8 Surprising Reasons Life Is Much Better Now Than Ever (PHOTOS)

Kiri Blakeley | Sep 18, 2014 Good News

"Those were the daaaaays!" Archie and Edith Bunker sang. And no sooner do we hit middle-age than most of us begin wailing how great things were back then. Hey, remember when you used to play outside all day long with no fear of pedophiles, and gas was a nickel a gallon, and no one ever showed their boobs on TV? Remember when authority was respected, the cops were always the good guys, and no one ever in the history of the world got murdered? Well, if you remember those days, your memory is a tad skewed. Surely some things were better then (gas and housing were cheaper for one), but lots of things sucked big time. Here are eight reasons life is much better now than it's ever been.

Are you surprised by #6?

  • There's Practically No Crime -- Seriously


    © Arman Zhenikeyev/Corbis

    Despite lurid headlines and screaming news breaks that make it seem like we're suffering the most vicious crime wave in the history of the world, the exact opposite is true. Murder rates actually plummeted worldwide. Worldwide. And yeah, in cities you'd normally think of as a hotbed of crime. Take New York City. There were 333 murders last year -- the lowest EVER. No one is exactly sure why crime has plummeted so much; there are a lot of theories. Better police work, more police, surveillance cameras, legal abortion -- my pet theory is helmets. No one used to wear them, and brain trauma has been linked to violence. Who knows the exact reason, let's just be grateful for it.

  • Children Can Actually Be Children


    © Rhea Anna/Galeries/Corbis

    While nowadays a mom can get arrested for letting her child walk to the park, it was only 100 years ago that that same child would have been working long, hard hours away from his family in a factory. He would have been paid very little, abused by superiors, kept out of school, and forced to perform dangerous work that often resulted in injury or even death.

  • Living Better & MUCH Longer



    We like to wax nostalgic about how people used stay married until death, but most people died before age 50. Life expectancy has almost doubled in the past century. Antibiotics, vaccines, better diets and hygiene, cleaner water, and medical breakthroughs mean that most people will live a good, and very long, life.

  • Feminism Saves Women


    © Holger Scheibe/Corbis

    Some people love to bash feminism as the cause of all societal ills, but if you are a woman and have a bank account, a credit card, a mortgage, then you can thank feminists. Because it's unlikely you would have had any of those before the early '70s. It wasn't until 1978 that pregnant women could keep a job. And that's not even getting into the fact in most countries, women couldn't inherit or own property or have legal rights to their children. There is a long list of ills women could not even think about reporting to police, as they were not considered a crime: including domestic violence and sexual harassment. Men were also routinely allowed to commit their wives to mental institutions for the barest of infractions.

  • There's Much Less War -- Really


    © Craig Robinson/moodboard/Corbis

    With the World Trade Center decimated, terrorist cells seemingly infiltrating every American town, and ISIS beheading innocents in Syria, it's easy to think there's never been more war and mass killings than now. Actually, the opposite is true. Violence is apparently disappearing! The past 100 years have been probably the most peaceful in history.

  • Child Abuse Is Way Down


    © Anna Peisl/Corbis

    While headlines that scream about horrific child abuse may make us think that it's worse than ever, the opposite is true. Child abuse has steadily decreased, as has child sexual abuse, which is almost half of what it was 20 years ago. Of course, any one case of child abuse is too many.

  • Crime Against Kids Is Way Down


    © Bernd Vogel/Corbis

    It's not just crime against adults that is down across the board, it's down against kids too. Despite alarming headlines about bullying, children subjected to bullying has continued to decrease. And despite horrific school shootings, violence in schools of all types is way down. Sexual, physical, and emotional violence against kids by adults is down as much as 33% in all categories. Child abduction has dropped almost 40% in four years. The vast majority of child abduction is by family members.

  • Pretty Much Everything Is Better



    From air conditioning to washing machines to ATM machines to cars that don't belch black smoke, pretty much everything is better. Just check out this huge list of things that are SO much better now than they were then. Granted, I'd rather listen to the Beatles or Led Zeppelin than Miley Cyrus or One Direction, but that's just another thing that makes life so much better. You can get anything you want on YouTube!

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