Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Inequality vs. Poverty

Sometimes it takes a quote (from Utah State’s James Harrigan) to put perspective on what morons we humans can be:

Poverty, on the other hand, is a real and pernicious evil. In the entire history of the human race, no one has ever died of inequality. But far too many have died of poverty.

Too many people are unaware of the extent to which economic growth has reduced poverty. Routine estimates put the numbers in the range of hundreds of millions of people in your lifetime alone. These are people who avoided a good chance of premature death.

But economic growth creates inequality. And too many people think the way to reduce poverty is by reducing inequality. Reducing inequality would be nice, but we have a history of centralized action spending trillions of dollars to reduce inequality … and not being very successful at it.

Meanwhile, the decentralized engine of economic growth keeps making those efforts look foolish.

The whole article is not required reading.

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