Capitalism gives the poor of the world the best chance for a better life!!!

U2’s Bono Speaks at GU Global Social Enterprise Event

Published on Nov 13, 2012

Musician and activist Bono spoke to more than 700 Georgetown students and leaders in the corporate, nonprofit and political sectors on Nov. 12 at an event hosted by the Global Social Enterprise Initiative (GSEI) at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.

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I never thought I would say that U2’s Bono would agree with Milton Friedman but recently he did say that capitalism gives the poor of the world the best chance for a better life!!!
Back in 1980 I read the book “Free to Choose” by Milton Friedman and in that book I read these words:
There is an enormous amount of poverty in the world everywhere. There is no system that’s perfect. There is no system that’s going to eliminate completely poverty in whatever sense. The question is, which system has the greatest chance? Which is the best arrangement for enabling poor people to improve their life? On that, the evidence of history speaks with a single voice. I do not know any exception to the proposition that if you compare like with like, the freer the system, the better off the ordinary poor people have been.
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Many times people come into the poor countries in Africa and they believe that big government is the answer to building a great society. That is not the case. Milton Friedman has asserted:

The fundamental principal of the free society is voluntary cooperation. The economic market, buying and selling, is one example. But it’s only one example. Voluntary cooperation is far broader than that. To take an example that at first sight seems about as far away as you can get __ the language we speak; the words we use; the complex structure of our grammar; no government bureau designed that. It arose out of the voluntary interactions of people seeking to communicate with one another. Or consider some of the great scientific achievements of our time __ the discoveries of an Einstein or Newton __ the inventions of Thomas Alva Edison or an Alexander Graham Bell or even consider the great charitable activities of a Florence Nightingale or an Andrew Carnegie. These weren’t done under orders from a government office. They were done by individuals deeply interested in what they were doing, pursing their own interests, and cooperating with one another.

This kind of voluntary cooperation is built so deeply into the structure of our society that we tend to take it for granted. Yet the whole of our Western civilization is the unintended consequence of that kind of a voluntary cooperation of people cooperating with one another to pursue their own interests, yet in the process, building a great society.

I was so impressed with this statement that I actually emailed the White House about it.

July 31, 2013 10:59AM

Bono: Only Capitalism Can End Poverty

This is a great day. For years, Bono has been something of a pain, banging on about the need for billions of dollars in Western foreign aid to Africa. I have criticized him for ignoring the real source of African poverty – lack of capitalism – on numerous occasions.

But, unlike many who hate capitalism without reservation, Bono is open to changing his mind. Here is Bono giving capitalism its due recognition during a recent speech at Georgetown University. As the musician put it, when it comes to poverty “free enterprise is a cure.”

Indeed, the evidence is overwhelming.

According to the World Bank, global poverty is declining rapidly. In 1981, 70 percent of people in poor countries lived on less than $2 a day, while 42 percent survived on less than $1 a day. Today, 43 percent live on less than $2 a day, while 14 percent survive on less than $1. “Poverty reduction of this magnitude is unparalleled in history,” wrote Brookings Institution researchers Laurence Chandy and Geoffrey Gertz in a recent paper. “Never before have so many people been lifted out of poverty over such a brief period of time.”

As far as Africa goes, inflation adjusted per capita incomes rose by an astonishing 97 percent between 1999 and 2010. That is good news for Africa and for humanity. More people should recognize it.

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