In 36 years, from 1970 to 2006, the world poverty rate fell 40%. 40%! This is huge news, but you probably didn’t hear about it anywhere else. I certainly didn’t until I saw the link someone posted. But the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would have put it, is how this happened. For the explanation, I defer to Arthur Brooks.
It turns out that between 1970 and 2010 the worst poverty in the world – people who live on one dollar a day or less – that has decreased by 80 percent. You never hear about that.
It’s the greatest achievement in human history, and you never hear about it.
80 percent of the world’s worst poverty has been eradicated in less than 40 years. That has never, ever happened before.
So what did that? What accounts for that? United Nations? US foreign aid? The International Monetary Fund? Central planning? No.
It was globalization, free trade, the boom in international entrepreneurship. In short, it was the free enterprise system, American style, which is our gift to the world.
I will state, assert and defend the statement that if you love the poor, if you are a good Samaritan, you must stand for the free enterprise system, and you must defend it, not just for ourselves but for people around the world. It is the best anti-poverty measure ever invented.
Not aid, not handouts, and not a government interfering with the economy; capitalism and free enterprise are the poor’s best friend. Remember this the next time a politician has a “bold new approach” to income inequality and poverty.