For the first time in human history, “less than 10 percent of the world’s population will be living in extreme poverty by the end of 2015.”

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This is wonderful news and it is driven by a general tendency to liberalize markets. Resources now flow from one place to the next more easily than they ever have. As such entrepreneurs are more able to create wealth even in some of the most challenged parts of the globe. Freedom works. Liberty works. Economic decentralization works. Where allowed to flourish without undue burden the market makes life generally better. Where the market is largely restricted poverty continues to prevail. This we see from US inner cities to the suburbs of Paris to sub-Saharan Africa.

But let us focus on this good news.

(From FEE)

As scholars have noted, historically speaking, grinding poverty was the norm for most ordinary people. Even in the most economically advanced parts of the world, life used to be miserable.

To give one example, at the end of the 18th century, ten million of France’s twenty-three million people relied on some sort of public or private charity to survive and three million were full-time beggars.

Thanks to industrial revolution and trade, economic growth in the West accelerated to historically unprecedented levels. Over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, real incomes in the West increased fifteen-fold. But the chasm that opened up as a result of the Western take-off is now closing.

Click here for the article.