October 1, 2007

Just some dry statistics....

Rich Lowry writes on how a strong global economy means there are a shrinking number of poor people in the world. Yes, yes, I know there are still a lot of them, and their plight can be be dire. But it isn't aid programs that are going to help them. Capitalism is the only answer. (Capitalism is not without a drawback or two, but it sure beats starvation!)

GLOBAL capitalism has long lacked for a ringing slogan like "workers of the world unite." It's never too late to find one, and a good candidate - with apologies to the international charity of the same name - might be "save the children."

The United Nations Children's Fund just announced that deaths of young children worldwide hit an all-time low, falling beneath 10 million annually. Better practices to protect against disease and to enhance nutrition - more vaccinations and mosquito nets, more breast-feeding and vitamin A drops - played a role, but the most important factor in this global good-news story is economic growth.

Tt is no coincidence that as UNICEF was reporting the drop in child mortality, the World Bank was reporting global poverty rates had fallen as part of an extraordinary worldwide economic boom. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson calls it "far and away the strongest global economy I've seen in my business lifetime."

The global economy is growing at a 5 percent clip, higher than the 3 percent of the period from 1960 to 1980 and the 4.7 percent from 1960 to 1980. As U.S. News & World Report points out, "Gross global product is three times as big as it was in 1970 so the global economy is not only growing faster, but there's more to grow.

In a worldwide instance of trickle-down economics, the growth is diminishing the ranks of the poor. According to the World Bank, developing countries have averaged 3.9 percent growth since 2000, contributing "to rapidly falling poverty rates in all developing regions over the past few years." In 1990, 1.25 billion people lived on less than $1 a day. In 2004, less than a billion did, even though world population increased 20 percent in the interim...
Posted by John Weidner at October 1, 2007 10:52 AM
Weblog by John Weidner