It's all too easy to feel pessimistic about the world these days.
Here to tell you why that's flat-out wrong is senior Fusion editor Felix Salmon. In a Wednesday morning interview with The Huffington Post at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the financial journalist shared an encouraging perspective: "The world is getting better," he said. "We can never lose sight of that fact."
In defense of that thesis, Salmon offered up a wealth of supporting arguments:
The world has been getting better for hundreds of years, the world will continue getting better. It's more peaceful now than it used to be. We are richer now than we used to be. We worry about the world falling into a global recession, which just means it gets a little bit poorer for... half a year or so, but in the grand scheme of things, it grows.
We have more democracies now than ever. We have fewer dictatorships now than ever. We have fewer people dying of easily curable diseases. We have more literacy than ever. We have more girls being educated than ever. All of these things are good for the world, and over the long term, the world is going to be a much better place.
He added that the world will get better even if we don't do anything about it. So to what should we attribute this forward progress, if most of what we do doesn't actually have much of an impact?
Per Salmon, we owe it mostly to freedom, advances in communications technology, capitalism and education.
All of those things work in tandem "to unlock human potential," he said, "and allow people to become richer and happier and healthier. That's what happens over time, and it's been happening for hundreds of years."
"The future is bright because of the fundamental way where, if you get this nexus of free people, free markets, democracy, education, the Internet, all coming together, it creates value, it allows people to unlock value they have in themselves."
More stories from the World Economic Forum 2016: