The Conversation

Take a Bow, Capitalism

One of the top stories on Fox Nation today is a video clip of Bono speaking at Georgetown University about the power of capitalism to lift people out of poverty. It turns out Bono actually made the appearance at Georgetown last November. While the clip is old it's still worth a look:

The video also gives me an excuse to excerpt an article published by the Economist in June of this year, but which I just came across about a week ago. It's called "Toward the End of Poverty" and it's message is very similar to the one Bono was delivering:

Poverty rates started to collapse towards the end of the 20th century largely because developing-country growth accelerated, from an average annual rate of 4.3% in 1960-2000 to 6% in 2000-10. Around two-thirds of poverty reduction within a country comes from growth. Greater equality also helps, contributing the other third... responsible for three-quarters of the achievement. Its economy has been growing so fast that, even though inequality is rising fast, extreme poverty is disappearing. China pulled 680m people out of misery in 1981-2010, and reduced its extreme-poverty rate from 84% in 1980 to 10% now.


The world now knows how to reduce poverty. A lot of targeted policies—basic social safety nets and cash-transfer schemes, such as Brazil’s Bolsa Família—help...But the biggest poverty-reduction measure of all is liberalising markets to let poor people get richer.

Capitalism deserves to take a bow.


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