5 Myths about Economic Inequality
in America
  -Michael Tanner
"The belief that all wealth comes from stealing is popular in prisons and at Harvard." -- George Gilder
"Wealth is based on productivity, and productivity is expandable.  In fact, productivity is fabulously expandable." -- P.J. O'Rourke in Eat the Rich
"The perception of poverty as morally intolerable in a rich society had to await the emergence of a rich society." -- Nathan Rosenberg
"Of course the rich had cell phones first. But THAT is precisely what made it possible for poor farmers in Bangladesh to have them today, which they do." - Jim Miller
"Why I Don't Worry About Income Inequality" -Isaac Morehouse
4 MYTHS about Income Inequality BUSTED  HERE
THINK!   "If BOTH the factory worker AND the CEO get 30% raises, it's good for both, BUT THE GAP BETWEEN THEM GETS WIDER!"
- Marc Thiessen

In the U.S. 64% of those born in the poorest 1/5 move up. 11% rise all the way to the top. ─►
In the U.S. only 10% of the wealthy gained their wealth through inheritance; 3 out of 4 grew up poor or middle class. - from the Survey HERE
Dr. Thomas Sowell on Myths of Income
A Study in Cause and Effect
When you take a LONG-TERM perspective you can see that the spread of free markets and private property protections, and the industrialization those things allow, and CAPITALISM AND ONLY CAPITALISM IS ERADICATING POVERTY over time.  NO other system does that with such results being PERMANENT.
"Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man."
-- Robert A. Heinlein
"Capitalism did not create poverty
-- it inherited it."
-- Ayn Rand
"In capitalism wealth is created faster than it's consumed; in socialism it's the other way around." -- Rick Gaber
Putting Income Inequality
in Perspective

Are the poor getting poorer?
"The rich are getting richer, & the poor are getting richer."
Despite the coercive redistributionist control freaks' hysteria about income inequality, the income shares of the top 5% and 20% and the bottom 20% have been stable since 1993
Debunking the “Income Inequality Is the Great Economic and Moral Crisis of Our Time” Myth
  "The number of poor people who can't afford food for their children is a lot smaller than it used to be -- thanks to capitalism. Capitalism didn't create malnutrition, it reduced it. The globalization of capitalism from 1950 to the present has increased annual average income in the world to $7,000 from $2,000. Contrary to popular legend, poor countries grew at about the same rate as the rich ones. This growth gave us the greatest mass exit from poverty in world history.
   "The parts of the world that are still poor are suffering from too little capitalism. Foreign direct investment in Africa today, although rising, amounts to only 1% of global flows. That's because the environment for private business in Africa is still hostile. There are some industry and country success stories in Africa, but not enough." -- WILLIAM R. EASTERLY
Property rights help the poor even more than the rich
The Justice of Income Inequality Under Capitalism
"The freer the market, the more prosperous the people. The more controlled the market, the more prosperous the politicians."
- Rick Gaber

Poverty and Progress:
Realities and Myths About Global Poverty

ANGRY About Income Inequality?


Think Clearly about Income Inequality

Veronique de Rugy Discusses Income Inequality (audio) HERE
Celebrating Income Inequality!
The Income Inequality Canard

About the outrage
Learn Development Economics
at Marginal Revolution University
The Poor ARE Getting Richer
The Free Market Has Lifted Millions Out of Poverty

 Making Poor Nations Rich
Walter Williams: The Poverty Hype
Myths of American Rich & Poor   MORE
Governments  vs. Prosperity!
China & Wal-Mart vs. Inequality
A Dangerous Obsession
Mises on inequality
American Inequality Grows | So What?
Arguing Percentages & Other Irrelevancies
Who REALLY Cares?
Why Poor Countries are Poor
Africa, the basket case | The Cure
"For God's Sake, Please Stop the Aid!"
Africans need LAND RIGHTS | NOTaid 
Aid is for bureaucrats
Does Culture Matter?
Gnomonomics !
Johan Norberg's Q&A
Centralized vs. Multiple Economies
Economic Freedom = Growth
Prosperity, technology and
economic freedom
What is "Globalization" Globalizing?
What makes a people prosper?
A third world lesson
Africa's War on Self-Reliance
Cry, The Shackled Continent
How Live-Aid nitwits helped 100,000 people die
>| Environmentalist Murderers | Morons | More |
We have often heard references to the gap between rich and poor as having domestic policy implications. Now in the following, we finally see what its ultimate purpose really is: to serve as an excuse to call for and impose global dictatorship, apparently justified by what the author and his ilk blindly accept as though it were the one, the only, the "true" moral code:

"We just cannot afford any longer to indulge in the exercise of unfettered individual sovereignty ... If we do not accept such a submission to a world authority we shall not get peace.’

"…We have become a human community, WE MUST LIVE BY CONSENSUS OR DIE.* Only `pax planeta' will now suffice; only a return to the vision of the primacy of the United Nations in the global order will allow us the chance of a tolerable future. 

*Ed. Note: Is that meant to be an observation or a THREAT? Or a sneaky attempt at BOTH? 

"There is something shameful, even obscene, about the fact that, in the end-years of this century of dazzling progress and soaring affluence, some of it in the developing world, one in five of the world's people should be condemned to live in … absolute poverty. It is a cruel paradox that the number of people in poverty should be rising in a world that globalization has transformed, that freedom from want should remain unrealized for millions in a world in which the free market has so pervasively triumphed.**

"A key message of the latest Human Development Report is that THE GAP BETWEEN RICH AND POOR IN THE WORLD IS WIDENING EVERY DAY."  ---- excerpted from "A Vision More Compelling Now," The 15th Annual Attlee Lecture by Sir Shridath Ramphal (quoting Clement Attlee in part) at The Commission on Global Governance (to reform the United Nations), London, 18 February 1997 at .  [Italics or CAPS added.] Ramphal was co-chairman of the commission.

**Ed. Note: There is something shameful, even obscene, about the fact that the percentage of the worlds' people living in the most desperate poverty can drop from 88% to about 20% in less than 2 centuries, and self-important busybodies like this are bent on destroying the very foundations of what made it all possible.

Despite such demagogues’ appeals to envy (above), the situation of the poor has been improving since free markets started developing precisely BECAUSE of those markets and the freedom they blossomed in, NOT in spite of them. The "gap" between rich and poor is a natural, necessary, and even desirable component and hallmark of the improvement of the human condition. The implication that "the gap" has any moral significance in and of itself, without regard to its context, is worse than logically irrelevant.

In today’s context, in the face of the overwhelming evidence of the success of free markets, the purpose for screaming in horror about "the widening gap!!!" can only be to serve as a blatant affirmation of the control freaks’ hatred of those who help humanity through independent, private mutually-beneficial (profit-making and consumer-enriching) endeavor. These statists even advocate "solutions" which would result in the destruction of the means of these improvements in the human condition, perhaps because these private benefactors act independently (without the demagogues’ help). As Eric Hoffer said, "Nothing so offends the doctrinaire intellectual as our ability to achieve the momentous in a matter-of-fact way, unblessed by words." And, as Thomas Sowell said, "The talkers and writers resent being left on the sidelines by the doers."
The Poverty of the United Nations
80% of today's American millionaires are first-generation rich. -W.Williams
"I had one fundamental question about economics: Why are some places prosperous and thriving while others just suck? It's not a matter of brains. No part of the earth (with the possible exception of Brentwood) is dumber than Beverly Hills, and the residents are wading in gravy. Meanwhile in Russia, where chess is a spectator sport, they're boiling stones for soup." -- P.J. O'Rourke in Eat the Rich
"No politico-economic system in history has ever proved its value so eloquently or has benefited mankind so greatly as capitalism -- and none has ever been attacked so savagely, viciously, and blindly.  The flood of misinformation, misrepresentation, distortion, and outright falsehood about capitalism is such that the young people of today have no idea (and virtually no way of discovering any idea) of its actual nature. . ." -- Ayn Rand, from the Introduction to Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

"I see in the free trade principle that which will act on the moral world as the principle of gravitation in the universe - drawing men together, thrusting aside the antagonisms of race, and creeds and language, and uniting us in the bonds of eternal peace." -- Richard Cobden
"The free market, like life itself, isn't about fairness. Yet, oddly, at the end of the day it comes closer to it than all the alternatives -- no near-socialist system has ever managed to distribute power and wealth without some folks at the top getting the bulk of it and few ever having the chance to take their place." -- Prof. Tibor R. Machan

"An economy in motion tends to stay in motion, and an economy at rest tends to stay at rest.  A free market is constantly in motion. A centrally planned market slows until it eventually dies completely." -- Mike Ruff
"If you really want to improve the lives of the poorest, forget all this 'kumbaya socialism' -- which is a cocktail of bad economics and bad theology, held together by self-righteous candle-waving." -- Sean Gabb

How much economic freedom exists in
                              YOUR country?
Newer Links
A Half-Century of Development
Obama is desperately grasping for schemes to solve a non-problem
Enterprise Africa

Economic Freedom and Growth
The reason countries are poor
Africa's real enemies
A Liberal on Globalization
Globalization & Poverty in Mexico
The Convictions of a Convert
The inspiration for aspiration in India
Traditional aid perpetuates poverty
Price Controls & World Hunger
Self-Inflicted Poverty
Economic Freedom Spreads
Wealth is Good
Saving Capitalism  from  the Capitalists
COWBOY CAPITALISM: European Myths, American Reality
de Soto wins Friedman Prize for Liberty
Aiding and Abetting Poverty
In Defense Of Global Capitalism
A World Connected
Global Prosperity Initiative
The REALLY  Dangerous Gap
The WORST Unequal Distribution
Data shows the distribution of wealth is more equal in countries with a history of liberty
Narrowing gaps is unjust
"The Sweatshop Scam"
Commanding Heights
Economic Asininities
World Trade Opponents Exposed
"income inequality ... 'so what?' "
Islam and Development
Global greed screed
A Tragic Continent
Reality Check for Redistributionists
INCREDIBLE STUPIDITY  WATCH:  UNICEF says trade causes poverty (!!!)
Globaleconblog at
Relevant references:
Economic Freedom of the World
Economic Freedom Report
Torturing Mobility Stats
Barriers to Productivity
Barriers to Entrepreneurship
The Vision of P.T. Bauer
Lessons from Down Under
Bureaucrats vs. The Poor
 The Generosity of Capitalism
Centralized vs. Multiple Economies
Sorry, Charley, But That's Not Capitalism
“Equality and Capitalism” by Donald Boudreaux
Capitalism: The ( misunderstood ) Solution
Foreign Aid to Africa Doesn't Help; It Hurts
Prosperity for The Third World
The Conquest of Poverty
Trade & Poverty
Shameless Frauds and Wretched People
The Gap Benign
"The Gap Is... Narrowing"
The Rising Curve of Wealth
Freedom as a Moral Good
The Foundations of a Free Society
FAQ's about progress and its sustainability
Population Studies in Development Economics
Population Density & Foreign Aid Fallacies
discredited old Development Economics dogma
"Sustainable Development," a dubious concept
Confessions of a Development Economist
O'Rourke on the Wealth Gap
Sowell on Income Inequality
Reed on Income Inequality
Mises on it
“Pulling Us Apart” by Charles W. Baird
"The Politics of Envy", etc.
"The Age of Envy"
The truth about U.S. income inequality
The Hinderaker-Johnson Study    More facts
Warning:Good News!
Myths of Rich & Poor
It's getting better all the time
The fixed quantity of resources fallacy
The insanity of multiculturalism
The hypocrisy of egalitarianism
self-righteous egalitarians get vicious
Trusting Politicians is VERY Unwise
Power Kills
Absolute Power Kills Absolutely
More freedom rankings
objections to freedom rankings
"Relative" Poverty
A History of Envy: Prehistory to Now
The State of Humanity
The U.N.'s Distortion of Rights
Messages to Would-be Redistributionists
Older Links
 Sustainable development or preservation of power?
A Desperation for Sanity & Reason
Insights into the Nature of Capitalism
Norberg makes documentary for UK Channel 4
Gillespie inteviews Norberg
It's the 3rd World that's "unsustainable"
The Causes of Long-Run Economic Growth
How European regulations worsen Africa's humanitarian disaster
Lithuanians find "sustainable development" plans counterproductive
Blaming Capitalism for the World Bank's Anti-Capitalist Policies
assaults on reason and individualism
Earth Summiteers' Corrupt Agenda

    "...the first thing to be aware of is that the basic principles of ethics or morality are widely disputed, not at all self-evident and uncontroversial. Thus at the least it should be clear that any claim that the moral or ethical opposes the technological and scientific is brazenly question begging, presumptuous.
    "Apart from the ongoing philosophical debate, we do have some clues lying about us as to what counts as basic in ethics or morality. ..." -- Tibor R. Machan in Ama Gi, Sept., 2001
     "I have presented the barest essentials of my system, but they are sufficient to indicate in what manner the Objectivist ethics is the morality of life -- as against the three major schools of ethical theory, the mystic, the social, and the subjective ... which represent the morality of death." -- Ayn Rand, "The Objectivist Ethics"

Most of the wealthy inherited their money, right? WRONG!!  But even if they did, it ain't YOURS to dispose of, anyway.
"Tax programs that are to provide the revenue for transfer payments and social services actually are aggravating the plight of the poor. After all, taxes like the corporate income tax, the estate tax, and many other business taxes imposed on the rich are taxes on economic production. They consume the very capital which creates jobs through investments, improves production and working conditions, and thereby raises wage rates. To advocate higher taxes on the rich, most of whom are highly productive businessmen and investors, is to expropriate the very means of capital investment that afford jobs and better living conditions for the poor. It is in the vital interest of the poor that there be wealthy promoters and investors who do not consume all their income. If allowed to, this group may build factories and stores, shops and other business establishments, all of which provide jobs and income. This is why, contrary to popular belief, progressive death duties do not diminish economic inequality; they are powerful instruments for creating it."
 -- Hans F. Sennholz, Death and Taxes,(1976), 1982, p. 37. 

The benevolent-malevolent counter-balancing in Government actions has fueled wealth inequality, not reduced it, and the voters appear to be largely oblivious to this reality.
     -from THIS page

On the lighter side:
A Shocking Study found that The Rich Make Money Faster Than the Poor !!! and

"Do you really believe the 'haves' have because they took it all away from the 'have-nots'?? Hellooo? "-- Bert Rand
HORRORS!  "Rich Remain Rich in Bush Stimulus Plan"-- headline, David Broder's column, Chicago Tribune, 1-14-2003
"The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken 
"But I want you to LOVE ME!!!!"-- Franz-Josef, Emperor of Austria-Hungary, screaming at a subject while having him horsewhipped. 
"Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries."-- Douglas Casey, 1992
If you're a non-productive busybody who sees that his days as a professional control freak or thieving politician are numbered due to the success of free minds and free markets, how do you go about destroying that success on a global scale while looking virtuous rather than evil? ? Well, here's one way.
Now, let's put that ancient "left vs. right" political spectrum back into the history books where it belongs....
Visualize World Police
Oh, and did you know the U.N. wants the power to tax also???

<BACK to  Selfishness  vs. "Selfishness"
<BACK to The Scholarship of Liberty

gapgraph.jpg from
Dr. Walter Williams debunks "The Poverty Hype" with FACTS on Income Mobility
And check out the charts HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE & HERE.
See how THE most FUNDAMENTAL disparity is in wealth CREATION HERE
   "Never mind the low wages and harsh living conditions of the early years of capitalism.  They were all that the national economies of the time could afford.  Capitalism did not create poverty -- it inherited it.  Compared to the centuries of precapitalist starvation, the living conditions of the poor in the early years of capitalism were the first chance the poor had ever had to survive.  As proof -- the enormous growth of the European population during the nineteenth century, a growth of over 300 percent, as compared to the previous growth of something like 3 percent per century."-- Ayn Rand
   "Economic growth was non-existent during the centuries 500-1500 -- and per capita GDP rose by merely 0.1 percent per year in the centuries 1500-1700. In 1500, the estimated European per capita income was roughly $215; in 1700, roughly $265." -- Andrew Bernstein
"In a poor country like ours, the alternative to low-paid jobs isn't well-paid ones; it's no jobs at all." --  Jesús Reyes-Heroles, Mexico's Ambassador to the USA

 |The fixed quantity of resources fallacy | scarcity |
| THE FIXED QUANTITY OF RESOURCES FALLACY  | "The Sweatshop Scam"  |  more | more | more |
|About ordinary envy vs. hatred masked as envy|
As Robert A. Heinlein said, "Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded -- here and there, now and then -- are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty."

In a modern open-market capitalist society, entrepreneurs get rich and the poor get better off as a result -- OF COURSE they're not going to get as rich as fast (duh). So, of course the gap thereby gets wider -- but the top AND BOTTOM of the gap both rise to levels much higher than before. The gap is widening?? Well, hooray for everyone’s sake! ESPECIALLY the poor!

If the rich weren’t free to "get ever richer," developing or investing in ever-increasing productivity, the poor would NEVER have any chance to improve their conditions at all, let alone to obtain their ever-increasing access to the latest tools of that expanding productivity, making every hour of their labor ever-more valuable. And YOU wouldn't EVER have the chance to read this or anything else brought to you by advanced technology. 

Freedom incents the creators to empower YOU and as many other people in the world as possible. There's little an entrepreneur likes better than a bunch of ever-richer loyal customers. Remember, the wealth you see around you didn’t always exist; it was and is CREATED wherever the right CONDITIONS OF FREEDOM (including the rule of natural law evenly applied, with the rigorous protection of individual rights including property rights and respect for contracts, effective prosecution of the perpetrators of force and fraud, and the ease of engaging in trade without the interference or "permissions" of politicians and bureaucrats) are established and guaranteed._

Now recognize the true nature and scope of evil and wherein it really lies. And don't be too limp a wimp to to call viciousness viciousness even if all your friends and neighbors fawn like groupies over any mantle of global "compassion" in which the evil appears to be cloaked.

Find: "Popular understanding of economics is at least two centuries behind economists' understanding of the economy." HERE
And: "Wealth is not a fixed quantity and one person's success does not come at the expense of others ... Economists have understood [that] for over two centuries, but moralists have not caught up." HERE
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men together in a society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
-- Frédéric Bastiat
   "Wealth, when you get right down to it, is not the cause of poverty." -- Mitchell B. Pearlstein, paraphrasing George Gilder

   "Ultimately it is only wealth that can reduce poverty." -- Thomas Sowell 

The rich are gettting richer, &
                              the poor are getting richer faster

  "If we want the whole world to be rich, we need to start loving wealth. In the difference between poverty and plenty, the problem is the poverty and not the difference. Wealth is good.  ... wealth is not a world-wide round-robin of purse snatching, and ... the thing that makes you rich doesn't make me poor. ... Without Productivity, there wouldn't be any economics, or any economic thinking, good or bad, or any pizza, or anything else.  We would sit around and stare at rocks, and maybe later have some for dinner. ... Wealth is based on productivity, and productivity is expandable.  In fact, productivity is fabulously expandable."-- P.J. O'Rourke in Eat the Rich

(Again)      "Wealth is based on productivity, and productivity is expandable.  In fact, productivity is fabulously expandable." -- P.J. O'Rourke in Eat the Rich
"of the vast increase in the well-being of hundreds of millions of people that has occurred in the 200-year course of the industrial revolution to date, virtually none of it can be attributed to the direct redistribution of resources from rich to poor. The potential for improving the lives of poor people by finding different ways of distributing current production is nothing compared to the apparently limitless potential of increasing production." --Robert Lucas
"...evidence abounds that the fundamental cause of Third World poverty is not First World greed ... it is the economic, political and social obstacles that developing nations themselves raise to progress by their aspiring poor." -- Katherine Kersten in the Minnesota Star Tribune,March 20, 1996

"The trade barriers at the borders of the rich world may have disappeared, but if [a banana picker in the Central African Republic] wants to sell his bananas abroad he first has to get them onto a ship bound for America or Europe. That takes 116 days, and an incredible 38 signatures -- each one an opportunity for some official to collect a bribe." -- Tim Harford, The New York Times

"Despite the head-shaking of the foes of free trade, it does seem that the ability to actually sell one's stuff would constitute an immediate improvement in one's economic prospects." -- David M. Brown

"When government will expropriate any wealth that people create, the present value of future output can actually be less than the value of the country's tangible resources. The power of predatory government to destroy wealth is truly awesome." -- Arnold Kling

"Look around: It just isn't true that countries get rich at each other's expense.
Would America be better off now if Europe and Japan had stayed poor after 1945? Did its jobs migrate, its economy stagnate, leaving rising poverty and chronic unemployment? Not exactly: America thrived. One of the things that helped it after 1945 was expanding opportunities for trade with other rich countries. Americans would be worse off today if Europe and Japan had stayed poor. What's changed? Why isn't this still true? In my view: Nothing; it's still true. The faster India grows, the better off every other country will be... I do not regard the prospect of global capitalism as 'harrowing.'  I regard it as the best opportunity for relieving human misery the world has ever seen."
-- Clive Crook, deputy editor of The Economist,in the February 25th, 1997 issue of Slate, in a letter to John Judis

  "I observed the talks and was shocked not only by the riotous atmosphere, but also by the protesters' misconceptions about trade, the WTO and the developing world. As an Indian national, I know only too well how lack of trade, investment and freedom keeps the world's developing nations in a state of perpetual poverty and environmental degradation. Sadly, the largely middle-class Americans who trashed Seattle last week had little if any comprehension of this fact." -- Barun Mitra, in a column in the Wall Street Journal 12-9-99. Mitra heads the The Liberty Institute, in New Delhi, India

 "The 'progressive' Left, even while wailing about international poverty, has long decried the Westernization of the 'developing world', the polite term for societies kept poor by socialist governments." -- from The Free Market Means Civilization by Lew Rockwell, President of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, originally published in,12-22-2000. 

  "The freer the market, the more prosperous the people. The more controlled the market, the more prosperous the politicians." - Rick Gaber   

  "Fortunately, political freedom and economic progress are natural partners.  Despite capitalism's lingering reputation as the [alleged] source of all the world's evils, the fact remains that every single democracy is a capitalist country.  Half a century of economic experimentation proved beyond doubt that tyranny cannot yield prosperity. ... Socialism collapsed because it is a policy of unrestrained intervention.  It tries to fix what is 'wrong' with the spontaneous, self-organizing phenomenon called capitalism.  But, of course, a natural process cannot be 'fixed.' ... Socialism is an ideology. Capitalism is a natural phenomenon." -- Michael Rothschild in BIONOMICS: Economy as Ecosystem

"When people act in their interests within common law, capitalism sprouts. Socialism, being unnatural, must be imposed from without." - Philip Schuyler

 "To get rich is glorious." -- Deng Xiaoping, former "Communist" leader, Peoples' Republic of China, trying to encourage entrepreneurs after giving up on a totally centrally-controlled economy

  "Not understanding the process of a spontaneously-ordered economy goes hand-in-hand with not understanding the creation of resources and wealth." -- Julian Simon

"The economic disasters of socialism and communism come from assuming a blanket superiority of those who want to run a whole economy." - Dr. Thomas Sowell, Professor Emeritus, Economics, Stanford University and The Hoover Institution

 "The market is not an invention of capitalism.  It has existed for centuries.  It is an invention of civilization." -- Mikhail Gorbachev, June 8, 1990

   "How a conflict-ridden, grossly over-populated place with no resources whatsoever gets rich is simple. The British colonial government turned Hong Kong into an economic miracle by doing nothing." -- P.J. O'Rourke in Eat the Rich

  "In terms of natural resources, Africa is the world's richest continent. It has 50 percent of the world's gold, most of the world's diamonds and chromium, 90 percent of the cobalt, 40 percent of the world's potential hydroelectric power, 65 percent of the manganese, millions of acres of untilled farmland as well as other natural resources.  Despite the natural wealth, Africa is home to the world's most impoverished and abused people. Of the 41 black African nations, only three (Senegal, Botswana and Mauritius) allow their people the right to vote and choose their own leaders. Only two (Botswana and Senegal) permit freedom of expression and criticism of government policies. In countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, Sudan, Chad and others, ethnic genocide has taken the lives of untold millions of innocent victims. Slavery is still practiced in the Sudan and Mauritania." -- Dr. Walter E. Williams

  "Another current catch-phrase is the complaint that the nations of the world are divided into 'haves' and the 'have-nots.'  Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." -- Ayn Rand

"What transformed the world of horse-drawn carriages, sailing ships, and windmills step by step into a world of airplanes and electronics was the laissez-faire principle." -- Ludwig von Mises in The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science

"Capitalism is not just a system for producing wealth. It is, above all else, a system based on the noblest moral principle: the protection of the individual's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Free markets are founded on the individual's right to pursue a career, trade the products of his effort, and enjoy the wealth he has earned without having to seek permission from others or pay ransom for the privilege of living." --Robert W. Tracinski

"For years, statist development experts had sought top-down solutions, operating under the implicit assumption that poor people in the Third World were largely incapable of entrepreneurship. De Soto utterly rejected that patronizing viewpoint, and, beginning in his native Peru, focused on the lack of formal property rights as the source of poverty in poor countries." --Gene Healy

"The poor of India are far better off than they would have been if India’s economic liberalisation had not taken place, and there are far less of them than there would have been. This is not because they have died of starvation, but because of ... 'the explosive growth of the middle class'. Free markets aren’t magic, and past inequities don’t disappear as soon as the economy is opened up, but they are better than any alternative. ... One of the most pernicious myths of the last two centuries is of the unequal gains from capitalism. A landmark study titled 'Growth Is Good for the Poor', by David Dollar and Aart Kraay, surveys available economic information from 137 countries, over four decades, and demolishes the myth of the 'trickle-down effect'. In an open economy, wealth does not trickle down gradually from the rich to the poor simultaneously. Instead, 'incomes of the poor rise proportionately with average incomes'. Read the full report..." -- Amit Varma

 "Socialism is an ideology. Capitalism is a natural phenomenon." -- Michael Rothschild     

"When people act in their interests within common law, capitalism sprouts. Socialism, being unnatural, must be imposed from without." - Philip Schuyler

 "Capitalism is not an 'ism.' It is closer to being the opposite of an 'ism,' because it is simply the freedom of ordinary people to make whatever economic transactions they can mutually agree to." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

"Any stray mediocrity rushes into print with plans to control the production of mankind -- and ... no one questions his right to enforce his plans by means of a gun." -- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

"Cuba's poverty is caused by the crackpot Marxist doctrines imposed by its sociopathic ruler and promoted by half the liberal arts professors on American faculties." -- David Horowitz 

 "Bad and discredited ideas, it seems, never die.  Neither do they fade away.  Instead, they keep turning up, like bad pennies or Godzilla in the old Japanese  movies." -- Murray N. Rothbard  

"Most elected officials cling to their ideological biases despite the real-world facts that disprove their theories time & again." -- Larry Kudlow
"One of the most important reasons for studying history is that virtually every stupid idea that is in vogue today has been tried before and proved disastrous before, time and again." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell
   "The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us noble and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false." -- Celebrated Historian Paul Johnson
   "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." ~ George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1906
   "When Western countries in the past were as poor as Third World countries are today, these Western countries nevertheless had one big advantage: There was no large and influential class of the intelligentsia to impede their progress with unsubstantiated theories and counterproductive propaganda." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell  

"There is no error so monstrous that it fails to find defenders among the ablest men." -- Prof. John E. E. D. Acton   

 "Incessant preoccupation with statistical disparities is one of the luxuries of an affluent and sheltered life.  Do not expect someone who has ever had to go hungry to get upset because some people can only afford pizza while others can afford caviar." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell (who began life hungry)
   "It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance."--  Murray N. Rothbard
   "Our supplies of natural resources are not finite in any economic sense. Nor does past experience give reason to expect natural resources to become more scarce. Rather, if history is any guide, natural resources will progressively become less costly, hence less scarce, and will constitute a smaller proportion of our expenses in future years." -- Julian Simon


   "It is your mind that matters economically, as much or more than your mouth or hands. In the long run, the most important economic effect of population size and growth is the contribution of additional people to our stock of useful knowledge. And this contribution is large enough in the long run to overcome all the costs of population growth." -- Julian Simon

   "Wealth may provoke envy, but it seldom provokes the truly venomous levels of resentment provoked by achievement. There is no surer way for a minority group to become hated than to enter a country as destitute immigrants and then, through long hours of hard work, rise to a level of prosperity above that of the indigenous population." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

  "Those who say that all cultures are equal never explain why the results of those cultures are so grossly unequal." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

"Arnold writes: 'If you think that culture matters but institutions do not, look at North and South Korea. If you think that culture does not matter at all, look at differences among different ethnic groups within countries.'
"South Korea/North Korea per capita income ratio: 14.[14 to 1] (Source: CIA World Factbook)
"American Asian/American black average household income ratio: 1.9.[1.9 to 1] (Source: U.S. Census)

"From a global standpoint, it sure looks like economic policy (a term I prefer to the vague 'institutions') matters a lot more than culture." -- Bryan Caplan

See: "where the mainstream development economists' writings drip with condescension for the apparently helpless poor, Bauer's words glow with good will and respect. The inhabitants of the developing world are people, he reminded us. They need freedom too." HERE.
"The idea that foreign aid is a route out of poverty and political instability is not only bankrupted but a cruel and evil hoax as well." -- Dr. Walter E. Williams

"Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries." -- Douglas Casey
 "If concern for human poverty and suffering were one's primary motive, one would seek to discover their cause.  One would not fail to ask : Why did some nations develop, while others did not?  Why have some nations achieved material abundance, while others have remained stagnant in sub-human misery? History and specifically the unprecedented prosperity-explosion of the 19th century would give an immediate answer : capitalism is the only system that enables men to produce abundance - and the key to capitalism is individual freedom." -- Ayn Rand, "Requiem for Man", Chapter 24 of Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

     "Some of the anti-capitalist impulse goes back to that hunter-gatherer mentality and not comprehending the complexity of the market economy," says [Marian Tupy, editor of]. "The complexity outpaced our ability to understand it."

     But even those who don't understand markets should open their eyes and acknowledge its benefits: World-wide, wherever economic freedom is allowed, millions of people have lifted themselves out of stoop labor and miserable poverty.
                                    -- from This Column by John Stossel 

  "The benefits of securing the freedom to create wealth are significant -- especially for the poor. 'In nations in the top fifth of economic freedom, the average income of the poorest 10 percent of the population was $6,877 compared to just $823 in the least free nations,' according to the 2004 Economic Freedom Report, which ranks 123 countries on such policies as taxation, property-rights protection, and freedom to trade internationally. The report also shows that poor countries that embrace economic freedom accumulate wealth  faster: From 1980 to 2000 poor countries whose economies were relatively free of government interference had economic growth rates of 5.2 percent per year, compared to 3.4 percent for all economically free countries." -- Gabriel Gasave
"Western civilization was the child and product of reason -- via ancient Greece.  In all other civilizations, reason has always been the menial servant -- the handmaiden -- of mysticism.  You may observe the results.  It is only Western culture that has ever been dominated -- imperfectly, incompletely, precariously and at rare intervals -- but still, dominated by reason.  You may observe the results of that." -- Ayn Rand

   "Today, in the Twenty-First Century, an age of jet aircraft, personal computers, wireless telecommunications, laser surgery, and incipient space travel, the mentality with which many presumably educated, intelligent people approach matters of economics and business is, however astonishing it may seem, still that of the Dark Ages."-- George Reisman

   "Most Americans living below the official poverty line have air conditioning, microwaves and VCRs. About half have a car or truck. Moreover, most of the people in the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution in 1975 have also been in the top 20 percent at some point since then. ... People who are genuinely poor all their lives still exist, but only about 3 percent of the American population remains in the bottom 20 percent for as long as a decade." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

 "Not understanding the process of a spontaneously-ordered economy goes hand-in-hand with not understanding the creation of resources and wealth." -- Julian Simon
   "America's abundance was not created by public sacrifices to the common good, but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes." -- Ayn Rand

   "Scratch the surface of an endemic problem -- famine, illness, poverty -- and you invariably find a politician at the source."--  Simon Carr, in his review of The Mystery of Capital by Hernando de Soto

  "You can bet the rent money that whatever politicians do will end up harming consumers. Economic ignorance is to politicians what idle hands are to the devil.  Both provide the workshop for the creation of evil." -- Walter E. Williams

   “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither.  A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.” -- Milton Friedman.

  "From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently.  Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time." -- F. A. Hayek
  "If welfare and equality are to be primary aims of law, some people must necessarily possess a greater power of coercion in order to force redistribution of material goods. Political power alone should be equal among human beings; yet, striving for other kinds of equality absolutely requires political inequality." -- Tibor R. Machan in Private Rights and Public Illusions
   "There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal." -- F.A. Hayek

"Here is a truism about the wealth of nations: Zero-sum games do not increase it. Historically, the welfare of the poor always--always--depends on putting people in a position where their best shot at prosperity is to find a way of making other people better off. The key to long-run welfare never has been and never will be a matter of making sure the game’s best players lose." -- David Schmidtz

   "...the question becomes, are you going to have everyone play by the same rules, or are you going to try to rectify the shortcomings, errors and failures of the entire cosmos? Because those things are wholly incompatible. If you're going to have people play by the same rules, that can be enforced with a minimum amount of interference with people's freedom. But if you're going to try to make the entire cosmos right and just, somebody has got to have an awful lot of power to impose what they think is right on an awful lot of other people. What we've seen, particularly in the 20th century, is that putting that much power in anyone's hands is enormously dangerous." -- Thomas Sowell, in an interview in Salon11-10-99

   "The idea that 'the public interest' supersedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others." -- Ayn Rand

   "So many idealistic political movements for a better world have ended in mass-murdering dictatorships. Giving leaders enough power to create 'social justice' is giving them enough power to destroy all justice, all freedom, and all human dignity." -- Thomas Sowell
   "Anything other than free enterprise always means a society of compulsion and lower living standards, and any form of socialism strictly enforced means dictatorship and the total state.  That this statement is still widely disputed only illustrates the degree to which malignant fantasy can capture the imagination of intellectuals." -- Lew Rockwell  

"capitalism vigorously pursued has never produced the atrocities ... produced by statism vigorously pursued' - Don Boudreaux, here:     

.    "I consider socialism an obscene ideology, doomed to end in either total self destruction or total dictatorship." -- Pamela Hemelrijk, Leiden, Holland, April 3, 2004.04.16   

Professor R. J. Rummel, who keeps track of such things, now estimates that in the 20th century 262,000,000 people were murdered by their own governments.  And all these horrors were perpetrated by collectivist governments for the alleged sake of "the proletariat," the "master race," and especially, "the greater good." None were done by countries based on individualism.  See:

   "All socialism involves slavery." -- Herbert Spencer

"Many Western journalists, in contrast to revolutionaries, do not treat ideas seriously, and therefore fail to recognize the power of ideas in action. They don't realize that chaos and brutality must accompany a determined effort to implement ... thorough-going socialism." -- Prof. Morgan O. Reynolds

  "There is no error so monstrous that it fails to find defenders among the ablest men." -- Prof. John E. E. D. Acton
  "The secret dread of modern intellectuals, liberals and conservatives alike, the unadmitted terror at the root of their anxiety, which all of their current irrationalities are intended to stave off and to disguise, is the unstated knowledge that Soviet Russia [was] the full, actual, literal, consistent embodiment of the morality of altruism, that Stalin did not corrupt a noble ideal, that this [total control of all human activity and the brutalizing and murder of millions of citizens] is the only way altruism has to be or can ever be practiced." -- Ayn Rand

   "The Nazis are well remembered for murdering well over 11 million people in the implementation of their slogan, 'The public good before the private good,' the Chinese Communists for murdering 62 million people in the implementation of theirs, 'Serve the people,' and the Soviet Communists for murdering more than 60 million people in the implementation of Karl Marx's slogan, 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.' " -- Rick Gaber

   "No amount of IMF, World Bank and other handout interventions can bring prosperity to repressive nations." -- Walter Williams, here

   "Scratch the surface of an endemic problem -- famine, illness, poverty -- and you invariably find a politician at the source."--  Simon Carr, in his review of The Mystery of Capital by Hernando de Soto 

"You can bet the rent money that whatever politicians do will end up harming consumers. ... Economic ignorance is to politicians what idle hands are to the devil.  Both provide the workshop for the creation of evil." -- Walter E. Williams

  "When will the world wake up and realize that most politicians, especially in the poorest countries of the world, are nothing more than glorified gangsters who view government as simply a fiercely-guarded monopoly on every form of compulsion and extortion to be perpetrated in a specific geographical area?  Why do you think the largest amounts of 'foreign aid' extracted from the gullible diplomats of wealthier countries wind up in those politicians' pockets or Swiss bank accounts, despite all the virtuous-sounding rhetoric?" -- Bert Rand

  "How a peaceful, uncrowded place with ample wherewithal stays poor is hard to explain. How a conflict-ridden, grossly over-populated place with no resources whatsoever gets rich is simple. The British colonial government turned Hong Kong into an economic miracle by doing nothing."-- P.J. O'Rourke in Eat the Rich
"This government never furthered any enterprise but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way." -- Henry David Thoreau in his essay, "Civil Disobedience"

"I own I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive." -- Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 12/20/1787


"The trick, of course, is that doing nothing in the public policy world allows much more to be done in the real world." -- Thomas Hazlett in the March, 1997 issue of Reason


"Government does not cause affluence.  Citizens of totalitarian countries have plenty of government and nothing of anything else." -- P.J. O’Rourke


"The only justifiable purpose of political institutions is to assure the unhindered development of the individual." -- Albert Einstein


"One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

"Many Western journalists, in contrast to revolutionaries, do not treat ideas seriously, and therefore fail to recognize the power of ideas in action. They don't realize that chaos and brutality must accompany a determined effort to implement ... thorough-going socialism." -- Prof. Morgan O. Reynolds

"No 'middle class' worth the name aspires to economic benefits without bothering to acquire the skills to produce the wealth to make those benefits sustainable." -- Holman Jenkins
"To embrace a collectivist system ... and thereby jeopardize sustained economic growth, inevitably misallocate scarce resources, and almost necessarily perpetuate destitution, hardly merits moral acclaim. Indeed, intellectuals in general and church leaders in particular who bewail the continued existence of poverty absolutely defined, and who state that they yearn for a world in which the hungry are fed, the naked clothed, and the destitute housed, yet who ceaselessly undermine the very system which, to date, has best done what they claim to value most, are, surely, moral imbeciles." -- The Reverend Doctor John K. Williams

"Capitalism is not an 'ism.' It is closer to being the opposite of an 'ism,' because it is simply the freedom of ordinary people to make whatever economic transactions they can mutually agree to." -- Dr.Thomas Sowell

"Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it." -- Thomas Sowell

"Anything other than free enterprise always means a society of compulsion and lower living standards, and any form of socialism strictly enforced means dictatorship and the total state.  That this statement is still widely disputed only illustrates the degree to which malignant fantasy can capture the imagination of intellectuals." -- Lew Rockwell    

"But let’s be clear about one indisputable fact: capitalism vigorously pursued has never produced the atrocities – starvation, tyranny, and genocide – that are produced by statism vigorously pursued. Nothing remotely close." - Don Boudreaux
-- from  or  http://web.archive
"... as Mises observed, 'The essence of Keynesianism is its complete failure to conceive the role that saving and capital accumulation play in the improvement of economic conditions.' This failure is present in Krugman’s hostility to economic inequality." -- George Reisman of, HERE

   "Big business in America today and for some years has been openly at war with competition and, thus, at war with laissez-faire capitalism.  ... The left's attack on corporate ["crony"] capitalism is, when examined, an attack on economic forms possible only in collusion between authoritarian government and bureaucratized, non-entrepreneurial business.  It is unfortunate that many New Leftists are so uncritical as to accept this premise as indicating that all forms of capitalism are bad ..." -- Karl Hess

"Some people argue that regulation in the developed world is a good thing, but that poorer countries are under-regulated, which is a bad thing. They're wrong on both counts. A recent report by the World Bank found that businesses in poor countries face much higher regulatory burdens than those in rich countries. The combination of the presence of higher administrative costs and the absence of property rights can have a devastating effect. It takes 153 days to start a business in Maputo, but just 2 days in Toronto. There are 21 procedures to register commercial property in Abuja, but only 3 procedures in Helsinki. It costs 126 per cent of the value of a debt to enforce a contract in Jakarta, but 5.4 per cent of the value of a debt to do so in Seoul. If a debtor becomes insolvent and enters bankruptcy, creditors would get 13 cents on the dollar in Mumbai, but more than 90 cents in Tokyo. Where would you want to do business?" -- David Cameron

“It is grossly mistaken to suggest that technology is the reason for our prosperity. Clearly something else must be present -- something else that both promotes technological advance and, even more importantly, encourages the use of technological knowledge to produce and make widely available the goods and services that we Americans today take for granted. ... Again, that something else is economic freedom. ... As described by the Cato Institute, 'The cornerstones of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete and security of privately owned property.'  And as shown again and again by researchers who study the relationship between prosperity and economic freedom, the greater is economic freedom, the greater and more widespread is prosperity ….” -- Dr. Donald J. Boudreaux

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men together in a society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." -- Frédéric Bastiat

"It would be devastating to the egos of the intelligentsia to realize, much less admit, that businesses have done more to reduce poverty than all the intellectuals put together. Ultimately it is only wealth that can reduce poverty and most of the intelligentsia have no interest whatever in finding out what actions and policies increase the national wealth. They certainly don't feel any 'obligation' to learn economics..." 
- - Dr. Thomas Sowell

"Any stray mediocrity rushes into print with plans to control the production of mankind -- and ... no one questions his right to enforce his plans by means of a gun." -- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

"The perception of poverty as morally intolerable in a rich society had to await the emergence of a rich society." -- Nathan Rosenberg

"The attempt to make heaven on earth invariably produces hell." -- Karl Popper  

                          Cure for Poverty E-BOOK


"I would like to begin with what in our opinion, should not be done. And what we in Russia intend to refrain from doing [including] setting up barriers in the way of world trade and movement of capital.
[ ... ]

"The second possible mistake would be excessive interference into the economic life of the country. And the absolute faith into the all-mightiness of the state.

"Of course, the role of the state becomes more direct during crises – it is a natural response to the faults of the market. However, instead of improving market mechanisms there is always a temptation to enlarge the sphere of the immediate interference of the state in the economy.

"The flip side of the anti-crisis measures in almost every country is the concentration of the excessive assets in the hands of the state.

"During the time of the Soviet Union the role of the state in economy was made absolute, which eventually lead to the total non-competitiveness of the economy. That lesson cost us very dearly. I am sure nobody would want history to repeat itself." -- Vladimir Putin at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2009 

   "Any fourth grade history student knows socialism has failed in every country, at every time in history." -- Vladimir Putin at Davos, paraphrased by Scooter

% of people in extreme poverty over
Click on this map to watch the orange and brown disappear:
people living on $1.25 a day or less

The % of people who know world poverty is

"The Most Important Graph In the World":
World GDP -
                      last 2000 years
World GDP in the last 2000 years
Find an introduction to the differences between MULTIPLE ECONOMIES
Multiple Economies

Centralized Economies

Capitalism vs Socialism:

Entrepreneurs vs Autocrats

Makers vs Takers
Competition vs Monopoly

Flexibility vs Rigidity

Creativity vs Stagnation

Enthusiasm vs Resentment

Freedom vs Compulsion

"Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself."
- Dr. Milton Friedman
(One more time now):      "Wealth is based on productivity, and productivity is expandable.  In fact, productivity is fabulously expandable." -- P.J. O'Rourke in Eat the Rich

"The fallacies and contradictions in the economic theories of socialism were exposed and refuted time and time again, in the nineteenth century as well as today.  This did not and does not stop anyone; it is not an issue of economics, but of morality.  The intellectuals and the so-called idealists were determined to make socialism work.  How?  By that magic means of all irrationalists: somehow." -- Ayn Rand, HERE

"Politicians never accuse you of 'greed' for wanting other people's money -- only for
wanting to keep your own money."-- Joseph Sobran

"So long as each generation raises its own children, people from different backgrounds are going to be raised with different values and habits. Even in a world with zero barriers to upward mobility, they would move at different speeds and in different directions. ... If there is less upward movement today than in the past, that is by no means proof that external barriers are responsible. The welfare state and multiculturalism both reduce the incentives of the poor to adopt new ways of life that would help them rise up the economic ladder. The last thing the poor need is another dose of such counterproductive liberal medicine.  ... Many comparisons of  'classes' are in fact comparisons of people in different income brackets -- but most Americans move up from the lowest 20 percent to the highest 20 percent over time." --Dr. Thomas Sowell

"There is no limit to the hunger politicians have for the money you've worked so hard for. ... You can tell them to take a hike, but then the guns come out."-- Neal Boortz

"Marxism sounds vaguely groovy and compassionate when you live in the Hollywood Hills, as opposed to under any of the regimes responsible for between 85 million and 100 million deaths in the last century." -- Bridget Johnson

"The tenth commandment sends a message to collectivists, to people who believe wealth is best obtained by redistribution. And the message is clear and concise: Go to hell." -- P.J. O'Rourke, HERE

"There is NO better anti-poverty program ANYwhere than capitalism."-- Neal Boortz

"Every human institution includes some more or less severe malpractice -- journalism, I pointedly noted, as well as medicine, education, athletics and, do not forget, politics. ... There has always been not-so-hidden bias against this profession [business and commerce], evident since the beginning of recorded history and, especially, in the writings of philosophers and theologians." -- Prof. Tibor R. Machan

"[W]hen a percentage point of market share is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the people who can help you get that extra percentage point will command very large salaries." -- Charles Murray

"Well, of course capitalism is the cause of prosperity. Given the overwhelming evidence of the 20th century, only a New York Times reporter would regard this as a surprising or controversial conclusion." -- Robert Tracinski

"Anyone who has spent any time mentoring or working with poor families is familar with the maddening sensation of watching someone you care about make a devastating decision that no middle class person in their right mind would ever assent to." -- Jane Galt
"In proposing their array of welfare programs to help the poor, liberals operate under the mindless assumption that wealth exists naturally in a society. Even worse, they give nary a thought to the possibility that a society in which wealth is growing is the greatest benefit to the poor. Worst of all, they don’t consider the distinct possibility that their own tax-and-redistribute policies tend toward destroying the base of wealth in society, thereby relegating everyone to poverty." -- Jacob Hornberger

"The meaning ascribed in popular usage to the word 'selfishness' is not merely wrong: 
it represents a devastating intellectual 'package-deal,' which is responsible, more than 
any other single factor, for the arrested moral development of mankind." --Ayn Rand


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