"The Good News From a Bad Year: Things are still getting better all the time" by Radley Balko.
Here's some of the points made in the article:
Crime rates are still falling. (Sex crimes are down, too.)
The divorce rate is at its lowest point in four decades.
Americans once again set a record for life expectancy. The same CDC report noted that mortality rates for eight of the 10 leading causes of death in
dropped in 2006. America
Americans work on average eight fewer hours than we did in the 1960s. We're spending more money per person on recreation.
I found the reference to this article on the blog of Johan Norberg, author of In Defense of Global Capitalism. He apologized for not posting much recently as he is finishing up a book on the current economic crisis. (The deadline was 1/16/09 and his son has the chicken pox!) Though to be published in March, it unfortunately will be in Swedish. We'll have to wait a bit longer for the English version. I am looking forward to what he will have to say. As I posted on him before, he has an optimistic take on the state of the world and gives a lot of the credit to the steady increase in economic freedom.
Every once in awhile, it's good to remember that that in the long run, things really have been getting better.