“Modern humans first appeared about one hundred thousand years ago. For the next 99,800 years or so, pretty much everyone lived above the subsistence level-on the modern U.S. equivalent of $400 to $600 a year….. Then, in the late eighteenth century-just a couple of hundred years ago, maybe ten generations—something happened. People started getting richer. And richer and richer still ….
If you’re a middle-class American earning $50,000 a year, and you expect your children, twenty-five years from now, to occupy that same modest rung on the economic ladder, then with a 2.3 percent growth rate, they’ll be earning the inflation-adjusted equivalent of $89,000 per year. Their children, another twenty-five years down the line, will earn $158,000 a year. And if that 2.3 percent growth rate continues, then in fewer than four hundred years, your descendants will earn about $1 million per day—a little less than Bill Gates’s current income, but at least in the ballpark.”
A Link to Steven’s original article – “The Greatest Story No One Knows About”, Steven Landsburg.