Economist: ‘It’s never too late to change the world’


The university forum on Tuesday started with laughter as the guest speaker, Gregg Easterbrook, told a joke that helped create a friendly atmosphere.

Easterbrook is a well-known author and journalist. He is a contributing editor of The Atlantic Monthly and he also writes a Tuesday Morning Quarterback column for Easterbrook primarily contributes on national politics and policies; however, he also writes on diverse topics from sports to the search for extraterrestrial life. The title of Easterbrook’s address was “The Global Economy: What’s Next” and the actual address gave the audience more than statistics about economy and globalization. It gave the audience inspiration and motivation to help in developing the world.

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Author and lecturer Gregg Easterbrook speaks on society, third world countries and the future during Tuesday's forum at the Marriott Center.

Easterbrook started by mentioning the negative idea of some writers in the past about how the world would face crisis and disaster.

“But most of what’s happening in the world has been positive for decades,” Easterbrook said.

He introduced his study about the progress paradox. He asked, “Why doesn’t the better living standard make people happier?”

Easterbrook said statistics show violence and war in the world have declined in the past few decades.

“The chance of dying by violence right now is the lowest that it can be in human history,” Easterbrook said.

He indicated the nature of media is to emphasize bad news. Because of that, media consumers assume the worst about the world, he said.

“Especially from the media’s standpoint, good news is scary,” Easterbrook said.

According to psychology studies, people in the current generation are less happy than their parents or grandparents, Easterbrook said. People say they believe in the concept that money cannot buy happiness.

“But how many people live as if they believe that?” he asked. “The things that really matter cannot be purchased in the free market.”

Easterbrook said the new psychology goal is to examine what makes people become sane.

“The big red line between the two groups [people who have a positive sense of well being and people who have a negative sense of well being] is whether they believe their lives have meaning,” Easterbrook said.

Globalization has just started, Easterbrook said. Most people are living under the level of medium development around the whole world. He said although many good things have happened in the past decades, the stress and anxiety in the world is going to get worse.

“It’s never too late to change the world,” Easterbrook said.

He said everybody can contribute to the development of the world.

“It’s a big challenge for your generation,” Easterbrook said.

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