The Patriot Post® · Massive Drop in Global Poverty Due to Free Market
The United Nations recently sought to celebrate the significant drop in global poverty seen over the past two decades. The UN noted, “Poverty has declined globally, from 1.7 billion people in 1999 to 767 million in 2013, a drop in the global poverty rate from 28 percent in 1999 to 11 percent in 2013. The most significant progress was seen in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, where the rate declined from 35 per cent in 1999 to 3 per cent in 2013.”
This is indeed good news, though the UN then erroneously tried to give credit where no credit is due: top-down government programs. The UN’s report highlights an example of a country that has “taken action to end poverty.” “The Government of Tanzania, for example, started a massive overhaul of its current national programme, the Tanzania Productive Social Safety Nets, to reach people living below the food poverty line.” Come again?
The UN would have people believe that Tanzania has seen its way out of abject poverty because of government programs. Have these UN eggheads not been watching Venezuela? The actual cause of declining poverty in Tanzania, as Chelsea Follett explains for Human Progress, is the free market. “The real cause of that reduction is pretty straightforward: economic freedom,” Follett writes. “Tanzania has gradually dismantled the socialist or ‘ujamaa’ economic policies enacted by the dictator Julius Nyerere, since he stepped down in 1985. Nyerere was widely praised by leftist intellectuals in developed countries for his sincere belief in socialism, relatively low level of corruption, and not intentionally slaughtering his own people like so many other dictators.”
The fact of the matter is that greater individual freedom coupled with a free-market economy is the greatest factor in diminishing poverty, not socialist, government-controlled economies. The individual will always have a greater interest in taking care of himself than will any government bureaucrat. When people are free to enjoy the fruits of their own labor, they are more apt to work harder and with more innovation than will those who find themselves and their labor owned and controlled by the state.