I don't know, jpop, I hope you and Gates are right. I want to believe. I read Pinker's book and loved it, I read these two articles, I've watched many of Hans Rosling's talks.
Lately, here in the U.S., I've been bothered by extended family and some friends who are desperate, losing their homes, unable to pay their medical bills. One is an ex-marine sargeant with ptsd, another worked all his life in construction until he couldn't anymore due to lung disease, another is a nurse with an autistic son whose care has broken her.
It just seems like the poverty rate in the U.S. is the same every year but our cities are more full of homeless people than we've ever seen.