[This is the addended transcript of my regular KVMR commentary broadcast on 17 December 2014.]
‘Our Best Days Lie Ahead.’ How many times have we heard some politician or public figure repeat those words into a microphone while looking at a sea of bright-eyed upturned faces? This claim is almost never backed up with anything but unwarranted hope that the future will be a reprise of the longed for yesteryear. And the speaker always leaves us with a feeling that such a future is inevitable, regardless of how we educate, employ, or allow ourselves to be governed (more here).
Looking back at the last two centuries, one can almost make the case for such ‘best days’. Two hundred years ago the industrial revolution was in full swing in Europe and America. New ways of doing things were constantly being invented, and technology had finally been set free from the scientist’s laboratory to firmly settle in the arena of business and enterprise. Capital began to displace labor, and new wealth began to be generated, as opposed to old wealth being inherited.