Martin Wolf considers the end of “the world of the American dream and American exceptionalism” amid slowing gains in the benefits of innovation.
“What we are now living through is an intense, but narrow, set of innovations in one important area of technology. Does it matter? Yes. We can, after all, see that a decade or two from now every human being will have access to all of the world’s information. But the view that overall innovation is now slower than a century ago is compelling… For almost two centuries, today’s high-income countries enjoyed waves of innovation that made them both far more prosperous than before and far more powerful than everybody else… Now innovation is slow and economic catch-up fast. The elites of the high-income countries quite like this new world. The rest of their population like it vastly less. Get used to this. It will not change.”