Study: Over 23% of All Goods Created Since 1AD Were Made Between 2001 and 2010

The Economist just published an amazing chart of “Two Thousand Years In One Chart.” However, the most interesting claim is this: “[o]ver 23% of all the goods and services made since 1AD were produced from 2001 to 2010.” That is from the first product (the fig leaf outfits of Adam and Eve to last year’s Britney Spears CD).

One of the things that I discuss in my torts class with regard to product liability is how products have changed in such a short period of time in the United States. The number and scope of non-essential consumer goods after World War II changed society dramatically. With that change came a move toward strict liability in torts. This was based on the view, in cases like Escola v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co., , 24 Cal.2d 453, 150 P.2d 436 (1944), that products had become more complex and people had less time or ability to appreciate the risks associated with different products.

This chart reflects the exponential growth in products in a breathtaking comparison. Even if the figure is off by a half, it would be chilling.

Source: Economist

13 thoughts on “Study: Over 23% of All Goods Created Since 1AD Were Made Between 2001 and 2010

  1. Given the increasing pace of consumption this is only going to get worse. That is until we realize that there are a finite amount of resources to be pissed away on this floating rock. If there is a land fill near you it might not be a bad idea to see if you can buy it; mining old landfills may be a huge money maker in the coming years.

  2. I guess Tort Deform really is working…..See, if you limit the liability of the manufacture then they will produce more goods…which may or may not be so good for you….

  3. martingugino
    Given that this tracks population growth and increase in actual manufacturing (as opposed to a farmer cobbling together a wooden plow or hunter-gatherer crafting arrows) I’d think this was pretty close to accurate.

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