Regular readers know that I frequently cite pollster Scott Rasmussen’s #Number of the Day series from Ballotpedia. I do so because a.) his numbers often reveal some interesting truths about our world and b.) blogging is, at bottom, the art of making secondary or tertiary commentary on what other, smarter, harder-working people have thought, written, and done.
Yesterday’s #Number of the Day dealt with global poverty; specifically, Americans’ ignorance to the fact that global poverty has declined substantially over the last twenty years. Indeed, global poverty has been reduced by half in that time.
I’ll confess I was ignorant of the extent of this decline, too, although it makes sense that poverty has decreased, especially when you consider the rise of post-Soviet market economies in Eastern Europe and China’s meteoric rise since the 1980s.
I suspect that the perennial culprit of the Mainstream Media is to blame, in part, for this ignorance, coupled as it is with progressive politicians. The rise of “democratic socialist” candidates—as well as the lingering effects of the Great Recession—would have Americans believe that the global economy is in terrible shape, and that “underprivileged” parts of the world labor in ever-worsening poverty (so, let’s just move them all here—that’ll solve poverty!).
It’s refreshing to see that capitalism is working its economic magic, and people all over the globe are lifting themselves out of poverty. If representative republicanism and strong civil societies can take root and flourish in more places, the ingredients will be in place for continued economic and cultural growth.