By Ryan McMaken – Re-Blogged From Mises.org
The Drudge Report today features the headline: “BUST: 1.1 million Americans don’t have a toilet…”
Drudge then links to today’s article in The Week where the headline blares “A shocking number of Americans don’t have a toilet.”
I have been accused of being a perma-bear, and I admit I like to click on any link declaring “BUST,” but this is one indicator of our declining standard of living that should be ignored.
Thanks to markets, capitalism, and the massive amounts of wealth that has been generated in the US over the past 200 years, virtually everyone who lives anywhere near a city in the US has easy access to toilets.
Historically, it has not always been so, of course, which is why the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has a measure in its “Better Life Index” called “dwellings without basic facilities.” Naturally, when it comes to constructing measures of quality of life, having a functioning toilet around is something people figured was worth measuring. So, the OECD measures what percentage of the population has an indoor flushing toilet. (Out houses don’t count.)