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Capitalism - The Third World


 

Icon by Perry de Havilland
of samizdata.net.

Summary - How to end poverty in the third world

Why is the Third World poor?

Left-wing Charities

Anti-capitalist and Anti-globalisation protesters

Naomi Klein

Capitalism and globalisation are the solutions to poverty

The total wealth of the world keeps increasing.

World wealth per capita keeps increasing.

World health keeps improving.



The Third World

One thing I hope we can all agree on: It is a disgrace that in the 21st century real poverty, famine, malnutrition and lack of medical care still exist on earth. The dispute is over what will actually work in changing this state of affairs.

What needs to happen to make Africa rich like us?



Summary - How to end poverty in the third world

Make Poverty History sums up the inability of people to understand the cause of third world poverty and famine, and conversely, the cause of western prosperity. Yes, it is brilliant that millions of people are focused on how to end poverty in Africa. But Make Poverty History promotes the delusion that the solution to poverty is:
  1. Aid.
  2. Debt relief.
  3. Fair trade.
And that:
  1. The main problem is to get the West (for example, the G8) to change.

In reality, the solution to poverty is:

  1. Democracy.
  2. Free speech and a free society.
  3. Capitalism.
  4. Free trade, not fair trade.
And:
  1. The main problem is that Africa needs to change.

Aid, Debt relief and Fair trade are not the answer

To elaborate, aid and debt relief, when given to governments that care about their citizens, might do some good, at times of emergency at least (long-term aid may distort markets and cause harm). But poor countries do not have good governments, or they would not be poor. They have rotten governments, which stamp on political freedom and economic freedom. Aid and debt relief, when given to dictatorships like these, fuels civil wars, genocide, arms purchases and palace building; fills Swiss bank accounts; and distorts markets, often increasing poverty.

Africa must adopt western values

The solutions to poverty are well known. If it is ever to become prosperous, Africa must abandon dictatorship, socialism, communism, Islamism, pan-Arabism, statism, protectionism, tribalism, superstition, racism and corruption, and must adopt western values of: democracy, capitalism, science, free speech, freedom of religion, free press, a free society, property rights, the rule of law, the ability to make binding contracts, free enterprise, minimal bureaucracy, minimal taxation, minimal state enterprise, and free trade.



Is there anything the West can do?

Is there anything the West can do to help end poverty? Yes there is:
  1. Make Africa change. Declare a long term goal of ending all dictatorships in Africa. Declare that the goal is to establish capitalist democracies in all of Africa. Simply saying this would be a huge step forward.

  2. Work towards that goal. Sanction dictators. Seize their assets. Support dissidents. Link aid, loans, trade and arms to democratic reform. There are many methods of ending dictatorship other than by war (though war should always be an option).

  3. Scrap all agricultural subsidies in the EU and the US.

  4. End trade barriers. Of course, many trade barriers are internal to Africa. But we can at least end the external ones.


African aid and lack of growth v. Asian growth and lack of aid


African stagnation over the last few decades.
Stats from Angus Maddison.


Dramatic Asian growth over the last few decades.
Stats from Angus Maddison.




Live 8 and Make Poverty History


Live Aid and the Ethiopian communist democide, 1985

The cause of famine that charities dare not talk about: third-world governments.



Why is the Third World poor?




The correlation between lack of political freedom and poverty. Freedom House, 2001.



The correlation between lack of political freedom and poverty. Freedom House, 2004.



The correlation between democracy and prosperity.
From Rudolph J. Rummel.



The correlation between lack of economic freedom and poverty.
From The Heritage Foundation, 2006.





Left-wing Charities




Anti-capitalist and Anti-globalisation protesters - The spoiled, rich enemies of the poor

Capitalism and globalisation are the solutions to third world poverty. Anyone who cares about the third world should promote globalisation and economic freedom. Anti-globalisation protesters are spoilt, rich children who want to prevent the rest of the world from enjoying the fruits of capitalism that they have grown up with. They are worse than immoral. Poverty is not funny. Poverty is not a matter of living in a squat or not having enough for a pint. Poverty is a matter of watching your children starve and die.





Naomi Klein




Capitalism and globalisation are the solutions to third world poverty





Opinion survey, Apr 2008, shows that most people, both in the West and in the third world, agree with me, not with leftists like Naomi Klein.
Most people in the world want to become rich (or at least comfortable), and they are very interested in how the rich countries got rich.
Only in France and Turkey here is there a plurality stupid enough to dispute the free market.
And in France's case it is only a decadent pose, since the free market made France herself rich, and France is despite everything one of the most free market countries in the world.
This survey provides grounds for optimism about the developing world. For instance, with 66 percent support for the free market, China's future looks bright. They adopted some of the West's worst ideas in the 20th century (socialism and totalitarianism). Let's hope they're going to adopt the West's best ideas in the 21st century (capitalism and democracy).




The future - Will Africa allow free markets?



The total wealth of the world keeps increasing

The total wealth of the world keeps increasing. It has been this way since around 1400 AD.


Year (AD) 1400 1500 1600 1650 1700 1750 1800 1850 1875
World 44.92 58.67 77.01 81.74 99.80 128.51 175.24 359.90 568.08

Gross world product, 1400-1875 (in billions of 1990 dollars). It keeps increasing.
Stats from here.


Year 1900 1920 1925 1930 1940 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000
World 1.102 1.733 2.102 2.253 3.001 4.081 5.430 6.855 9.126 12.137 15.149 18.818 22.481 27.539 33.644 41.016

Gross world product, 1900-2000 (in trillions of 1990 dollars). It keeps increasing.



World GDP growth, 1961 to 2007.
It is never negative. Every year, the total wealth of the world increases.
See full size. From here.




Wealth per capita keeps increasing

The total wealth of the world keeps increasing. However, the world population has been increasing. So one must consider whether wealth per capita has been increasing. The answer is yes.


Year (AD) 1500 1600 1700 1820 1870 1900 1913 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2006
World 566 596 615 667 873 1262 1526 1962 2113 2775 3736 4521 5162 6053 7275

World GDP per capita (in 1990 dollars). It keeps increasing.
Stats from Angus Maddison.
See graph and graph and graph.




World GDP per capita over the last 200 years. It keeps increasing.
Note how the world's wealth really takes off after 1950, that is, after the age of imperialism.
Our wealth is not based on slavery or imperialism. That is just a Chomskyite fantasy.


World GDP per capita over my lifetime. It keeps increasing.


 

World GDP per capita over recent years. It keeps increasing.
In the next 100 years, the entire world may become rich like us. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

  

The world is getting richer and more equal.
From Max Roser. Sources here.



From Max Roser.



From Max Roser.


  

Hans Rosling illustrates the incredible improvement in world wealth (and health) since 1800.
BBC program "The Joy of Stats". Colour coding:

Africa    Asia    Middle East    Americas    Europe




World health keeps improving




World life expectancy keeps improving.
From here.
See future projection.



Infant mortality keeps reducing.
Warning: Figures after 2008 are projections.
From here.



"The World as 100 people" over the last 200 years.
From Max Roser.



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