We are exposed to technological wonders everyday, so much so that really amazing things seem totally mundane. At Café Hayek, Don told us about flat-bottomed paper bags. Their free-standing capacity and necessity of hand folding made them a luxury item. Now my cats play in them.
It makes me think of Russell’s article on the cardboard box, or mine on purple. The number of everyday wonders is virtually unlistable: aluminum cans, books, plastics, tennis shoes, refrigerator magnets, staplers, batteries, scotch tape, aspirin… All of these things either didn’t exist or were incredibly expensive two hundred years ago. Now, I’m surrounded by them, use them generously, buy them on the fly and loose them without batting an eye. All of these were forged from the free market, not from governments. Free markets made them cheap and practical. Free markets improve them to this day. Makes you think what’s next.