3: Capitalism in history.
- Capitalism has been the most successful socioeconomic system in elevating people out of real poverty the world has ever seen.
- John Addison Teevan, in his work Integrated Justice and Equality, states (p91):
Per capita income, which had merely doubled over 2,500 years until the Industrial Revolution (roughly 1800), has increased by a factor of forty. Schoenfeld notes that real per capita income has nearly tripled since 1960, and the bottom quintile has risen so that it is now living at the economic level of the former middle class.
Worldwide, income per person had merely doubled over 2,500 years prior to 1800. The result was the cause of an agrarian economy where wealth was fixed for the most part. Since 1800, worldwide income per person has increased forty times. The result is the cause of capital markets.
- Steven Horwitz (Foundation for Economic Education), referring to an idea from Deirdre McCloskey, states:
If you multiply the gains in consumption to the average human by the gain in life expectancy worldwide by 7 (for 7 billion as compared to 1 billion people), humanity as a whole is better off by a factor of around 120. That’s not 120 percent better off, but 120 times better off since 1800.
Here too, the rapid enhancement of the human experience is drastic, and a direct result of capital markets.
- Two revolutions were required for this transformation to occur: democratic and industrial. Democracy took the power from kings and dictators, often interested primarily in accruing wealth at the expense of others, and gave it to the people. The Industrial Revolution gave people power and opportunity to earn money and create new things, democracy insured that the ruling authorities wouldn’t take it away.
- Until after WWII, there wasn’t enough food grown or produced per year to sustain the global population. Humanity lived in incessant food shortage, poverty meant literal starvation. Capitalism allowed for the creation of new systems and technologies to boost food production. Starvation is no longer a facet of absolute lack, but where it exists, it largely stems from corrupt governments and roadblocks.