Today, an average consumer can buy a terabyte hard drive (1 million megabytes), on which she might store her family photos, videos and other digital documents for as little as $109.99. In 1992, a terabyte drive, if such a thing had existed, would have cost $5 million.
Apart from research scientists and a few early adopters of Compuserve and AOL, the Internet essentially didn't exist in 1992. Monthly Internet traffic was four terabytes. All the data traversing the global net in 1992 totaled 48 terabytes. Today, YouTube alone streams 48 terabytes of data every 21 seconds.
When the Human Genome Project began in the early 1990s, sequencing one DNA base pair cost about $10. Today sequencing one base pair costs a tenth of a cent, and by 2024 we'll sequence an entire human genome for $100.
In 1992 a tiny percentage of Chinese citizens had ever made a phone call, but today there are twice as many mobile-phone subscribers in China as there are people in the U.S. The entirety of U.S.-China trade in 1992 was $33 billion. This year it will approach $400 billion.
But innovation is by definition unexpected. We can't force it or compel it. Certainly not from Washington. If Washington had planned our future in 1992, we wouldn't be here.
When things look bleak, look back. You will see how bright tomorrow can be.
HT: Russell Redenbaugh