I want to tie together two recent posts on the history of prosperity and economic inequality. The history of prosperity illustrates another reason why a focus on inequality is misguided. Historical norm was poverty For most of human history, almost everyone was poor by today’s standards. The graph below shows the percentage of world population living … Continue reading Another reason why focusing on inequality is flawed
Based on my personal observations, some people are overly negative about US economic results and living standards. They’re sure the poor are getting screwed, the middle class is stagnant, and economic success is no longer possible. They usually display this negativity in complaints about capitalism. Maybe this negativity is the anti-capitalist’s way of denying that … Continue reading Good news on poverty
Pope Francis has made several comments that are at least somewhat anti-capitalist. This is not totally surprising, since he hails from one of the most anti-capitalist countries on the planet, Argentina. He is not alone. Others have also questioned whether capitalism is compatible with Christianity. This then becomes a reason to criticize capitalism. Is capitalism … Continue reading Is capitalism compatible with Christianity?
Some people justify Big Government by claiming that it helps the Little Guy. This romantic view is largely political salesmanship. Big Government is more about helping politicians, government workers, and powerful special interest groups than the Little Guy. Let’s look at how government policies harm the Little Guy. Little Guy realities Before we begin, let’s … Continue reading Government helps the Little Guy?
The more I ponder the topic of capitalism, the more convinced I become of the importance of businesses. I used to think of businesses as generally a good thing because they provide jobs, but I see now that it’s much more. Everyone should want a business-friendly environment. Not because it helps businesses, but because it … Continue reading Why we should be pro-business
A couple of my recent posts discussed the immense prosperity gains much of the world has seen over the past couple centuries. The long-term track record of free-market capitalism is quite good and quite clear. However, some people say that the American middle-class has stagnated, and is little better off today than in the 1970s. … Continue reading Is middle-class stagnant?
People have become tremendously more prosperous over the past two centuries, at least those who live in countries that practiced something like free-market capitalism for a sustained period. In my last post, we looked at how incomes have grown in different parts of the world. In this post, the time machine will take us back … Continue reading Prosperity Time Machine (2 of 2)
I think one reason some people don’t appreciate free-market capitalism is that they take prosperity for granted. They don’t really notice how prosperity has improved over the decades, so they don’t really think about how it happened. This is somewhat understandable. The slow unfolding of events over decades and centuries makes it difficult for anyone … Continue reading Prosperity Time Machine (1 of 2)
The growth rate of the US economy has been in the news recently, for a couple reasons. First, economic growth in recent years has been lower than the historical average of roughly 3%. This has led some people to predict low growth as the new normal. Second, the budget released last week by the Trump […]
A couple of weeks ago, Puerto Rico (PR) effectively declared bankruptcy. Although I am no expert on the PR economy, based on my limited research, the mess down there seems to illustrate how too much government causes problems for an economy. We can all learn some lessons from this. What are the problems? Over the … Continue reading Lessons from Puerto Rico Bankruptcy