by Chidem Kurdas
In 1930, John Maynard Keynes dashed off an amazing prophecy. Extrapolating from the productivity gains of the past centuries, he came to the bold conclusion that the fundamental economic problem of scarcity would fade away in 100 years or so. Thanks to technological innovation and the accumulation of capital, the ancient condition of limited resources to satisfy competing wants would give way to a new age of plenty. Human beings would then face a very different quandary, namely what to do with themselves once they no longer have to work in order to survive.
Eighty-one years into the timeline Keynes suggested in his article, “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren,” scarcity shows no sign of disappearing. Where did he go wrong? Read the rest of this entry »