Progress Paradox

I recently read the Progress Paradox by Gregg Easterbrook and really enjoyed it. In my mind the book had three parts.

In the first part, Easterbrook spends quite a bit of time explaining how much better off we are then humans have been at any point in history. More of us eat better, work less, are healthier and have more leisure time than any other point in history. He backs this up with a lot of detail and debunks quite a few myths. It was very interesting.

In the second part, Easterbrook theorizes on some of the reasons why we are almost always unhappy and why continuously strive to have more. Why do people want always bigger, better and more? One of the ideas I found intriguing is that maybe stress and the desire to accumulate things have been tied to success in the past. (The past of our species that is.)

In the last part, Easterbrook details his ideas for how life could be better for more people. His main point is that the US should have universal health care coverage. He also talks about giving more to developing nations and raising the minimum wage.

I recommend the book to anyone who likes to think about the state of our current society.