The constituency of contentment is made up of those who have been made rich and secure, who need nothing but lower taxes, less state activity and the opportunity to make short-term profits. It was produced by the economic and social reforms of the 1950s and 60s. In the USA under Reagan and the UK under Thatcher, this class hijacked the political process and promoted the ideology of laissez-faire economics to secure its objectives. The contented and economically comfortable have a very discriminating view of government. Nobody is ever indignant about bailing out failed banks and savings and loans associations, but when taxes must be paid for the lower middle class and poor, the government assumes an aspect of wickedness.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.