In his latest letter, famed investor Jeremy Grantham despairs that America has forgotten the warnings of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Eisenhower warned of a military-industrial complex — a war industry that would drive the US into perpetual warfare.
That hasn’t (necessarily) happened, but rather, says Grantham, it’s the oil and financial industries that drive American policy.
As part of his letter, Grantham has dug up a series of stats to show how the US changed between 1960-2010.
It’s a mixed bag. The average person is much wealthier than they were 50 years ago. Infant mortality is down. Life expectancy is longer. More people have college degrees
But on the other hand, divorce is way up, aggravated assault has surged, the prison population is way higher, and we’re spending way more on lawyers and healthcare.
We’ve selected some of the most pertinent numbers provided by Grantham.
1960: $21,133 (2009 dollars)
2010: $45,990 (2009 dollars)
1960: 26 infant deaths per 1000 births
2010: 6.7 infant deaths per 1000 births
1960: 9.2 hospital beds per 1000 people
2010: 3.1 hospital beds per 1000 people
1960: 7 million barrels per day
2010: 5.3 million barrels per day
1960: 9.4 million barrels per day
2010: 16.6 million barrels per day
1960: 1.23 million tons per year
2010: 2.02 million tons per year
1960: $2.37 (2009 dollars)
2010: $2.35 (2009 dollars)
1960: 42% of the population smoked
2010: 21% of the population smokes
1960: The US won 22% of gold medals
2010: The US won 12% of gold medals
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