Technology and the Advancement of Freedom

When I talk about the deep economic troubles facing America and when I talk about the inevitable bust/ recession that is coming due to the Austrian business cycle theory, I often add one caveat.  I say that we will inevitably have a deep recession unless there is some kind of major technological innovation.

While massive government bureaucracy and massive government spending impede the free market economy, technology continues to advance, albeit at a slower pace than if the government were removed.

Technology can often grow at exponential rates.  Witness the incredible technological revolution that is occurring right now.  Many people do not even realize how special of a time we currently live in.  The world today is vastly different from the world just 20 years ago.  The internet and technological advances have changed our world.  The lines of communication are wide open now.  There is a free flow of information that never could have been imagined just a couple of decades ago.

It is hard to believe that the iPad has only been in existence for a couple of years.  It is hard to believe that accessing the internet via a cell phone is a new thing within the last decade.  It is hard to believe that most people did not even have an email address just 2 decades ago.

Technology and growth can overcome a lot of human suffering.  While the iPhone is more of a luxury than a need, technology helps human life and vastly improves living standards in a short time frame.  Think of these devices that take filthy water and make it clean, drinkable water within minutes.  This can save millions of lives in third world countries.

Imagine if technology starts to take off with healthcare.  Imagine devices that can cleanse the human body of diseases.  Imagine sitting in a special chair that cures you of your ailments.  Something like this would make healthcare and health insurance a non-issue, at least politically speaking.  We wouldn't have to worry about Obamacare or about Medicare going broke because we would all of a sudden have most of our healthcare needs met with cheap technology.

The internet is already revolutionizing education.  A young kid can learn far more from Google and Wikipedia in a day than he could learn going to a traditional government school.  If you really want to learn about a particular topic, search for it on Youtube and there may already be an instructor available for you to watch.  If not, you can surely learn about it by reading one of the billions of websites that now exists.

The U.S. Post Office is going out of business.  Regular mail is used less and less now.  We can just use email or text messaging.  We can post comments on Facebook.  If the government were to take away the Post Office's monopoly on the delivery of first class mail, I'm sure Fed Ex and others would quickly fill the void.

The growth in technology can be endless.  The Industrial Revolution began to change the world in the 19th century.  Many people did not realize it at the time.  Their lives were improving, but they did not notice on a day-to-day basis.  But if you have growth every year, your living standard will go up significantly over time.

The same is true of technology today.  It is growing at an exponential rate.  Some years will be better than others, but it is reasonable to predict that it will continue.  This new technology can defeat the state. It can make the government irrelevant.  This is why you should not give up hope on human freedom.  While the current situation may look bleak, I believe that freedom is almost inevitable at this point.