Are We Living in The "Good Old Days"?

Rick KahlerAdvisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

For anyone following news, whether from mainstream sources or the more extreme corners of the Internet, it may seem that the world is spiraling into chaos. That same narrative is frequently echoed by politicians and political candidates.

Are things really that dire? Attempting to answer this question requires taking a more objective look at our current circumstances compared to our past. Let’s go back four decades and consider a few key indicators of wellbeing.

Numerous sources suggest that, in many ways, we are leading longer and more prosperous lives than we were 40 years ago. According to the research organization PRB (Population Reference Bureau), the average life expectancy in the United States stood at 73.7 years back in 1980. Today, despite a setback from COVID, that number has risen to 78.6 years, meaning Americans, on average, are enjoying nearly five more years of life than they were in the 1980s.