Capitalism? Nah

Bryan Caplan’s EconLog post, Diseases of Poverty: Neglecting the Obvious is worth a read. He points out that solutions proposed on the Wikipedia entry for diseases of poverty focus on redistribution, rather than best proven solution:

It’s almost like the last two centuries never happened.  Quick recap: During the last two hundred years, living standards exploded even though the distribution of income remained quite unequal.  How is such a thing possible?  Because total production per person drastically increased.  During this era, no country escaped dire poverty via redistribution, but many escaped dire poverty via increased production.  And while the effect of moderate redistributive policies on growth is unclear, there is no doubt that populist and socialist movements determined to “tackle the inequitable distribution of money, power and resources” and “change the way that society is organized” sharply retard growth.

3 thoughts on “Capitalism? Nah

    • Good question, Mike. I imagine they believe that the affluent in that society became rich by stealing from the poor, so Robin Hood provides some karmic justice by stealing it back. Which, I suppose, is not all that different from how the affluent in our society is viewed.

  1. But how did the poor happen to have enough of anything worth stealing? Isn’t having nothing the definition of poor? And what they did have – in excess of their daily sustenance – they obtained via capitalism!


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