Moreover, new markets need not be restricted by geography. They can also be created by cultivating new needs. Capitalism has grown adept at persuading families that they need two cars, bigger and bigger houses, more and more electronic devices. Whoever dreamt of this fifty years ago? What will our grandchildren consume fifty years from now? We cannot begin to envisage their consumer fads, but we can be sure there will be some. Markets are not fixed by territory. Planet Earth can be filled and yet new markets can be created. That, of course, depends on what some have called the "technological fix" and it is more or less what Joseph Schumpeter called "creative destruction," which he identified as being the core of capitalist dynamism—entrepreneurs pour money into technological innovation which results in the creation of new industries and the destruction of old ones. The Great Depression in the United States was partially caused by the stagnation of the major traditional industries, while the new emerging industries, though vibrant, were not yet big enough to absorb the surplus capital and labor of the period. That was achieved in World War II and the aftermath, which then suddenly released enormous consumer demand held back by wartime sacrifices.
So the vital question now is whether another technological fix is occurring, or is likely to soon occur. There are new dynamic industries like microelectronics and biotechnology. But the problem is that so far they have not been big enough to provide a satisfactory fix, especially for the labor market in the West, where the new industries tend to be more capital- than labor-intensive. The decline of manufacturing industry in much of the West has generated unemployment there which the newer industries have not been able to much reduce. Recent innovations like computers, the Internet and mobile communication devices do not compare with railroads, electrification and automobiles in their ability to generate profit and employment growth. The "Green Revolution" has been the recent exception, providing a great boon to agricultural production, mainly in the poorer countries Also important has been the expansion of the health and educational sectors, which are more labor intensive and in which the labor is more intellectual and more middle class. Their expansion is likely to continue, as the length of life, and especially of old age, and educational credentialism continue to increase.