“Growth” is a Perpetual Hollywood Ending
Economic growth is thus perhaps the last surviving manifestation of an Enlightenment faith that via science and technology human life will inevitably keep getting better. This means without consciously deciding to do so, economists have become academia’s most persistent optimists.
“Growth,” in fact, provides us with a perpetual Hollywood ending, at least in terms of our economic lives.
Hollywood endings, one of the most pervasive U.S. contributions to world culture, are popular—attracting and pleasing huge audiences—because people know that whatever happens they will end up feeling good. Feeling good is, of course, what most people want most of the time.
Likewise, no matter what is happening in any particular economic crisis, we all believe that we know how it will end: Economic growth brings jobs and a return to prosperity.