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March 14, 2015

Miracles? What Miracles?

The most astonishing thing about the extraordinary outpouring of growth and innovation that the United States and other economies have achieved over the past two centuries is that it does not astonish us.
Throughout most of human history, life expectancy was about half what it now is, or even less. We could not record voices or speech, so no one knows how Shakespeare sounded or how “to be or not to be” was pronounced. The streets of the greatest cities were dark every night. No one traveled on land faster than a horse could gallop. The Battle of New Orleans took place after the peace treaty had been signed in Europe because General Andrew Jackson had no way of knowing this. In Europe, famines were expected about once a decade and the streets would be littered with corpses, and in American homes, every winter the ink in the inkwells froze. from “Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity” (2007)

Posted by gerardvanderleun at March 14, 2015 5:35 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

I'm waiting for the astonishing part.

Posted by: ghostsniper [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 14, 2015 6:26 PM

These guys make a good case that they have figured out a lot of how the original was pronounced.


Posted by: Christopher Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 14, 2015 6:49 PM

When we have total sustainable energy for the Country, petroleum is banned, we'll be back to the good old days.

Posted by: Vermont Woodchuck [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 15, 2015 3:05 AM

They left out that children had to walk uphill both going to and coming home from school. I know, because my grandparents told me.

Posted by: BillH [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 15, 2015 7:09 AM

This reads like a preview of what things are going to be when the SHTF.
There are areas in our country that live like this right now. They'll be ahead of the rest of us, trying to figure out how to build a fire and such.
I like the "littered with corpses" part.

Posted by: chasmatic [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 15, 2015 7:40 AM

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