The Good Old Days are right now


You can't make people happy by law. If you said to a bunch of average people two hundred years ago "Would you be happy in a world where medical care is widely available, houses are clean, the world's music and sights and foods can be brought into your home at small cost, travelling even 100 miles is easy, childbirth is generally not fatal to mother or child, you don't have to die of dental abcesses and you don't have to do what the squire tells you" they'd think you were talking about the New Jerusalem and say 'yes'.

Sir Terry Pratchett. 1948-2015.

If you doubt this in the slightest manner then download the historical GDP per capita figures from Angus Maddison. Note that the numbers are in modern currency (well, 1990s currency) and marvel at how poor the past was. The average Englishman in 1600 had perhaps $3 a day of modern money to live on all told. The average Congolese has that today.