News around the world has been bleak and global stock markets have fallen 20 percent. In short, the millions of buyers and sellers in capital markets have concluded that the world has become a riskier place in which to save and invest.
Since 2019, the world has endured a debilitating epidemic and ensuing economic shutdown, followed by massive fiscal and monetary expansion; inflation is at its highest in four decades. The Fed has sharply increased short-term interest rates, even at the risk of recession. Federal spending relative to GDP remains at its highest since World War II. Meanwhile Europe is engaged in a land war of magnitude not seen for 75 years while an increasingly assertive China threatens stability in the Pacific.
Such daunting circumstances often blind the media to the steady advance of human progress. The following data points may provide cheer in the holiday season:
• Between 2000 and 2020 child mortality decreased by 55 percent in low-income countries.
• From 2000 to 2019 global life expectance increased by 6.6 years. Low-income countries experienced gains of 11 percent.
• Global trade expanded as a percentage of GDP from 43 percent in 1995 to 52 percent in 2020, signaling greater global integration.
• U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions fell 22 percent from their peak in 2007 through 2021, as natural gas production and renewable energy sources displaced higher-emitting fossil fuels.
• Access to financial services has greatly expanded. Bank account ownership worldwide expanded from 51 percent to 76 percent between 2011 and 2021.
These recent trends extend the Great Enrichment that began with the birth of liberal society some 400 years ago, prior to which mankind was mired in abject poverty. We are optimistic that the human condition will continue to advance, provided individuals remain free to accumulate capital, exchange property freely, and perhaps most importantly, to innovate in a liberal society.
Also In This Issue
Research: How To Live Long And Prosper
Revisiting Roth Conversions
Post-Election Market Performance
The High-Yield Dow Investment Strategy
Recent Market Statistics
The Dow Jones Industrials Ranked By Yield
Asset Class Investment Vehicles
To access the full article, please login or subscribe below.
Already a Subscriber?
Log in now
Get full access to the Investment Guide Monthly.Print + Digital Subscription – $59/Year
Includes 12 Print and Digital Issues
Print + Digital Subscription – $108/2 Years
Includes 24 Print and Digital Issues
Digital Subscription – $49/Year
Includes 12 Issues
Digital Subscription – $98/2 Years
Includes 24 Issues