Via a book review by Steven Pinker:
In experiments beginning in the late 1960s, the psychologist Walter Mischel tormented preschoolers with the agonizing choice of one marshmallow now or two marshmallows 15 minutes from now. When he followed up decades later, he found that the 4-year-olds who waited for two marshmallows turned into adults who were better adjusted, were less likely to abuse drugs, had higher self-esteem, had better relationships, were better at handling stress, obtained higher degrees and earned more money.
A recent Creative Minority Report blog entry noted the chief causes of death in America, which reflects the above well, I think:
15. Assault (homicide): 16,591
14. Parkinson’s disease: 20,552
13. Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease (high blood pressure, kidney failure caused by high blood pressure): 25,651
12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis: 30, 444
11. Septicemia (systemic infection): 35,587
10. Intentional self-harm (suicide): 36,547
9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (kidney disease): 48,714
8. Influenza and pneumonia: 53,582
7. Diabetes mellitus (diabetes): 68,504
6. Alzheimer’s disease: 78,889
5. Accidents (unintentional injuries): 117,176
4. Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke): 128,603
3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases (emphysema, chronic bronchitis): 137,082
2. Malignant neoplasms (cancer): 568,668
1. Diseases of heart (mainly heart attack): 598,607
And then the astounding omission, Archibold notes:
There are approximately 1.2 million abortions per year in the US. Compare that to all the other leading causes and you realize there is no comparison. Over twice as many people die from abortion each year as the next leading cause. Double.
Instant gratification is one of the commandments of Western Civilization today. Is it any wonder our economy, morality, and intelligence is in decline?