Government statistics on worker productivity combine many errors of aggregation such as "average prices" and the total purchasing power of money. So it's unlikely that productivity numbers tell us much that's useful.
When American governments created public police forces one hundred years ago, they often relied on torture to extract confessions. But now they have new methods: threatening to pile on new charges until the defendant takes a plea agreement.
The year 1898 was a landmark in American history. It was the year America went to war with Spain—our first engagement with a foreign enemy in the dawning age of modern warfare. Aside from a few scant periods of retrenchment, we have been embroiled in foreign politics ever since.