The Best Time to be Alive

Ed Wallace:

Think of it this way. During the Financial Panic of 1893, considered the worst depression to hit America since its birth, those involved in electric utilities systems suffered not a bit because electricity was a growth market. Henry Ford, working as the chief engineer for Detroit Edison at the time, never worried about losing his job or having enough spare money to build his first automobile. That was also the period in which electric trolleys and the interurban rails came to most cities; and those manufacturers, the rail systems’ owners and the workers who installed them also went through that Panic virtually unscathed. Thomas Edison built his first movie studio in New Jersey the year of the financial collapse; and he certainly didn’t go out of business for lack of demand for his short films.

Even when the dotcom bubble burst in the late 1990s, it didn’t affect the progress made in expanding the Internet – or in the improvement in high-speed connections, video streaming or the expansion of commerce online. All those things dramatically improved during that collapse.