Monday, December 21, 2009

These days 

I know we�re all busy these days.

By the way, have you ever wondered what �these days� are? Were there ever any other �days� when people just sat around with nothing to do? Are we all busy �these days�? Sure, but no one in pioneer days had leisure time. Peasants in Czarist Russia didn�t twiddle their thumbs a lot. And for most of human history, every single human, from the second he woke up to the second he went to sleep in the cave, did nothing � NOTHING � but look for food. Every second of every day, look for food, look for food, look for food. Where�s Bob? Where do you think? Looking for food

This is the economic history of humanity in a nutshell: From 2 million or 200,000 or 20,000 or 2,000 years ago until the 18th Century there was slow growth in population, almost no increase in health or decrease in mortality, slow growth in the availability of natural resources (but not increased scarcity), increase in wealth for a few, and mixed effects on the environment. Since then there has been rapid growth in population due to spectacular decreases in the death rate, rapid growth in resources, widespread increases in wealth, and an unprecedently clean and beautiful living environment in many parts of the world along with a degraded environment in the poor and socialist parts of the world.