The GDP Explosion

David Leonhardt interviews Charles Kenny, author of Getting Better. Kenny discusses Parson Malthus, who argued incorrectly that "each country’s output was pretty much limited by the amount of land available":

In Malthus’s time, output worldwide was indeed pretty much static for most of history, global G.D.P. had expanded by much less than half a percent a year. But since then, output has exploded everywhere. Between 1960 and 2000, only one country worldwide -– the Democratic Republic of the Congo saw G.D.P. growth slower than 0.5 percent per year, and only 11 countries saw output grow at less than 2 percent a year.