Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Better World
We're trying hard to catch up and get back to regular blogging; I will say that the time off has also led to some cool steps forward in terms of meeting people. It's also gotten me out in parts of the country. And so a word about how things can and do get better.

I pick this topic because its too easy for sensitive self-analytical types to fall into the "world is doomed" mode. This has become the modus operandi of the press the past four years, some people have this view their entire lives; most all of us take it on at times.

The world is much better than it was. Take New York, where we visited last week. I don't love New York, there are just too many people. But it has its cool side, and its day-to-day side is much improved over a decade ago. I saw one beggar and zero drug dealers. That is an amazing improvement over the times I first visited. The city did not reek. Another amazing improvement. The people on the buses and subs all had bathed that week, and non seemed overly threatening or insane. Again, major improvement. Of course the times square district with the demise of all the porn shows is a far more civilized area--if you don't find pixelated billboards overly uncivil.

That civility has saved thousands of lives. From 1987 to 1994, each year brought over 2000 murders to NY. The state is now under 900. Rape and assault stats have fallen similarly, and robberies are cut by two thirds.

Let's make that clearer: policy and law changes since 1994 have saved some fifteen thousand lives otherwise snuffed out through tragic crime. Fifteen thousand American lives.

Follow those stats into other states, into Washington, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia. Los Angeles...the world can get better and policy can make a difference.

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