Yes, it is election season but still, this won't do


Sadly, we're in an election season, which means that we have those who would rule us displaying their ignorance of the universe we inhabit in pursuit of our votes. Guido has already picked up on this from Natalie Bennett of the Green Party: As newsrooms across the land stop what they are doing to read the Green Party’s response to Labour’s non-dom announcement, it is worth picking Natalie Bennett up on this:

“The last four decades have seen wealth accumulate at the top of society while those at the bottom struggle to get by.”

Now hold on just a darn prosperity-spreading cotton-picking second. Over the last four decades the world poverty rate – people living on a dollar a day or less – has plummetted. ..... in 1970 almost 30% of the globe was impoverished. 40 years later that number is as low as 5%

Or, as that graph above shows, it is actually the poor who have benefited from that globalisation over those decades. As Branko Milanovic explains here:

The top 1% of the global income distribution has seen its real income (adjusted for inflation) rise by more than 60% over those two decades.

What is far less known is that an even greater increase in incomes was realized by those parts of the global income distribution that now lie around the median. They achieved an 80% real increase in incomes.

It is there — between the 50th and 60th percentile of global income distribution, which in 2008 included people with annual after-tax per capita incomes between 1,200 and 1,800 international dollars — that we find some 200 million Chinese and 90 million Indians, as well as about 30 million each in Indonesia, Brazil, Egypt and Mexico. These 400 million people are among the biggest gainers in the global income distribution.

The real surprise is that those in the bottom third of the global income distribution have also made significant gains, with real incomes rising between more than 40% and almost 70%. (The only exception is the poorest 5% of the population, whose real incomes have remained about the same.)

This is, of course, why we here at the Adam Smith Institute support this globalisation, free market sorta stuff. We desire that the poor become richer, this socio-economic system makes the poor richer. Why wouldn't we support it?

More to the point, why would anyone oppose it? For, amazingly in human history, this is the only socio-economic system that does actually achieve this task.