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Sunday, October 23, 2016

You don’t hear good news that often — but the fact is everything is better than it has been in decades, or possibly ever, according to health care expert Aaron Carroll of Healthcare Triage.

“Every story that labels today’s youth as oversexed and promiscuous misses the most obvious evidence,” Carroll says.

The teen pregnancy rate in 2012 was at a record low — for all racial groups. Ditto the teen abortion rate.

Young people are having less sex, drinking less, smoking less.

Youth violence? Also at an all-time low. Even the divorce rate is lower than it has been in decades.

Health care is also improving.

“You may remember the Sixties fondly but a baby was more likely to die then,” Carroll notes.

Even though you might feel unsafe, you’re less likely to die of assault today than in 1960. The violent crime rate is lower now than at any time since 1970, and the murder rate hasn’t been this low since 1960. Larceny, rape and property crime rates are also lower than they’ve been in decades.

Kids are more obese but even that trend has reversed. Carroll points out that we spend more time watching TV, surfing the Internet and playing games because we live longer and have more leisure time than at any point in history.

“2014 is awesome,” the Professor of Pediatrics and Assistant Dean for Research Mentoring at Indiana University School of Medicine insists. And we shouldn’t let nostalgia, which has always been our pre-existing condition, get us down.

Teen Birth Rate


Screenshot: Healthcare Triage YouTube channel

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • weldonberger

    Unless of course you’re among the demographic groups with decreasing life expectancies.

  • Defend Liberty

    Since liberty’s benefits can be hard to recognize, some people can be easily convinced to attack liberty in response to emotional appeals.

    • Paul Bass

      What does this statement have to do with “the good old days” being better then today? Right, just another right wing meaningless statement…

      • Bryan Blake

        [email protected]%^&j3u278 + [email protected]$@#(*(@#%^%.” Ted Cruz.
        “Only (*^%$#)(67$#@”:?><." Rush Dumbo.
        "Twinkies 65409862365%$#)(&*^% for God." Phil Robertson.
        "They made me rich so I would say this right wing crap." Ronald Reagan.
        And ad nauseam.

  • Bryan Blake

    And from where in Fox Land is this guy? He lost me with two of his statements: 1. no evidence that industrial farming is bad for us; and 2. processed foods are O.K. The detriments of high intensity chemical use by industrial farming is overwhelming. The affects of processed food are also indisputable. High fructose corn syrup in and of itself can cause health problems. As to the rest of his statements they may in fact be true. But where does he live and what is his lifestyle?

    Our rate of poverty has increased dramatically. The rate of poverty is higher today than it was B. R. (Before Reagan). The working poor and the poor are in many cases not making ends meet. Education is in the crapper. The present is not so pleasant if we continue with the political and social policies instituted over the past three decades that are slinging us straight back to the age of the Robber Barron’s. His faux happiness belongs on Faux News. This guy is just another propagandist tying to use tidbits of statistics to justify his own good fortune and happiness! He may not be a right winger but he damn sure shares their disdain for realities other than his own.

    • RobertCHastings

      How many times have we heard the old fogies (our parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.) refer to “the good old days” almost with tears in their eyes? They claim there was no problem with drugs or alcohol, no teen pregnancies,no abortions, no racial issues, everything cost less, etc., etc., etc.
      Well, we live in a house that was made in the mid-1950s for $35,000 (appraised today at over $200K). That’s great, but the median income in the 50s was less than $5K. Were interest rates for mortgages any lower than they are today? How about income taxes under Eisenhower? (post war rates were NOT reduced until Kennedy reduced the TOP rate to 70%). Employment was much closer to the ideal of 97% in the fifties than it has been for a long time, with the highest unemployment rates being during Republican presidencies (over 10% during Nixon, over 9% during Reagan, approaching 8% under W).
      Teen pregnancies and overall abortions, infant death, and many other factors were much higher in “the good old days” than they are today. Drug and alcohol issues were no less a problem in the fifties (and earlier) than they are today, or have we already forgotten Prohibition? Our rate of poverty is, today, less than it was following the decade after the Great Depression and the days of The Dust Bowl. While our country STILL faces many serious issues, “the good old days” were not that good.

      • idamag

        “Grandpa, tell me bout the good old days…” The song doesn’t mention the lynchings and the cross burnings. It doesn’t mention the “Whites Only” signs. I know a couple. He was a World War II soldier stationed in Louisiana. He came home to the Northwest to pick up his wife as he had secured base housing. They crossed the entire Southeast half of the U.S . sitting at the back of the bus and not being allowed to get food or use the bathroom. Grandpa, tell me bout the good old days.

        • RobertCHastings

          Thanks for that. All too many folks forget when it is not convenient to remember.

      • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

        Great points, Robert. However, the “fogies” also recall when people “knew their place” (damn, but I hate that term) and didn’t have uppity ideas like voting, having the same jobs and pay, living in the same neighborhoods, etc. Their views are always going to be tainted by the social milieux they were raised in, no matter how opprobrious they may seem to us.

        • RobertCHastings

          Absolutely right.

      • Bryan Blake

        This guy, like the GOP, just has a serious disconnect with the reality of the majority of Americans. It is not his argument that the “good ole days” were not as good as we might remember that is grating. It is his use of cherry-picked statistics to use a little push back against the old when the realities of our society and economy are in such dire straits.

        You point out that tax rates were higher in the 1950s, 60s and also 70s. Those rates are the very mechanism that kept income inequality in check. When the rates on the top earners were reduced to 28% under Reagan income inequality began to explode along with the movement of our wealth to the top 1%. During the time of very high tax rates on the very top our economy was booming. For the only time in our history we experienced a strong, growing and attainable middle class. That is gone today and we are currently paying the price for it.

        Furthermore, improving social indicators is a cause for celebration. Granted the good ole days are not as good as those who claim they were. It seems to be a natural human tendency to idealize our youth and deny our own aging by disparaging those who are now the temporary occupants of youthful bodies.

        The GOP’s concerted effort to thwart President Obama’s renewed effort to revitalize our economy through stimulus and job programs creates a larger permanent underclass. Cutting off long term unemployment benefits only expands that underclass in an economy with 3 or 4 applicants for every job. Only stone cold “free market capitalists” will remember these as the beginning of the good old days!

        • RobertCHastings

          Bryan, I agree with you. But I am SOOOO tired of hearing people talk about the good old days, when bootlegging was rampant, when corruption in government was much worse than we can even imagine today (New York City in the 1890s made Afghanistan look like a Sunday school), drugs were in great demand (and use) (hell- Coca-Cola actually had COCAINE in it). And the situation with the poor was Dickensian, up until Unions finally got a foothold. I assume we are not considering the same time frame as “the good old days”, but I take it to mean when my parents and their parents were around.

          • Bryan Blake

            As am I. Unfortunately those very good old days may be unfolding today.

      • ThomasBonsell

        Minor nit to pick:

        Unemployment under Reagan hit 10.8% in his 1981-83 recession. Other than that, right on.

    • ThomasBonsell

      Minor history lesson on poverty rates:

      When Eisenhower left office, poverty was at 22.5%.

      When LBJ lef office, poverty was 12% because of his Great Society programs, included his War on Poverty.

      Nixon, adhering to LBJ’s programs, nudged poverty down a tad, and Jimmy Carter lowered it to 11.4%. At the time, the lowest in history.

      Poverty under the Reagan-Bush cabal shot the rate up to15.1%.

      Clinton then lowered it to 11.3%, the new all-time low.

      Baby Bush then shot it back up to more than 15%, where it has remained for more than six years..

      So technically, you re right; poverty is higher than it was before Reagan. But it was both higher and lower before Reagan. The figures do show what happens to poverty when the GOP has contol. It drives poverty up, proving that poverty does not exist because of lazy, moochers. It exists because Republicans sometime rule.

  • Justin Napolitano

    who knew? Now we all do.

  • Bruno’s Beach

    Since centralized government is an arch-enemy of liberty, and education is an important key to preserving liberty, a country wishing to remain free must commit to educating its citizens without central government interference.

  • Allan Richardson

    The differences between today and the “good old days” (whenever that was for you) are mixed. This commentator has been accused of being a right winger, but notice that he pointed the lies in everything the RIGHT has used to scare America, and excuses very little of what liberals find objectionable. The processed food statement is one example, but the fact is that the planning that my generation would have had to do in order to avoid it is FAMILY planning. Our population could NOT be fed today entirely on “organic” farming, which is why the “slow food” and other back-to-nature movements are personally feasible only for those who are fortunate enough to have the time and money for them. It would be NICE if pure organic foods were priced so that everyone could enjoy them, but they are not. There are even sections in every American city where the ONLY grocery stores are those convenience stores we see on the highway, and grocery prices are HIGHER because their customer base consists of people who cannot afford to shop outside the neighborhood.

    Yes, we do have a number of things to improve, and some of them could be fatal to humanity if we do nothing: population control (more worldwide than US); climate change and other ecological problems; asteroid impact (which makes me THANKFUL that some of my tax money went to finance NASA and astronomy in general); and of course, the rigging of elections by big money. But the monsters that those big money people want you to fear are the ones he has debunked (and by the way, who besides the authors of Freakanomics noticed that the crime rates peaked about 18 years after Roe v Wade?), so we can concentrate on the REAL problems. And yes, factory farming, food additives, etc. are some of them. But for individuals who could not get health insurance, nor pay for every medical incident out of pocket, in the good old days, dying of untreated leukemia was a bigger threat than food additives. Maybe, just maybe, we can turn the new Obamacare into a means for EVERYONE, including children, to be coached by their doctors into healthier eating, creating a demand for better and safer food (along with, hopefully, higher wages to pay for that suddenly-more-popular food), and removing the market incentive for steroid-fed beef, antibiotic-dosed chicken, and all but the most carefully tested GMO crops (when modified for serious reasons, not trivial ones).