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My sister, over at her site, asked this question and here is my response:

Actually, statistically speaking, we are better off.

For example, crime and violence in schools is down 40% compared to 10 years ago.

Crime rates are down. Murder rates are down. Unemployment nationally is at 5.1% and here in Minnesota its at 4.1%.

650,000 new jobs were created last month in the USA.

We pay less taxes then ever before.

We no longer have a draft for the Military, its an all volanteer Military.

However, we have a media that has become less of the 4th estate and more about ratings and advertising dollars.

The reality is, we are much better off from a statistical standpoint in almost every category even when you factor in population changes over the last 10, 20, 50 and even 100 years.

Murder rates are down, across all ages. Including kids who commit murder. The news reports are up, the actual events are down. This is also true about kidnappings… One major sideeffect of the amber alert is we know every time a child is kidnapped. However, statistically, its considerably down, proving that maybe it does work… But that’s another topic.

Again, the problem, which probably contributes to the lack of “punishment” and/or concequences of actions today, is squarely the media’s glorification and attention to such crimes.

Frankly, I think the media, news, etc should be subject to the same ratings systems that Video Games and Movies/TV Shows are. Those V chips would block virtually every news channel and nightly news shows.

Sometimes I’d rather have my 3 year old watch The Sopranos then the Nightly News, because at least with The Sopranos, I can explain to her it’s acting and a story, but with the news, it’s so hard explaining to her that is real. It’s a bit hard explaining to her that the news is all about ratings and they are competing with The Sopranos, for example, to capture the audience and sell commercials.

Frankly, that’s all the news is there for now adays, is to fill space between commercials.

My frame of reference is US, but if you want to discuss the rest of the world, show me a spot in the world that is worse off now then they were historically… It’s hard to find, Soviet Union collapsed = Freedom, in your next of the woods, East Germany fell, resulting in a free and unified Germany, no major world war in Europe since 1954, think that’s better off…

Sure there are problems, but my point is, the problems haven’t gotten worse, just the media has gotten better at showing the problems and making them into something bigger then they really are. The REALITY is the world is a safer and better place now then it ever has been. There are always exceptions to this, but on the whole, it is better…