Arthur Brooks knows his stuff. He has had a vested interest in poverty since he was a young sprout. With a heart for the people and a desire to make a change, he decided to do some digging and figure out what best combats poverty. What he discovered is worth listening to.
Most Americans believe that poverty has gotten worse since we were children. If you ask Americans, “Has poverty gotten better or worse around the world?” 70% will say that hunger has gotten worse since the early 1970’s. But here’s the truth, here’s the epiphany that I had that changed my thinking: from 1970 until today, the percentage of the world’s population living in starvation levels… that percentage has declined by 80% since I was a kid. It’s the greatest anti-poverty achievement in the history of mankind. What did that? There are five reasons that 2 billion of our brothers and sisters have been pulled out of poverty since I was a kid. Number 1: globalization. Number 2: free trade. Number 3: property rights. Number 4: rule of law. Number 5: entrepreneurship. It was the free enterprise system.
Surprise! Free market capitalism is responsible for more people being brought out of poverty than any other idea in the history of humanity. What Brooks didn’t say? That the opposite of capitalism, socialist marxism or communism, is the WORST idea to bring people out of poverty. Related: Watch Bernie Sanders Openly Praising Fidel Castro. Trashing Freedom.
Brooks concluded his talk by imploring people to be actively thinking about both sides of the equation: the poor and the free market. He challenged the stigma that conservatism is all about capitalism and liberalism is all about poverty. He tried, and maybe with some people succeeded, to illustrate how the bleeding heart left can work with the capitalistic right to end poverty.
I applaud him for this. Truly. Here’s a guy who uses his caring to actively solve a problem. The only issue I see here is that often, with the left, caring is all that matters (read OPINION: Liberals are Feeling the Issues, not Thinking about Them). I care, therefore I’ve made a difference. Wrong. Sadly many on the left (not all, many) don’t actually want the problem of poverty solved. Without poor people who need government, government cannot grow. Without goverment growing, government isn’t needed. If people don’t need government, people can be free. If people can be free to live their own lives…
See the problem? Leftism pays lip service to helping, but often it doesn’t want to actually help. Leftism seeks to grow, it seeks control. People living their own lives without leftism is a problem.
Still, for those intellectually honest leftists who do care about the poor and want to see poverty eradicated? The solution is capitalism. Arthur Brooks is dead on right about that. So come to the capitalist side. We have cookies. You just need to pay for them.