Comment of the Day; No, Comment of the Month!
From the Hispanic Pundit, in response to this CD post "Our Poor Are the Envy of the World's Poor:"
At the risk of over-generalizing, there are two views to poverty alleviation: there is the approach of the "left," which tends to champion direct government involvement (welfare, etc.), and there is the approach of the "right," which tends to champion economic growth.
The problem is, the two approaches tend to be mutually exclusive. To get more government involvement, you need higher taxes and an increase in the size of government....two things that greatly harm economic growth. So in effect you have a trade off and a disagreement over which poverty solution is better - direct immediate alleviation, though one that may dramatically change incentives and behavioral patterns along with decreased economic growth, or you have the long term solution that increases economic growth and significantly increases the standard of living over time.
Comparing the standard of living from an earlier era shows in stark contrast the very real gains that economic growth produces, and how overwhelmingly larger they are than any immediate government program can possibly achieve. The same is true when you compare the standard of living in the United States (arguably the most capitalist country in the world) with the standard of living of other less capitalist countries.
Comparisons that show the significant gains from economic growth explain why the left avoids making such comparisons.