First, the good news.
Mark J. Perry of the American Enterprise Institute (7/13/15) wrote that while “Pope Francis has been excoriating capitalism lately, blaming it for causing global injustice and climate change, and even comparing the excesses of unfettered capitalism to the ‘dung of the devil’”, worldwide and East Asian poverty has been declining at a very rapid rate.
Perry stated that the chart below could be “the ‘chart of the century’ because it illustrates one of the most remarkable achievements in human history”.
The chart shows an “80% reduction in world poverty in only 36 years, from 26.8% of the world’s population living on $1 or less (in 1987 dollars) in 1970 to only 5.4% in 2006 (light blue line)”. Even more impressive is the “97% reduction in the poverty rate in East Asia (excluding Japan and Hong Kong) from 58.8% to 1.7% over that time period. The data in the chart come from a 2009 NBER working paper ‘Parametric Estimations of the World Distribution of Income,’ by economists Maxim Pinkovskiy (MIT) and Xavier Sala-i-Martin (Columbia).”
So “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.
“I would argue that free market capitalism, American style, has done more to reduce world poverty than any anti-poverty efforts of the Catholic Church and the Vatican. In fact, I would even argue that just one free-market capitalist corporation – Walmart – might even do as much, or more, to alleviate poverty by providing everyday low prices and jobs for hundreds of thousands of low-income people than the anti-poverty efforts of the Catholic Church in the countries where Walmart operates.
“In addition to reducing poverty with low-cost groceries, clothing and household goods, Walmart improves the lives of underserved individuals and communities with $1.4 billion in charitable giving every year, which is almost $4 million every day!”
Now, the bad news.
Unfortunately, a seemingly socialist/communist President now governs us (He likes profit for himself but hates capitalism for every one else). The result of this narrow vision is found in a report that shows there are “3 million more children in poverty (in the U.S.) under Obama” (Paul Bedard, 7/21/15).
“Ever since President Obama took office, the poverty rate among U.S. children has soared to 22 percent, with three million more children living in poor conditions, according to “the 2015 ‘KIDS COUNT’ report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation…The percentage of children living in poverty jumped from 18 percent in 2008, the year Obama was elected, to 22 percent in 2013.
“The rate of child poverty for 2013 ranged from a low of 10 percent in New Hampshire, to a high of 34 percent in Mississippi.”
So, capitalism has reduced poverty worldwide and in East Asia. America, the heart of capitalism has seen an increase in poverty under our socialist/communist President.
And that is only the beginning of our problems under Obama.