforest. The rainforest was burning down like everything we did in class was about that.


And I mean, not to say that it's not a problem. We we want to protect the rainforest, but it kind of turned out that I don't know either. We succeeded. Because that's just sort of fell off the radar after. Yeah, that's not the only one. I mean, we are pretty much the same age. I remember a lot of talk about about Sahara expanding and it's going to consume the entire African continent.


We had a lot of talk about acid rain. You know, we had, you know, about the destruction of all the all the bees in the air. There was the sex change fish. There was there were all sorts of things which didn't come true. They sort of fell by the wayside over the last few decades. Basically, all of these scares have not taken place. And instead of focusing on something like the acid rain or whatever, maybe we should be focusing on pathogens and be ready for covid then, you know, but but either way, now, of course, all of these environmental concerns have been combined into this mega concept, which is climate change, and whether it rains or whether it's dry, whether it snows or whether it's sunshine.


You know, everybody sees climate change behind everything and it's unfalsifiable, like no matter what is happening there. Right. Right. It's an unfalsifiable claim, which which is a good indication that it's a wrongful claim. Well, I don't think it's I agree with you that that some of the claims out there almost like a religious dogma, that that cannot be falsified. I sort of assume that climate has always change and always will be, and maybe it will not change in the ways that humans would like.


But the way to address it is, well, basically, there's two schools of thought on that. The school of thought that I subscribe to is that we are going to adopt you know, if the Dutch could build a little one third of Holland is underwater, basically under the water level. If the Dutch could dry out Holland 500 years ago, surely we can do so today, you know, prepare for rising sea levels when, you know, in Holland three, 400, 500 years ago was a much poorer place than even the poorest countries in the world today.


So we should be able to do what the Dutch did three or four hundred years ago about rising sea levels.


So adaptation is one thing and and of course, technological, technological improvement. I would love to see the world powered by fusion reactors or nuclear power so that we don't have to spew more CO2 into the atmosphere. But anyway, so that's one school of thought. The other school of thought is that we are basically going to do two things. We are going to restrain the growth of human population. And two, we are going to restrain the growth of human consumption.


And I don't think that those two are realistic. I don't think that we want to restrain the growth of human population by, say, the Chinese means or whatever. First of all, it's not a problem because total fertility rate is already collapsing around the world. And we are going to the world's population is going to peak in 2016, 2017. And by the end of this century, we are going to have fewer people than in its peak and it's going to stabilize probably around nine billion people by 2100.


So overpopulation is not really a problem. And secondly, I don't think that I don't think that you are going to win any election or remain in power as a politician. If you are going to say to people that they should voluntarily basically revert back into the Stone Age, not use electricity, not fly into exotic destinations, not eat interesting food just because because it may be damaging to the environment. So I don't think that future of humanity should be based on us denying ourselves the benefits of civilization and and modern life.


And if if third world countries or developing countries are anything to go by, it seems to me that the greatest thing that the Chinese people and the Indian people and the Bangladeshi people are aspiring to would be to have these sorts of lives that we do. And it would be deeply moral to prevent them from doing that.


Yeah, and along those same lines, the more developed a country is, the more likely it is that it cleans up the environment better than in the last 40 years. So that's exactly right. In the U.S., carbon monoxide fell by 73 percent, lead by ninety nine percent, nitrogen oxides by 62 percent, compounds from car exhaust by 55 percent. So even though we're massively increasing our productivity and population, all of these things go down. We grew our population by 60 percent in that time period.


Total emissions of the six principal air pollutants dropped by seventy four percent. So, you know, these are important things.


These are very simple facts, but they're important, especially for policymakers, because right now, you know, right now we're looking at an incoming administration, the Biden administration, that will no doubt re reimpose many of the overly strict EPA regulations from the Obama era and probably go beyond that simply because the Democratic Party has has just moved beyond the and gotten more progressive than Obama ever was. So and then the question is why? And that should always be our question.


Right. Like they it's such a simple minded proposition that if if one environmental regulation is good, then 10 must be better. That's a no. That's just not how anything works. Right. There's tradeoffs. And at a certain point, at a certain point, you've gotten to about the right balance. That has to be true objectively. There has to be sort of a balancing point where if you go beyond it, it's just too costly without the benefits.


And if you're if you're and if you're not reaching it yet, then you're allowing too much pollution. I think in America, we've been at that balance point for a fairly long time. Maybe a lot of us would argue, frankly, we've been beyond it. We do some very, very silly things on the regulatory side when it comes to protecting the environment, like very silly things.


So that's why, again, why what are these people thinking?


Why did they not know these? Do they not know these facts? Do they not care? What is going on? Well, this is a subject for huge discussion. Let me first reaffirm what you said about wealth and environment. No matter which global global rankings you look at, the countries with the best environment are invariably the richest countries. That's because people who have money can afford to pay for clean air, clean water and so on. They take care of their animals, of their wildlife, poor people, when they have nothing to to eat, who will slaughter that giraffe or or whatever that even animals in the zoo, as we've seen in Caracas, in in Venezuela after that, after their socialist experiment went bad.


So you want to become rich. Rich people are best stewards of the environment. That's just that's just a fact. It's called the environmental Kuznets curve. People can look at what is happening. Well, one possibility that we should consider is that for a lot of highly educated and rich people, environmentalism has replaced traditional forms of religion that in many ways we are sort of returning to the pagan times when people worship nature, you know, two and a half thousand years ago.


And that really environmentalism has become a source of no religion. Now, why would that be? I'm talking about people like I'm not talking about mainstream environmentalists. I consider myself an environmentalist. I'm sure that you consider yourself environmental in the sense that you don't want nature to be to be destroyed.


After all, I told you, I stressed out about overfishing.


I mean, part of human happiness is to be surrounded by beautiful things and and beautiful nature. And I in that sense, I'm I'm I'm very environmentally conscious. But for the for the for the nut jobs out there, I think that the environmental striving provides them with a meaning and purpose in life and an immortality project which cannot be supplied by traditional religions. So people get a meaning in life and their immortality project can can be consisted of all sorts of things.


Having a profession that you enjoy and that you want to excel at, maybe having a family and raising the best children that you possibly can. Maybe it is maybe it is your your church and so forth. But but in all of those activities, we are in a sense involved in immortality projects. We are creating a heroic version of ourselves. We want to accomplish something. We want to become part of something larger. Environmentalist, activist, environmental activism, I think, does provide certain types of people with that kind of with that kind of focus, that kind of mission in life.


Michael Shellenberger has a book out, Apocalypse Never, which goes into details about how environmentalism has replaced traditional forms of religion.


So that's one thing. The other thing is that environmentalism is proving to be an excellent way to shut down political debates and to restrict freedom of speech.


You know, this whole business about not providing the nihilists a platform and things like that, especially when it comes to people like you and I who don't deny climate change, but who are fundamentally opposed to some of the socialist ways of, quote unquote, fixing the world, fixing the environmental problems. If people like us can be prevented from speaking, if we can be banned as the nihilists, then it makes life much more difficult for all the socialists out there whose ideas about solving solving the environment are fundamentally about restriction of economic freedom and a strict restriction of human liberty.


Yeah, yeah. And I question their motivations. That's that's the bottom line. You know, I think there's a deep need for more power and the quickest way to get more power is to make people believe they're in crisis, which is why your book is so important. I mean, perspective is an important thing, right? That the way you frame reality is important and you gain perspective by by contextualizing facts and so that that's really what we're doing. All right.


Let's move off of the environment. I kind of it's an interesting it's a big topic for me. So I end up spending too much time on it every every single time. So let's talk about a less controversial one, which is racism. Yeah, yeah, that was a joke, obviously extremely controversial right now, and it's and it's it's if you listen to the media, if you listen to the movements going on, you would think that America is more racist than it's ever been.


And this is objectively not sure. I think we all sense that it's not true to. So I think intuitively we know this is not true, but objectively, by whatever measures we can look at, it's just not true. In in your book, you cite some statistics that are that are really shocking, actually.


So in 1958, only four percent of whites were in favor of intermarriage between blacks and whites. That's that's shocking, at least to to me in the year 2020, you know, where or it's just shocking.


Let's just say that 2002, 90 percent of whites opposed laws against intermarriage, which obviously implies that. And that's just opposing laws against intermarriage, you know, and that's in 2002. If you looked at 20, 20, I don't have a statistic for that. But it would seem that whites are probably overwhelmingly supportive of intermarriage. So it's a it's an indicator of of how far we've come as far as these things go. What other indicators do you look at?


And what what do you think the truth is behind many of the narratives that we're seeing today? The the problem with progress is it is self masking whenever you accomplish a good thing. We'll talk about race in a second, but let me just outline the concept I'm trying to put across. Whenever you accomplish something good that becomes your new baseline and whatever problems remain become all the more visible because the the low hanging fruit has already been picked. The big things have been taken care of.


OK, so let's look at the history of race relations in this country. I mean, obviously, we had slavery now that got solved during the Civil War. Then there was Jim Crow and basically separate development and different laws for blacks and whites and lynchings. Lynchings seem to be seem to fundamentally decline after the 1920s. But it only takes but it really takes until the 1960s that the last remnants of separate legislation and really the American version of apartheid is gone.


And what you have is the legal equality of blacks and whites before the law and so and so overt racism. Then the problem becomes overt racism, people making crude jokes, calling people black people, N-word, things like that. And then that disappears. Overt racism disappears. And so what you are left with is colvard racism or or what people think they they think is covid racism and microaggression. So that's where we are now in an in an era where there are things that we used to think of as discrimination and racism have been solved.


And what you are left with is some microaggression and things like that. And and and and that is a perfect example of progress masking itself is that there can actually be people out there in the United States today who say nothing has changed, things are as bad as ever. Well, that's obviously not true, but it is a perfect example of this progress masking itself. Yeah, yeah.


I like the way you put that progress masking itself. I mean, the other thing they point to in today's age is disparities now. Now, there's a logical fallacy there, which is which is that they tie those disparities to overt racist discrimination. And it's a pretty loose connection, especially when you actually start to break apart the data.


But those disparities still exist. They're undeniable with the proper question and political question is why? Because if you want to solve something, you have to understand it.


So which kind of gets to some of the other things that you put out in the book about poverty decline, which is globally is is the you an enormous decline in poverty. But again, our or the critics of modern times point out things like growing inequality, growing wealth at the top. I mean, so how do you respond to these things? I mean, what's what's the right balance to to contextualize all this? Yeah, I mean, not to talk about myself too much, but I am I am a classical liberal.


I'm basically a person who believes that in equality before the law and equality of opportunity, that you should be able to. Live your life to your fullest potential and whatever God given gifts you have, you should be able to put into practice without prohibitions or restrictions by your fellow men. That's essentially my definition of liberty and definition of equality, I should perhaps say. But that's not. But but other people have different different definitions of equality. And what I'm seeing with tremendous concern, almost almost, almost almost fright, is that increasing number of Americans, especially educated Americans, are leaving universities thinking that equality of outcome is what should we should be striving for.


Now, I grew up in a country which which was based on an economic system of equality of outcome that was communism and what we had to show for it in nineteen eighty nine, nineteen ninety was a mountain of dead bodies. One hundred million people who got killed during the 20th century throughout the world in an effort to accomplish equality of outcome. A society where everybody had the equal amount of wealth, nobody was in there higher. There was no hierarchy of classes and things like that.


I think that this this notion of equality of outcome has been tried. It has led to tremendous catastrophe throughout the world. And we should be very careful that because we are playing with fire here, when you have ethnic, religious or racial groups at each other's throats saying you have forty two percent of this, whereas we have only 12 percent of that. That can lead to a lot of violence that can lead to a destruction of the country. Now, of course, in those cases where inequality is an outcome of of discrimination, then the society needs to address that.


This is where my insistence on on equality of opportunity comes into it. But again, we have to be very careful of ascribing every single difference in socioeconomic outcomes to discrimination, because you really have to you have to delve into the subject much more than to simply say just because you are black or white, your station of life is based on that.


Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's it's. And again, connecting disparities with discrimination, I think, is is the ultimate logical fallacy that that is making people angry. It makes people feel like they're oppressed. It makes people feel like they're being attacked. It makes people feel hopeless. And and again, the more suspicious side of me thinks that's kind of the goal of some of these elites, is to make people feel that way because they're easier to control if they feel if you tell them I'm the only one who can help you as well, you should vote for me because you are oppressed and they're trying to get you.


And the only way you'll ever get out of this, not by your own power, you can't because the system is so rigged against you.


Yeah. So I wonder how far the far left can take this within a context of American democracy, because. Because obviously different groups have a different sense of historical guilt, very different sense of their own accomplishment. For example, it's very difficult to see a lot of Asians or a lot of Jews being feeling aggrieved about their state in the United States. And if you going to pit people against each other, it seems to me that I don't know to what extent you can hold a coalition of let's say that you're on the far left, all the all the nonwhites together and then all the whites together.


If you are on the far left. On the far right. In other words, what I'm trying to say is that as the recent election has shown it, it doesn't seem to be working out for the far left the way they thought it would work out, which is that all the brown and black people wear wear on the same wear on the same page. Do you see what I mean?


Yeah, yeah, I think that's right. I think they hit a wall and it's actually started to reverse as long as as long as the conservatives are willing to have the conversation. And and I think we need to you know, we've been afraid, too, for so long.


It's such a taboo subject. Can we even talk about this stuff? Well, yes, we can. And we have to. And when we do, we actually gain some support because I think people intuitively understand that it's true. It does. It definitely makes some people extra mad. And I think for too long, the right just tried to pacify everybody, but we just lost as a result. Right? We didn't we didn't persuade anybody. Nobody knew where we stood.


And so the left was able to build a narrative about what the right thought. But now it's time for the right to stand up for classical liberal principles and colorblind principles. I think it's I mean, it's extremely important.


I mean, even if you take it, let's just take it away for a second from black versus white and and and consider for a second the other part of the left wing, the other left wing obsession, which is men versus women.


I mean, on paper, I you know, it seems attractive to a certain type of person. On the other hand, all the women out there have fathers and many of them have husbands and sons and that sort of thing.


And it's very difficult in this just society where a woman's loyalty will always be to the struggle against the patriarchy as opposed to being also. Open and accommodating to to the men in their own lives and vice versa and vice versa. I mean, you know, we are all surrounded by by women, whether they are mothers or or sisters and so forth. So the notion that let people take a lot of pleasure in keeping women down seems to me also completely out of whack with reality.


I don't know who those men are, but I certainly haven't met any.


Yeah, I think that's true. The last thing I want to hit on is what's actually surprised me was the myth that people are getting more unhappy. See, I wouldn't have thought that's a myth. I would have said yes, people are definitely more unhappy and but also not just intuitively.


I mean, if you're in my line of work, you would definitely think that people are way unhappier than they have ever been because I'm in politics and people are just unhappy. And I and I'm constantly scouring social media to understand the general trends. And, boy, it seems like people are very unhappy. So that's why it surprised me. But but also, you know, I would challenge the statistics on this. As far as I understood it. Young people, especially, especially young women, are much more prone to suicide these days than they were in the past, much more prone to mental illnesses and anxiety.


So, OK, so what's the truth here? Is this just a global aggregate statistic that you're pointing to here?


Because here in America, I'm just I'm not I want to challenge this. I'm not so sure it's true.


Remind me, which trend is it? Can they have it in front of you?


Oh, it's just the general notion that people around the world are generally becoming happier. Ascending levels of subjective well-being correlate strongly with rising per capita income cetera.


Yeah, I'm I'm so I'm pretty sure that it's an aggregate level globally.


In the last 20 years especially, people have been spending a lot of time looking into happiness. And there are certain things which which came out as a surprise. One is that actually, contrary to widespread belief, there is a link between wealth and happiness in a sense that people who are becoming richer when they see their incomes rise, they tend to also become happier. And this holds not just in poor countries, but it actually holds in rich countries as well.


So that's the that's the latest research on happiness and income. The other thing is that people always think individual human beings always think that the world around them is much less happy then than they themselves are. I think the gap is about 30 percent. So if you think that your happiness on a scale from one to ten is six, you'll think that the people around you are happy only at four, that sort of things which think that people are much more miserable, miserable than than than we are.


So that's another thing to keep in mind. And then, of course, the last thing I want to say on this subject is that everything depends on which countries you look at and your timeline. There has been an undeniable increase in in contemplations of suicide and also in suicide, again amongst American women, partly as a result of the social media. But again, you have to look at the aggregate and over long periods of time, you know, progress is not about everything getting better for everyone, everywhere at all times.


There will always be places in time and place where where some people are going to fall through the cracks and are going to have a very tough time. But you have to look at the overall trends if you want to get a sense of the world as a whole. Yeah.


And what you said there about happiness and how you see your own happiness versus other people's. That that that also bears out in other statistics where we look at the entire country Americans, because this is interesting, I'm trying to find the exact statistic, but basically it goes like this.


Americans tend to think that they're that the country, that everybody else is worse off when you ask them this question in a survey, but you ask them how they are.


I mean, like, well, I'm doing great. But, you know, it's so so there's there's such a clear disconnect there and and so and so on.


The happiness hypothesis here, I think I think both things can be true in the aggregate. The world has gotten happier, but there is a problem with especially our college students who lack perspective, who maybe didn't come from poverty and into some great new opportunity, but maybe always had opportunities and are constantly reading articles about how the world is going to burn up and are constantly reading about inequality and are constantly reading all of these sort of crisis narratives that that other country is more racist, that people are being hunted down in the streets and all of these things, and they're deeply unhappy as a result of it.


And so it's it's narrative building and and it's sad. You know, it's again, it's why it's why your work is important.


It gives people that perspective. Right. It gives people a counterarguments to the crisis narratives that they're being fed constantly.


One thing to consider, and I think Schumpeter made this point about 70 years ago, is that capitalism in some ways sows the seeds of its own destruction, a sense that it creates so much wealth that Western rich societies can maintain large chunks of the population devoted to doing nothing else but criticizing and destroying the society itself. And that that's basically the social sciences and humanities in the United States today. These are professors who, for whatever reason, believe that they are being underappreciated, underpaid, that they should have a much greater say in the way that the society should look.


These are people who generally believe that they should be in charge, that you shouldn't have a society that is based on sort of spontaneous order, but that things should be ordered in accordance with the latest fulminations of a sort of a social science major. And these people are basically dominating the intellectual sphere. The cultural sphere are dominating our education, and they are the ones who are filling young people's brains with poison. And but that is an unintended feature of the extraordinary wealth that America is able to produce, that this class of people can not just exist, but can actually flourish and expand because we are willing to pay for it.


Yeah, again, it's lack of perspective. You know, the richest man in the world, maybe it's Rockefeller at some point in time. If he had a migraine, he couldn't get medicine for it. You know, it just just think about that for a second.


Is all the wealth, all this power, Calvin Coolidge, his son?


I mean, this is something that I would love for every kid in America to read Calvin Coolidge in nineteen twenty six or was it twenty five was playing tennis on the tennis court at the White House and he was playing it barefooted and he developed a blister which got infected. And because they didn't have antibiotics until nineteen twenty eight, he developed blood poisoning and died. Here is the son of a president who dies from an infected blister because basic medicine that we take completely for granted simply wasn't invented yet.


Wow, I didn't know that. Yeah, it's a horrible story, that story. It's a very horrible story.


Calvin Coolidge is generally a very underappreciated president, especially for conservatives.


Felt the last president I was in full agreement with.


Yeah, it's a long time ago, but also a covid. I mean, I want to say also this and that is that, you know, for thousands of years, people have been dying of things. They didn't even know what they were, polio, smallpox. All of these things can be traced back to ancient India or Pharaonic Egypt. Three and a half thousand years ago and thousands of years, people were dropping dead left and right. Yeah, not knowing what was killing them.


And it really, you know, these were pathogens that we couldn't identify. We couldn't name people thought it was God being angry and God knows what else.


Nowadays we are going to have we have the vaccine within 12 months of the outbreak of the of the of the virus.


I mean, this is an extraordinary, extraordinary moment in human history where because of the wealth of Western society, the knowledge that we have accumulated over millennia, supercomputers, devoted staff and in private corporations, as well as government funding of of the of the vaccines themselves, we are able to produce an answer.


To a pathogen we didn't know existed a year ago. Yeah, and there's no gratitude for it, and everybody's everybody's only only people can only talk about the failures. I suspect that people are going to start turning on each other just now, just about now, in the next couple of weeks, about who is going to get this thing first thing you know, and there will be claims made about discrimination or whatever. But I think that fundamentally the most important thing is that people should be tremendously grateful that they are alive today.


Not everything is going well for us, undoubtedly. But at what other point in history would you want to live in?


What's your standard? You know, like what is going well and compared to what you know? Because that's the true question. And that's what that's what our media and our and our politicians seem seem to refuse to answer because and again, I think because they have dark motivations, I think because they have an interest in making people feel this way, because it it it lends credence to the idea that this other person should be in power. So I really do think it all comes down to power.


And I didn't say that as much in the earlier times of the pandemic. But but but as we've refused to learn basic lessons and and and acknowledge obvious trade offs with lockdowns and everything, I've come to believe that that there are underlying motivations behind a lot of these a lot of these comments. And it's and I think it's highly destructive. So that's how I feel. But, you know, it's it's for perspective, again, is so important in these things.


We're coming at the end of our time here. And anything else to add before we conclude? Well, on your last point about power hungry, power grabbing politicians, public figures and so on, know I hear you, I don't know if I want to go as far as ascribing certain motives to to to to certain people.


But then again, you interact with them much more than I do. What I would say is this. People who are out there. Saying things which are demonstrably not true and which they have been told are not true and making those comments again and again, those in my book are the most reprehensible people. If you know better, if you have been told that some of you are saying is wrong and you go on saying that, then you are beneath contempt.


Well, it's so, so so by that by that standard, which I would agree with, any any politician that's advocating for closing schools at this point is is by living by that standard below contempt, because there is there all the science says that kids should be in school when all of the all of the studies on trade offs and everything. Yeah.


And so the trade offs, the trade offs are tremendous. I mean, the unhappiness amongst young people who are who have been put through this, you know, easily, in my view, outweighs the threat of them.


Picking up the disease or dying from other examples would be OK once you have the statistics on on OK, what is the percentage of, I guess, spread from restaurants per say? And we can we can we can look at this. I like my friend, the mayor of Coronado, Richard Bailey, was was on the news and, you know, local San Diego news trying to trying to stop the state from closing down the counties. Like, look, we have the statistics right here.


Single digits percentage wise is the spread happens in gyms and restaurants. And these are the places you want to close down. This isn't where the spread is happening. You know this. We have the facts in it. You're still punishing these small businesses. So this is this is beneath contempt. I mean, this is this is horrible what these politicians are doing. And again, so I have to ascribe some kind of motivation like they're either they're either lying, they're malicious or they're stupid.


None of these are good.


None of these are things that we should want in our elected officials is I've just lost complete patience with it over over time because the facts are out. Right. I had a lot more patience for it, I think, in the first couple of months of the pandemic. So I feel very strongly about these things.


Well, that's good because twenty, twenty four is around the corner and I hope that's. As soon as he started talking about that, the connection broke down. That's funny. OK, I think we got them back. I'm sorry, I had absolutely no idea what happened. I just heard beeping sound and it was all over. I'm sorry. Can you splice it?


Yeah. Oh, yeah, it's fine. That was funny. I was just thought it was hilarious that it started. I feel like I was like the crap the Chinese are listening. They they canceled us. We got canceled. But you can you can cut that out. Yeah. Oh no, no. We keep it. It's funny.


But Mary, thank you so much for your work and appreciate you being on. Thank you very much for having me. Good luck with everything and talk to you soon. All the best. All right.


Bye bye.