Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The not so Good Old Days

Someone has discovered that the engineering and quality control from the days of yore are not what they are remembered to be.

"They don't make them like they used to" could not be more accurate: Cars now are made far better than they ever were with better reliability, longer life and higher usability.

I hope this will be a lesson to all those who idealize the past. We are blessed to be living in this age.

We do not have mass starvation due to a overly rainy or dry season. If one area has a bad production year we have the transportation network to ship food to them at minimal cost. Our humanitarian efforts throughout the world are another luxury afforded us by modern technology and the immense wealth of our economy. Look at Africa millions of tons of food aid are provided there every year. Something the world could not have done seventy years ago, let along 200 years ago.

We currently have refrigeration, not just to to keep us comfortably cool in our homes during the summer, but to keep food from going bad. We no longer have to buy our meat from a open air market where it has been tenderly aged by flies and the humid summer heat. Only in the rarest of instances do we hear of e. coli or botulism and when it occurs alerts are sent out to recall the bad product.

Modern health care technology saves lives and extends the lifespan. It allows those individuals we term "differently abled" now to be able to live at all, let alone enjoy a quality of life unrivaled in the past.

Those who decry our lives as degenerate should think deeply upon the luxury of our charity afforded to us by our modern technology. Our ability to provide the indigent and otherwise in need with health care, feed the hungry across the world, house criminals in a jail rather than simply hanging them and many other modern niceties are the direct result of our modern technology and today's economic engine.

When you pump gasoline into your car, power the lights in your home with electricity from the nuclear power plant, take meat from the freezer to feed your family as you cook in an air conditioned home or buy that new iPod, think not of the negative impact of your carbon footprint. Rather reflect upon your participation in the modern economy and use of technology generating the revenues which allows us to expend the excess, that not dedicated to feeding, housing and clothing your family, on real luxuries; health care to the indigent, feeding the hungry half way across the world, jailing criminals rather than hanging them, saving and extending lives.

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