Getting Richer All the Time?
It seems to be a fact of our modern economies that the next generation is better off than the previous one. This wasn't the case for the most of human history, with humans trapped in the Malthusian trap. Nearly 85 years ago, J. M. Keynes wrote The Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren and predicted huge changes in our economic fortunes. He was right. In this essay, Daron Acemoglu discusses the 10 most important economic trends over the past 100 years, which have contributed to our ever-growing prosperity.
However, will my six-year-old son and potential grandchildren live in a more prosperous world or have living standards plateaued? According to Kenneth Rogoff in this op-ed, there are four formidable challenges to future increases in living standards: (a) externalities such as global warming and fresh-water depletion; (b) inequality; (c) ageing populations; and (d) regulation of rapidly evolving technologies by ill-equipped governments.