August 16, 2002
The poor get richer too

Virginia Postrel has a cool column in the NY Times titled The Rich Get Rich and Poor Get Poorer. Or Do They? that takes apart the anti-capitalist claim about globalization ransacking the Third World. It's not really so:

In 1970, global income distribution peaked at about $1,000 in today's dollars, a common measure of poverty ($2 a day in 1985 dollars). In 1998, by contrast, the largest number of people earned about $8,000 -- a standard of living equivalent to Portugal's.

The biggest change in the picture of global poverty has come from India and China, where a genuine middle class has developed.

Postrel draws from the work of brilliant economist Xavier Sala-i-Martin. His web site is worth a visit.

Story courtesy of Glenn Reynolds.

Posted by RB on Friday, August 16, 2002