The Economic Perspective: “How Far We’ve Come”

This is Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at how far we’ve come.  Mike, I know you like history, and oftentimes you are most excited when you can combine history and economics.  One way to do this is to look at how living standards have changed over long time periods.  Have they gotten better or worse?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. Let’s compare today to 1900, which for us – baby boomers – was when our grandparents were children
  2. Let’s look at three measures – income (adjusted for inflation), life expectancy, and time worked
  3. All three have improved dramatically in the world
  4. Income per person has increased 2300%
  5. Live expectancy had risen 245%
  6. And work time in jobs has dropped 50%
  7. What’s the major reason – inventions making us healthier, more productive, and wealthier
  8. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.