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The Ironies of History

The story of mankind is a story of endless ironies. Thanks to medical science, people are living longer. The result is that governments around the world are confronted with the challenge of providing adequate medical care for their aging populations.

When Bismarck introduced old-age insurance to Germany, he set the retirement age at 65 with full knowledge that few people in his country lived beyond 65.

At present, few people die at 65. As a result, medical science is now taxed with the problem of proper medical care for the aging.

At one time, American companies that were engaged in manufacture employed American residents almost exclusively. After World War II, great scientific progress was made in communications, transportation, materials handling and computerized management. It was now possible for an American company to get its work done in Third World countries where cheap, child and slave labor were available.

The result is that “outsourcing” is almost a universal practice among the great nations of the world, much to the distress of their workers who lost their jobs.

Interestingly, just as seemingly good developments turn out to produce bad results, so is this true in reverse. At the time of the bubonic plague, the killer disease did not show respect for rank. Lords and ladies, knights and warriors were hard hit. Feudal serfs were free to live a liberated life. Peasant revolutions multiplied around the world.

Yes, history goes its unpredictable way, turning good into evil and evil into good — pouring irony on irony.

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