Wednesday, July 24, 2013


0 - 1700

There was a rather depressing article in NY Mag recently about macroeconomic growth and the anomaly of the industrial revolution. It's a fairly long (5-page) article but the basic gist of it is as follows:

Between the time of ancient Rome and say about 1700 in the west not much changed for the vast majority of us.  Believe it or not, the quality of life for the average family in Rome was not all that much different than that of the average family in Britain at the dawn of the industrial revolution.  Everything we know and have come to expect in life has pretty much been defined by the period between about 1750 and 1970 which was one of unprecedented growth.  Now we get to the depressing part... That exponential growth from generation to generation is over, it was a blip, nothing more than an anomaly and while the after effects of the industrial revolution will continue to spread throughout the world,  eventually we will reach another stasis where life will be pretty much the same for the next few thousand years or so.  Are we there yet?

Innovation and the Future

Now I don't take the dismal view of the future that Robert Gordon does,  but I will venture to guess that economic life 100 years from now will be very different from today.  The question  then is are we in for stagnation or a renaissance?  What are your thoughts?

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