By way of celebrating human ingenuity, I’ll be driving 600 miles on Monday in a beautiful sedan powered by high-octane fuel. I’ll be clothed in incredibly comfortable fibers and have access to a great variety of listening amusements via satellite. The celebration will continue when I arrive home. I’ll enjoy the comfort of climate-control, electric power, modern plumbing, a refrigerator and pantry full of agricultural bounty, delicious wine, and even more incredible access to entertainment and intellectual pursuits. But it’s not just the goods and technology I’ll celebrate. I’ll also raise a glass to the fabulous, free-market institutions that have made all this possible, effectively allowing us to trade with specialized producers all around the world at low cost, and at prices that signal the true scarcities of resources… ill-considered tariffs aside.
In honor of mankind’s great achievements, I bring you additional testimony from Don Boudreaux, who provides some juicy tidbits to mark our progress. Here is more from Marion Tupy at humanprogess.org. And one more link is from Paul Driessen, who last Thanksgiving wrote of the the many developments since 1800 that have drastically improved human well being, including the ability to exploit fossil fuels that are extremely clean-burning and efficient relative to primitive energy sources.
What riches we enjoy today! Contrary to the claims of doomsayers, busybodies, and self-appointed enforcers of an austere existence, our prospects for continued improvement in human standards of living are excellent. The long arc of technological progress has made the effective abundance of resources greater and more sustainable than ever. As the many charts in Tupy’s article demonstrate, long-term trends in real incomes, poverty, literacy, longevity and the incidence of disease are quite favorable. We owe all that to the spread of human ingenuity, freedom, and voluntary exchange. That’s truly progressive!