Sunday, October 25, 2009
It is fashionable in certain circles to twist one's hanky over poverty around the world, and the vast gulf between rich and poor. But, according to one way of looking at it, at least before the present global recession both absolute poverty and the gap between rich and poor were shrinking rapidly.
From a moral standpoint, the gap is irrelevant - the reduction in absolute poverty (Poverty 1) is what is important. The gap is a social matter, which we respond to because of our evolutionary history - if one in a hunter-gatherer tribe has significantly more, it does imply shenanigans, and we are still wired that way.
Rather than true WEALTH distribution, which is logistically impossible...most leftists have become content with true MISERY distribution.
I suspect that is what this study really is measuring.
You can rob people of their wealth...but you cannot rob them of their capacity to create wealth.
That's the basic fallacy of utopian social planning.
Wealth has never been the zero-sum game the left presumes it to be when they talk about redistribution.
The wealth of societies has always been a bootstrapping process with manual labor being the prime thing of value early in the process.
Start with a rock, pressure flake it to a sharp edge, and now you've got a stone "knife" or ax head, and increased your "wealth" and it cost you nothing but time and a free rock.
Leverage your stone ax, and you've got the tools to build a rudimentary home using materials available for free. Etc. etc.
Even the worst hell holes of the 3rd world moved beyond the stone tools phase of wealth creation in the later half of the 20th century and are able to gain greater wealth creation leverage with each iteration.