Before the spread of capitalism, there existed extreme poverty. Global extreme poverty is defined by the United Nations as living on less than $1.90 a day.
This might be difficult hard to believe for some, but in 1990, 32 percent of the world population lived on less than $1.90 a day.
The pace of progress has been fierce since then.
By 2005, the numbers had gone down to 20 percent and by 2015 it had been further reduced to 10 percent.
Given this rate, it’s expected that extreme poverty will be eradicated within the next 20 years.
How did this happen?
[Tweet “Our ability as humans to be creative and work together has been the key.” ]
When humans decide to work together, their potential is outstanding. They have the ability to crush rampant diseases, crush poverty, stop constant warfare, and dwindle infant and maternal mortality.
By working together we’ve developed the rule of law, open markets and the ability for us to have a free exchange of goods and ideas. And more recently, the advent of a powerful interest in social entrepreneurship.
In short, in half a century, capitalism has nearly eradicated or drastically reduced almost all material old world problems.
Life for us has drastically improved, go back 5,000 years when life was hard, poverty was everywhere, and life expectancy was low. Back then one in three had the chance of dying before the age of five.
If you manage to make it to your mid-teens you were winning. If you made it through adult life without being taken out by any of numerous diseases out there, you were still likely to die before the age of 40.
Things didn’t get better for a long time. Until about the industrial revolution in the late 18th and 19th century, before then everyone lived under $3 a day.
Then the new world of capitalism began first in Holland and England.
This is growth and wealth happened, incomes rose and better living conditions happened.
For the first time, people were able to easily feed themselves and their families. They actually had money to invest in new innovations, which in turn created these prosperous cycles that continue today.
Today it is a much different world; today the poorest live better than the richest back then. This is thanks to capitalism, which has made the world wealthier, safer, wiser, happier and freer than before.
The ability for us to grow not just in wealth but in our ability to make more things that make life easier is what has saved us. If it were not for the wealth of capitalism and our ability to be innovative we still would be using ineffective ways to treat diseases.
Lucky for us we have a different outcome than our ancestors and we live an unimaginable life compared to them.
Sonia Rina Landry is a passionate entrepreneur, speaker, author, and personal development coach. She is an outspoken advocate of the free market economy and has helped countless clients identify their core values, envision and realize goals that resonate with those values. She oversees several businesses online and offline.