Pethokoukis

What to be thankful for? Innovation, creative destruction, and the Revaluation

Image Credit. Gapminder.org

Image Credit. Gapminder.org

“Give a woman some rice, and you save her a day. That’s the simplest form of what Christians flatter themselves by calling “Christian charity.” Give a man some seed and you save him for a year. That’s the plan of investment in capital, tried for decades in foreign aid without much success. But give a man and a woman the liberty to innovate, and persuade them to admire enterprise and to cultivate the bourgeois virtues, and you save them both for a long life of wide scope and for successively wider lives for their children and their grandchildren, too. That’s the Bourgeois Deal, which paid off in the Age of Innovation.” – Deirdre McCloskey, Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World.

McCloskey calls this the Revaluation, when the West transformed into a business-admiring, creative destruction-embracing civilization, launching the Industrial Revolution. (Asia started a bit later.) Which is why we no longer live on $3 a day as we did in 1800. I am pretty thankful for that, as we all should be

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