The Profits of Revolution

In the last 50 years, the U.S. has undergone an industrial revolution as significant to the world as Britain's industrial revolution in the 18th Century. How has the U.S. revolution changed the industrial face and the standard of living of the nation? Last week, in a fact-packed, 26-page report, the Committee for Economic Development reported that a half-century of change had tripled the standard of living of the average U.S. worker.

The average real wage (i.e., what wages actually buy in terms of consumer goods) rose from 43¢ an hour in 1900 (measured...

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