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A Better World?

Feb 21, 1997 08:28 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

According to Edgar Cayce, these times are the real dawning of
the Age of Aquarius.  What's Aquarius associated with?  Freedom
of thought; science and technology; egalitarianism;
humanitarianism.  A new book my library just received
summarizes some of the advances of the last several decades,
and I'd like to share the positive trends noted in "The balance
sheet of human development-- developing countries" (Note that
these statistics DO NOT include the industrialized world):
Life expectancy increased by a third between 1960 and 1992; 30
countries have achieved a life expectancy of more than 70
years.  Over the past three decades, the population with
access to safe water almost doubled, from 36% to 70%.  Net
enrollment at the primary level increased by nearly two-thirds
during the past 30 years, from 48% in 1960 to 77% in 1991.
Despite rapid population growth, per capita food production
rose more than 20% during the past decade.  During the past
decade, both agriculture and industry expanded at an annual
rate of more than 3% in developing countries.  The combined
primary and secondary enrollment of girls increased from 38% to
68% during the past two decades.  During the past two decades,
fertility rates declined by more than a third.  In 1960-82,
infant mortality was more than halved, from 149 per thousand
live births to 70.  During the past two decades, the lives of
about three million children were saved every year through the
extension of basic immunization.  More than two thirds of the
population in developing countries live under rerlatively
pluralistic and democratic regimes.

There are plenty of negatives reported too, but the above
suffices to give hope that humanity is indeed moving in an
Aquarian direction.


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