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
(This column is an edited repeat of one posted a year ago. I am reposting it because I have many new readers, and because this topic is important enough to repeat.) We have become tremendously more prosperous over the past two centuries, at least those who live in countries that have practiced free-market capitalism for … Continue reading History of prosperity (2 of 2)
(This column is an edited repeat of one posted a year ago. I am reposting it because I have many new readers, and because this topic is important enough to repeat. This post will look at incomes and the next one will look at products.) I think one reason some people don’t appreciate free-market capitalism … Continue reading The history of prosperity (1 of 2)
Based on my personal observations, a number of people think that natural resources make a country rich. Or that a country must have significant natural resources to become rich. Is this true? Let’s take a look. Resources are good Sure, it’s generally a good thing if a country has lots of natural resources like oil, … Continue reading Do natural resources make a country rich?
Big Government advocates often claim that we have government to thank for our modern 40-hour work week. In the bad old days, businesses forced employees to work super long hours, but then benevolent government stepped in and forced all businesses to limit the work week to 40 hours. How much of that is true? Let’s … Continue reading How did we get the 40-hour work week?
Historically, the US has been known as a beacon of freedom. Unfortunately, that reputation has become tarnished over the past ten to fifteen years. I’m referring to economic freedom, not political freedom. Economic freedom means that each person is free to work, produce, consume, and invest as they wish. This involves personal choice, voluntary buying … Continue reading US not the beacon of freedom you think
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)