So I just started The Progress Paradox and already it's fascinating. The basic premise is that despite widespread improvement in quality of life people feel worse. Crime, education, environment, public health, economy, and civil unrest are drastically improved from where they were 20 or 30 years ago.
Specifically I found this quote interesting, "The regions with more murder tend to vote conservative, those with less murder tend to vote liberal." - The Progess Paradox page 39