Good Forbes Article in Defense of Capitalism

Posted on October 6, 2010 by

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The past few posts have been somewhat critical of capitalism. In all fairness, its important to hear the other side. The following article was posted on Forbes and lays out a decent defense of capitalism.

Emancipation From What … Capitalism?

Brian S. Wesbury and Robert Stein, 10.06.10, 06:00 AM EDT

In the year 1000, the average infant could expect to live about 24 years. A third died in the first year of life. Hunger and epidemic disease ravaged the survivors. By 1820, life expectation had risen to 36 years in the west, with only marginal improvement elsewhere. After 1820, world development became much more dynamic. By 2003, income per head had risen nearly ten-fold, population six-fold. Per capita income rose by 1.2 per cent a year: 24 times as fast as in 1000-1820. Life expectation increased to 76 years in the west and 63 in the rest of the world.” —Angus Maddison, Contours of the World Economy.

To paraphrase economist Angus Maddison, for 1800 years progress was virtually non-existent, then it accelerated sharply. It takes a severe case of denial for someone to ignore these lessons of history. What they show is that when freedom prevails, the ingenuity and inventiveness of people creates incredible wealth. This is the true source of improvement in the human condition.

Read the rest at Forbes.com.

What are your critiques of the author’s arguments?

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