Keywords: Absolute Poverty, Capitalism, Economic Growth
The prevailing image of a “capitalist” may be an American businessman, but a survey of the world’s economies reveals that, like poverty, capitalism has many faces. To begin a systematic analysis of whether capitalism is good for the poor requires a working agreement on just exactly what capitalism is. Merriam-Webster defines capitalism as an economic and political system in which a country 's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. For the most part, capitalism can be viewed as complex system based on inequality and monopoly. It may be beneficial due to the ...
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...se. While it would be a mistake to suggest that the task is less than daunting, it is nonetheless true that adopting policies and practices that foster the introduction and strengthening of capitalist institutions – the rule of law, competitive markets, property rights, and incentives for entrepreneurship and innovation – hold the greatest hope for improving the lot of the world’s impoverished millions.
When examining the question, “Is Capitalism good for the Poor?” the evidence presented makes a strong case for answering “Yes”, and is in fact the best option at reducing poverty. Capitalist economies with high levels of market competition are those with the best record of reducing poverty and elevating overall standards of living. Capitalism only fails to benefit the poor when it is combined with a political system based on corrupt, incompetent or autocratic rule.
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