The handful of you who read this blog may have figured out that I enjoy the study of history. There are many periods, particularly during the past 500 years, that would be fascinating to have been a part of, at least in my opinion.

Nevertheless, there are two big reasons that exist that clearly illuminate why I’m glad to be alive now and not, say, 150 years ago: modern plumbing and modern dentistry. We’ve got it pretty good today, even if many of us don’t realize it.

Here, Bryan Caplan of EconLog captures the difference between what the average American has today and what George Vanderbilt, one of the richest Americans of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, didn’t:

Read the rest of this entry »