… is from pages 2-3 of Deirdre McCloskey’s November 2018 paper “How Growth Happens: Liberalism, Innovism, and the Great Enrichment ” (original emphasis):
Hans Rosling, the late, great Swedish professor of public health, emphasized how little most people, even very well-informed people, know about the overwhelmingly good news 1800 to the present, or even 1960 to the present (e.g., falling birth rates, falling infant death rates, rising literacy). He surveyed people, in his various audiences to the number of 20,000. They were embarrassingly less accurate on the whole than monkeys would be throwing darts at the multiple choice possibilities. And the human experts, with ordinary citizens, were always biased in a pessimistic, anti-modern direction. Consider Kenneth Pomeranz, in his fine book with Steven Topik, The World That Trade Created. Pomeranz and Topik tell many interesting and accurate stories about the bad side of creative destruction (which comes from any human progress, not as is often said on the left from “neo- liberalism”). But they never acknowledge the gigantic improvements coming from it for ordinary people. Not once.