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>there has never been a better time to be alive than now
I would question this for the western world in recent decades. Depending on your criteria*, it's not very hard to see that a not-insignificant number of people in this country still haven't returned to the quality of life they had in 2007. Everyone calls to technology, to global poverty and to global democratisation as signs of progress because the data there is unambiguous. What winds lost in the wayside is that none of that is any consolation if your own life or your own town has gone to shit, especially if nothing and nobody is credibly going to improve it. We may live in a world with more democracies than ever, but most first world democracies have run into crises of legitimacy. It's worth asking why that is.
*And you can have some fun with this. I was assuming a mixture of actual financial position + perceived quality of life, but you can always factor in the hedonic treadmill for extra fun. I suspect that to the human brain, irrational as it is, it feels better to live in China and see your standard of living raise year on year from a low point to a middling one than it does to live in Britain and see it stagnate or moderately decline, despite staying better off in absolute terms.