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The average fortune is dissipated in three generations. (The average medieval noble family was back to being commoners in three generations; and the average Chinese noble family... well, Chinese noble titles degraded by one rank every generation, and every generation had to pass the imperial examinations to get a lucrative government job, so there was a _lot_ of churn there.)

Even without growth, you have a lot of social mobility -- downwards as well as upwards.

Sure - shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.

Surely Europe between, say 1760 and 1900 looks different than China in the same period. Perhaps 100 years from now, it will be decided that the Chinese Mandarins were right after all , but that's not consistent with how we look at the world today.

And given some of the posts I've seen here, maybe it will be like that. You didn't have to explain why growth was of value 20 years ago - outside a few odd cases, it was assumed.

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