Is Progress Speeding Up?

Our Multiplying Multitudes of Blessings

Sir John Templeton

This book is a thought-provoking view of the progress of humankind in the last century. In spite of the pessimism that prevails in the media, people are better fed, better clothed, better housed, and better educated than at any previous time.

The facts within the book provide documentation for a positive outlook toward our nutrition and health, living standards and working conditions, political and economic freedoms, educational facilities, ability to communicate, ease of movement, increasing leisure, and, most important, our ability to get along with one another and with our Creator. The statistics, charts, and photographs that illustrate this book enhance the reassuring and uplifting view of the state of the world and where it is going.

“His analysis gives us a refreshing balance to the negative, sometimes cynical, views in the media that tend to portray the worst rather than the best in human civilization.” —Jimmy Carter

“After reading Sir John Templeton's latest book, I believe more than ever that we are living in the most exciting time in history. Despite the challenges we face, his demonstration of mankind's progress gives all of us great hopes and high expectations for our next century and the new millennium.” —Jack Kemp, former HUD secretary, director of Empower America

Introduction / 1

1. A Short History of Saving and Investment / 10

2. American Political Realignment and the Origins of Welfare / 35

3. Wall Street and the Second Economic Revolution / 54

4. Depression and the New Deal / 86

5. The Great Social Security Debate / 110

6. The New Health-Care Imperative / 142

7. Houses, Highways, and Physical Capital

8. Education, Training, and Human Capital / 217

9. The Savings Strategy for Shrinking the Welfare State / 258

Conclusion / 277

Notes / 285

Index / 303

"His analysis gives us a refreshing balance to the negative, sometimes cynical, views in the media that tend to portray the worst rather than the best in human civilization. Knighted for his philanthropy, Sir John Templeton is investing his fortune in the future of the world. This book shows why he is so convinced the investment is sound." 

Jimmy Carter

"After reading Sir John Templeton's latest book, I believe more than ever that we are living in the most exciting time in history. Despite the challenges we face, his demonstration of mankind's progress gives all of us great hopes and high expectations for our next century and the new millennium."

Jack Kemp, former HUD Secretary and Director of Empower America

"John Templeton has been one of the most successful investors of modern times. This book is wiser than his wisest investments, and better grounded in the facts than any of his investments could have been. Invest your time in reading it, and you will profit."

Julian L. Simon, author of The State of Humanity

"In a world fraught with pessimism, John Templeton provides us a book laden with optimism. He does not just make his claim, but backs it up with hard data and heartening optimism. Highly recommended." 

Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., President Emeritus, University of Notre Dame

"Sir John Templeton enriches the world with his brilliant insights into the character of technological and economic progress and his deep understanding of the connections between religion and freedom." 

Edwin J. Feulner, Jr., President, The Heritage Foundation