Winning The Global War On Poverty

Pope Francis SHOULD see some positive in this:

According to an announcement released this week by the World Bank, “less than 10% of the world’s population will be living in extreme poverty by the end of 2015.”

The bank has “used a new income figure of $1.90 per day to define extreme poverty, up from $1.25. It forecasts that the proportion of the world’s population in this category will fall from 12.8% in 2012 to 9.6%.”

True, come the New Year, some 700 million human beings will still live in absolute poverty.

But let us put this in proper context. Grinding poverty was the norm for most ordinary people throughout human history. As recently as 1980, the World Bank estimated that 50% of the global population lived in absolute poverty.

And the reason?

Thanks to the industrial revolution and global trade, economic growth in the West accelerated to historically unprecedented levels.

Over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, real incomes in the West increased 15-fold. A huge chasm had opened up between the West and the rest, as Princeton University Professor Angus Deaton documents in his book “The Great Escape.”

That gap is now closing.

It’s closing because more countries continue to liberalize their economies. Is this enough proof for the pope on the success of freer markets?



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