Public ideas

Was the second Elizabethan Age as good as it gets?

Peter Martin has a Conversation contribution: The certainty of ever-growing living standards we grew up with under Queen Elizabeth is at an end. It’s mainly a review of the work Slouching towards utopia: an economic history of the twentieth century by University of California economist Bradford DeLong. DeLong notes that for the history of western humanity, living standards didn’t start to rise until around 1870. Then they rose spectacularly for 140 years, until 2010, and have generally stagnated since. Martin writes:

King Charles III inherits a future with no guarantee of ever-increasing living standards, no guarantee human ingenuity will prevail over global warming, and no guarantee democracy will prevail.