When you run across an article with a title such as this, it simply begs to be read: “It’s not thanks to capitalism that we’re living longer, but progressive politics.”

That’s from The Guardian last week, and the article assures the reader that the science behind today’s relatively high level of safety and cleanliness didn’t come from the wealth produced through the marketplace in recent centuries. No, it turns out government institutions are responsible for it all. Author Jason Hickel writes:

“It wasn’t until the 1880s that urban life expectancies finally began to rise – at least in Europe. But what drove these sudden gains? Szreter finds it was down to a simple intervention: sanitation.

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