Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"---Which one is it? Nice chart that shows we live in a golden age, although we probably don't realize it...

""I think I work hard. Lots of Americans think they work hard. But when you compare the economic situation of modern America with the rest of the world, or with long-ago history, then (in a phrase commonly attributed to the old football coach Barry Switzer) we're all born standing on third base, congratulating ourselves for hitting a triple."" (HT: The Conversable Economist)
The Industrial Revolution changed everything, it appears.  The dark blue bar is of interest to me. The light blue bar is a complement to the dark blue bar--they go hand in hand, in my opinion.  The entire output (production of goods and services) of the 1st through the 19th centuries does not even come close to the output of the 20th century by itself.  Even more stunning, is the output in a just 10 year old 21st century is already approx 42% of what was produced in the last century.  AND (HT: Carpe Diem) 23% of all production since 1 AD was produced in the period 2001-2010! Free (or freer) people  working within the framework of strong institutions (i.e. Rule of Law) that protect private property rights and individual liberty produce such results. You might say China is an exception.  In the short run, perhaps, but to sustain their economic gains they will (1) have to produce for people the characteristics I mentioned above, or (2) the people will demand them for themselves. 

Source: The Economist
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