The Great Enrichment is a term for the unprecedented increase in wealth that has occurred over the last 200 years or so.
“ the Great Enrichment increased real income per head, in the face of a rise in the number of heads, by a factor of seven — by anything from 2,500 to 5,000 percent .”
Anyone with a sense of human history whatsoever can tell you that we have just lived through the most amazing period in it. There has never been such a huge change, I would say for the better, to take place in so short a time.
Mccloskey has identified the cause, and there is little hope in disputing it:
“ The Great Enrichment, in short, came out of a novel, pro-bourgeois, and anti-statist rhetoric that enriched the world. It is, as Adam Smith said, “allowing every man [and woman, dear] to pursue his own interest his own way, upon the liberal plan of equality, liberty, and justice.”
But human society seems to be regressing rhetorically. Success is viewed as simply a result of atoms ping-ponging around in the universe. Socio-economic pre-determinism is gospel.
I’m not optimistic for a leveraging and expansion of the Great Enrichment. Based on the prevailing rhetoric of the ascendant public figures from Trump, to Fauci, to any “expert” quoted in a mainstream media source, western society is headed for stagnation.