Hal Varian is Google’s chief economist, and he’s said something that sounds most amazingly clueless:
“If you look at the history of the world, up until 1700 nothing much happened.” — Flash interview: Hal Varian
Well, you know, there was the fall of man, and the resurrection of Jesus, and a few relatively trivial cultural events. But it is true per capita GDP was essentially nil.
Maybe it’s less bad in context, or he misspoke or got distracted and answered at random or something. Anyway, the quote I really like is about something else the Great Goog-econ said:
“‘What rich people have now,’ Varian says, ‘middle class people will have in twenty years.’ What’s he talking about? Private jets? Ranches in Montana? Income growth?” — Nothing much happened
It would be more interesting if the political and economic leaders in 2031 had what middle class people have today.