By Bill Yeargin
Ever since humans embraced both the division of labor and trade, millennia ago, people have been wealth creating machines. Division of labor increases productivity and trade encourages innovation, both of which lead to breakthroughs that keep increasing the wealth, health, lifespan and happiness of the world community. Human freedom, prosperity, standards of living, health, comfort, and lifespans have never been better (by a long shot) and will continue to improve.
Despite the improvements we have experienced, there are still plenty of gloom and doomers. However, for centuries the pessimists have gotten the headlines, and the intelligentsias have focused on the negative (especially if it is market driven), but it has been the optimists who have been right.
That’s not to deny there are lots of opportunities for us to improve. We still have plenty of poor people, discrimination, inequality, and abuse. And, there are likely to be seasons of economic setbacks, usually self-inflicted. The management of national debts around the world is scary and even the U.S. budget deficit has exploded the past two years, not something you would expect (or want) in a good economy. Many countries around the world are becoming more protectionist (though centuries of clear evidence demonstrate that trade increases wealth and protectionism reduces growth.)
Despite these concerns, our overall progression has been and continues to be positive; even the depression of the 1930’s, as hard as it was on people at the time, was just a blip in our upward trajectory. Most of the world’s people now live better lives today than kings of the past. Our tolerance for differences in each other, while certainly not where it should be, is better than it has ever been. In fact, the wealth, and related benefits we have created, allow us to now spend time addressing some of these remaining challenges, and, while progress can seem slow, it is still happening.
The best part is that we are just getting started making the world better. Increasing computational power is transforming the world and will lead to technological breakthroughs over the next ten years we can hardly imagine. Artificial intelligence, quantum computing, 3D printing, 5G technology, biotech, robotics, solarization, nanotechnology and other technologies are poised to explode. This technological tsunami is creating a tremendous health and wealth windfall.
There are plenty of reasons to believe the future is bright.
- Global trade is going to continue doing what it has historically done; generate wealth and encourage innovation.
- Increasing computational power will drive technologies that help us achieve innovations that we cannot imagine today.
- The world’s interconnectedness, primarily through the internet, will continue to allow ideas to spread and be built upon by people around the world creating new synergies and solutions.
The above factors, combined with market forces, will create tremendous wealth and drive innovation that will help us solve some of the worlds biggest global challenges (poverty, energy, disease. hunger, clean water, etc.) New wealth and the time it liberates will allow us to continue focusing on some of the world’s thorniest issues, including inequality and discrimination.
We have plenty of challenges but if we can pull out of our daily concerns and look at the bigger picture we will see that over time we are making great progress. This progress, despite occasional (but certain) setbacks, will continue to be good for our businesses and even better for people. At Correct Craft we work hard at “Making Life Better,” so, I find this exciting.
If you are interested in digging deeper into these ideas check out these books: Abundance by Peter Diamandis, Better Angels of our Nature by Steven Pinker, and The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley.
Bill Yeargin is the president and CEO of Correct Craft.