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February 18, 2019

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professor ronald laporte

It is important to point out the the remarkable change of life expectancy for the world has not been the result of improvements in clinical care. Clinical care is important, but it has been estimated that 75-85% of the improvement has been the result of inexpensive public health measures, including hygiene, vaccination, nutrition, etc of which the world spends little on. Since 1950, every year global life expectancy has increased, truly a remarkable phenomenon.

There is a wonderful set of papers by Omran, called the epidemiologic transition.

I agree that we are better off now than we have ever been. Think of your parents and grandparents, most died in their late 50 and early 60s, now we can look forward world wide to living into our late 70s

Ronald LaPorte, PhD, emeritus professor of epidemiology, and former WHO Collaborating Center director (ronaldlaporte@gmail.com)

Glen Austin

I think that one big point to make is that Americans tend to look at things from an American or Western European point of view. In the "developed" Western World (US and Europe), we are seeing falling living standards for the average working man or woman and the accumulation of debt to attempt to sustain a standard of living that is not sustainable for the long term. We are seeing a concentration of wealth where the top 400 people earn more than the bottom 60% of the population, 150 million people. So, without meaningful reform, average standards of living will fall even further. Yes, things are getting much better in the World, I think primarily because commerce has replaced war as a means of gaining power and acquiring things. The poorest countries are those who continue to have armed conflict, and continue to choose war over commerce, trade, and education. My concern is that in "America" we are falling back into a "dark ages" with nationalism, patriotism, and a disregard for our fellow man or woman on the rise. We are sowing the seeds of our own undoing.
The distribution of cell phone technology with solar charging capabilities has brought with it a way to connect even the remotest villages and tribes into "the world" where they can educate and bring their societies forward into modern times. If we can continue to focus on peace, commerce, and education, the world would be a much better place. America needs to put down its arms and educate its population at a higher European level, or face becoming a 3rd world country in the late 21st century.
And bully to those countries who are lifting their countries out of poverty and into the modern age of prosperity. The days of armed conflict should end as no one can afford to go to war or be at war any more. Guns to plowshares, or more like armed drones to robotics which help the elderly and disabled.

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