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The Naughties Weren’t All Bad

The decade brought us the iPod, global positioning systems and, yes, economic progress.


The decade that just ended produced stories that were tragic (9/11), horrifying (Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath), and depressing (the financial crisis and current recession). Yet perhaps the most important story of the naughts—one largely unmentioned in the media’s myriad decade retrospectives—is the slow and steady march of economic progress that marks our day-to-day lives. It isn’t necessarily reflected in the stock market or in our bank accounts, but it is evident in the small and sometimes imperceptible changes in our daily routines that, over time, become large, substantive ones.

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Art Carden is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and an Associate Professor of Economics at Samford University’s Brock School of Business.