The Greatest Achievement In Human History That You’ve Never Heard Of

Posted: Jan 31, 2019 1:10 PM
The Greatest Achievement In Human History That You’ve Never Heard Of

Economic mobility and income equity remain strong in the Great Experiment; in fact, better than any civilization in the history of the world.  Anyone can improve themselves in America if they simply make the right choices and have persistence to leverage their God-given gifts to make it happen, regardless of their starting point in life.  The economic pie is not fixed; it is always growing, improving and allowing for new ideas to become a part of it.  For those who do not move out of their lower quintile the two key attributes which hold them back are 1) personal choices, which they can choose to adjust or change, and 2) inflation, which it’s destructive nature I discuss in Deflation: The Road to Prosperity and The Tragedy of Tuition Hyperinflation.   Choices and inflation can absolutely inflict people in any of the quintiles.  Inflation can be very insidious to people’s situation, especially when they do not understand economics.  “But it is important to attribute the worsening conditions to its real cause – inflation – not economic growth, and certainly not to the “ill-gotten” gains of those with higher incomes.”[1]

What this reveals is that income mobility is very dynamic over both short and longer term periods, which means that opportunity in the United States is as dynamic as ever and never stagnates, regardless of the rhetoric.  It is important to keep in mind, as Paul Jacob apply writes, “Poverty is reduced through economic growth, not through redistributing wealth from rich to poor countries,”[2] or rich to poor people.  Therefore, a dynamic and free people functioning in a free-market bring out the most robust wealth creation, while “income distribution is the extent to which all income rises over time with an expanding economy.”[3]

In fact, a brief aggregate review of income equity and economic increase from a global perspective shows stunning results.  Using the common unit of a $1/day income, researcher economists Maxim Pinkovskiy, of MIT, and Xavier Sala-i-Martin, of Columbia University, developed data which discloses that world poverty rate has drastically dropped from 26.8 percent in 1970 to 5.4 percent in 2006, which equates to the total of poor in this category of 403 million in 1970 and dropping to 152 million in 2006.[4]  The total world population in 1970 was 3.7 billion and 6.7 billion in 2006.[5]  American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks reports that:

It’s the greatest achievement in human history, and you never hear about it.  80 percent of the world’s worst poverty has been eradicated in less than 40 years.  That has never, ever happened before.  So what did that?  What accounts for that?  United Nations?  U.S. foreign aid?  The International Monetary Fund?  Central planning?  No.  It was globalization, free trade, the boom in international entrepreneurship.  In short, it was the free enterprise system, American style, which is our gift to the world.  I will state, assert and defend the statement that if you love the poor, if you are a good Samaritan, you must stand for the free enterprise system, and you must defend it, not just for ourselves but for people around the world.  It is the best anti-poverty measure ever invented.[6]

The above data on the decrease of world poverty is just one aspect which the Light of God that emanates from America impacts the world.   America’s mightiest weapon upon evil and destitution is the reflection of abundance derived from utilizing God’s gift in a productive and moral manner, based in Christian principles and values.

Though the United States may waver, and many enemies and dark agents assault it, its light still emanates from the rock upon which it rests; its founding principles and compact.   John Adams shed clarity upon this light when he wrote his wife Abigail, “Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of light and glory.”[7]

[1] David R. Henderson, June 2008, “Economic Inequality: Facts, Theory and Significance,” NCPA Policy Report No. 312, (National Center for Policy Analysis: Dallas, TX), p. 5.

[2] Paul Jacob, July 17, 2011, “UN-economic(s),”, [].

[3] Department of Treasury, November 13, 2007 (revised March 2008), “Income Mobility in the U.S. from 1996 to 2005,” (Washington DC: Report of the Department of Treasury), p. 2, [].

[4] Maxim Pinkovskiy and Xavier Sala-i-Martin, October 2009, “Parametric Estimates of the World Distribution of Income,” (National Bureau of Economic Research: Cambridge, MA), Working paper 15433, p. 1, Also see Figure 23, World $1/day Poverty Rate, Baseline, p. 53, [].

[5] Population figures taken from, [].

[6] Mark J. Perry, December 31, 2013 (Posted January 3, 2014), “Chart of the greatest and most remarkable achievement in human history, and one you probably never heard about,”, (American Enterprise Institute, Carpe Diem: Washington, D.C.), [], Emphasis added.

[7] John Adams, July 3, 1776, “Letter to Abigail Adams: Evening,”, (The Claremont Institute, Claremont, CA), [].