Recently, I stumbled upon an article from the History Channel that listed seven inventions from the Gilded Age that revolutionized the world. It reminded me of a commentary I did a dozen years ago based on Mark Steyn’s book, After America.
In the commentary, I asked readers to imagine what it would be like to bring their great-grandfather living in the late 19th century to an ordinary American home in 1950. The result would be astonishment, as this home is full of mechanical contraptions that were not available in his time. For example, there is a huge machine in the corner of the kitchen, full of food and keeping milk fresh and cold. And he would hear an orchestra playing somewhere and then discover it came from a tiny box on the kitchen countertop.
But now imagine you could send someone from 1950 to our world today. I think they would be disappointed. Not much has changed at all. Sure, there are computers and smartphones, but I would imagine that he would have expected more changes than he found. Most of the remarkable changes took place a hundred years ago.
The question arises: why did much of our technology reach a plateau? Physics and politics are two reasons for this stagnation. We can dream of flying cars, time machines, and teleporting devices, but there are physical limits that prevent them from being created.
The other reason is politics and especially bureaucratic regulations. Government makes it much more difficult to be an inventor and an entrepreneur by creating barriers to innovation and imagination. It is time for us to roll back the size of government that stifles creativity and progress in order to move forward into a new era of technological advancement