The End of Progress

Have things stopped getting better? Americans had become used to ever-increasing living standards, but there is evidence that for many people, life is not improving. There is also a growing pessimism about the future with surveys showing that Americans do not think their children and grandchildren will be better off.

Last week, there was a most interesting discussion between two of the world’s leading tech gurus – George Gilder and Peter Thiel — at FreedomFest in Las Vegas. Mr. Gilder has written some of the most influential books of our time, including Wealth and PovertyMicrocosm and Telecosm, and was the one who popularized Moore’s Law, which says computer power doubles about every 18 months and costs fall by half. Mr. Thiel is best known as a co-founder of PayPal and the angel investor in Facebook. He also has gained attention by offering $100,000 grants to college students who drop out to form companies.

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