In the last section of chapter 7 Base states “In the early 2000s, Americans spent less than 10% of family income on food, compared to approximately 47% in 1901” (p.342). The point she is making is pretty simple: the technological innovations of the 20th century have made Americans far more prosperous now than they were just a little over 100 years ago. This contradicts the beliefs of the Neo-Luddites she cites earlier in the chapter, who feel that technology actually makes us worse off due to technological unemployment. Technological innovations have made agricultural productivity much better, and they have also provided opportunities for higher-paying, better jobs, so that food is a much smaller % of spending.
Does this statistic surprise you?
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