I think such a question can only be posed from a mindset that forgets how living conditions were a mere 100 years ago for almost all people. They had to work relentlessly, for very little money, were glad to have one day off a week, had next to no freedom at all, were really glad if they could feed themselves and their families.
For a normal worker, the thought about a centrally heated flat with a TV set, a car in front of the door, a garage, good schools for the kids, rugs and a decent furniture would have sounded like phantasialand!
And the idealistic thought that people had a better heart in these times, were kinder and more real is all nice and good, but I doubt that it was so, or the living conditions would have been a lot better for everyone.
I would say, our world gets better by the day. Its just human nature which stays the same critical mind as it has always been. Perhaps that is how we are made, in order to evolve always and to make sure that we will never cease to chase the dream about a better world.
This world we live in is so amazingly wonderful, and it really deserves more appreciation from all of us. We just have our focus on all its shortcomings and so we destroy it for ourselves. But luckily enough, this doesn't really interfere with its beauty and wonder.