Capitalism isn’t winning a war on poverty, it’s massacring poverty. We’re winning the war. Disease, malnutrition, dehydration, unsafe working conditions, each of these is moving toward the good.
The World Bank has thoroughly studied the issue and the proportion of those living in extreme poverty has declined from 44% in 1981, to 35% in 1990, to 21% in 2010, to 10.7% in 2016. In China, the poverty rate fell from 41% in 1976 to 5% by 2001, when they abandoned the horrors of Maoism. The Indian economic reforms of 1990 caused a reduction from 50% of their population in extreme poverty to 22% today. Latin America saw their poverty decline from 41% to complete the palindrome at 14%
The benefits aren’t being felt by all. Certainly not those utterly victimized by NATO’s foreign policy in Yemen and Libya, nor our power struggle with Russia in Syria. They’re completely absent from Karl Marx-baptized in Venezuela. Our facts on North Korea are difficult to verify but it appears as though their well-being has been compromised.
In short, where the most vicious violations of the non-aggression principle apply, prosperity is absent. When people have more freedom they tend to choose what’s best for themselves. This is why freedom matters.
Entrepreneurialism is freedom. It’s freedom from dictation. It’s uncertainty and therein lies the risk but also the freedom of movement and the chance for increased prosperity. It’s having the capacity to schedule your day and engage in decision-making that maximizes your well-being.
Freedom takes many forms. Augustine taught us that a person is a slave to as many masters as they have vices; we can literally be slaves to distorts behind our will power – a will behind the will. Milton Friedman taught us that political freedom and economic freedom are intertwined – a person who can’t afford a trip to Cuba to see their friend get married is in the exact same position as a person who’s politically sanctioned from having a trip to Cuba.
It worth noting that in every case the greater good lies in freedom. The greater health lies in freedom, with non-aggression. Liberty is curing society’s greatest ills. It’s accelerated humanity to its highest level of well-being in our history.
Everything that can be done to encourage entrepreneurship, from a political perspective, ought to be done. Entrepreneurship is job creation – for those who wish a more stable and simpler life. Entrepreneurship is leading innovation. Entrepreneurship is leading medical research. Entrepreneurship is leading communications.
Gene Roddenberry once envisioned a future in Star Trek with lousy walkies-talkies as communicators but fantastic space travel. Shortly after the show’s original cancellation the Moon landing was completed, and space travel has had minor improvements (Voyager, the Mars landing) but nothing like Roddenberry’s vision, while I look at my smartphone I couldn’t help but notice communications have far surpassed Roddenberry’s vision. It should also be noted that communications are handled by entrepreneurs while until Elon Musk space travel was not.
It’s the greatest driving force behind elevating humanity’s capabilities. It’s turning science fiction into a reality. It’s improving the good and eliminating the bad. Liberty matters.