1. Post industrial revolution growth rates are an anomaly
2. 1300-1800 (500 years): per capita real GDP doubled; 1929-1957 (28
years): per capita real GDP doubled. In other words, throughout much of
human history growth has been very slow.
3. The 250 years of growth post 1750 was highly dependent on 3 base
resources/discoveries: coal, oil and the microchip. Out of these base
resources/discoveries came a couple base technologies (electricity,
steam engine, combustion engine, plastics, telecom, computers,
Internet). From these few, but highly impactful technologies came
thousands of other developments that were really extensions of each
other. So the ‘success’ of the past 250 years is really dependent on
getting a couple big things right and then squeezing every drop of
productivity by applying the technology across many different platforms.
4. Today, real productivity growth is falling. Today’s inventions are
less about productivity and more about entertainment and convenience.
1. We’re super-dependent on very few base resources/discoveries and
technologies. Take one away and our standard of living plummets.
2. Without a new base resource/discovery or technology to jump start a
new wave of productivity growth, real growth will continue to converge
to natural (i.e. pre-1800) levels.