Why did gross domestic product suddenly start to skyrocket just a few hundred years ago after centuries of only gradual, marginal improvements? Dr. Deirdre McCloskey, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Economics, History, English, and Communication at
University of Illinois at Chicago, has written extensively on why it was not the accumulation of capital that caused what she has dubbed "The Great Enrichment"—and eventually enabled the Industrial Revolution—but rather the spread of the great ideas of liberty. On today's episode of Borderless, she joins Vale Sloane to discuss how ideas changed the world and allowed the standard of living to advance so dramatically for millions and billions of people.
Dr. McCloskey prefers the term "innovism" to describe the source of this enrichment, rather than the more familiar "capitalism." Innovation, enabled by institutions such as the free market and free speech, was far more important to the economic transformation of the last few centuries than capital alone. Take a deep dive into what this means for our understanding of liberalism, history, and even the future on this episode of Borderless.
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