In recent years, I have come across an article from the History Channel that lists seven inventions from the Gilded Age that transformed the world. It reminded me of a commentary I made a dozen years ago based on Mark Steyn’s book, After America.
Mark Steyn’s book inspired me to imagine what it would be like if my great-grandfather from the late 19th century was brought to an ordinary American home in 1950. The poor gentleman would be amazed by the technological advancements in our homes today. There are large machines in every corner of the kitchen, keeping food fresh and cold, and music coming from a tiny box on the kitchen countertop. He would look out the window and see metal conveyances speeding down the street, enclosed with doors and windows, which are now called cars. Not a single horse or horse-drawn carriage in sight!
However, I now wonder how someone from 1950 would feel if they were sent to our world today. While there have been remarkable advancements in technology such as computers and smartphones, I believe they may be disappointed by how little has changed compared to their time. Most of the incredible innovations we take for granted happened over a hundred years ago.
So why did much of our technology reach a plateau? Physics and politics are two reasons. We 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 harder for inventors and entrepreneurs to bring new ideas to life. It is time for us to roll back government regulations that stifle innovation and imagination