How prosperity generates poverty

Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Paul B. Trescott

05/09/06

There is a predictable annual ritual which begins when the Census Bureau releases its estimates that roughly one eighth of Americans live in poverty, and that this proportion has been relatively invariant in recent years despite the steady rise of per capita real incomes. This is followed by predictable rant by the anti-free-market crowd who lament the presence of an alarming number of children in poverty (a legitimate concern) and declaim that 'the system' must be seriously flawed and who advocate more heroic interventions to alleviate this condition. There follows a pro-free-market backlash which points out that a large proportion of the 'poor' own cars, color TV, air conditioning, and that compared to residents of mud huts in rural Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, or Brazil, the American poor aren't very poor...

http://www.mises.org/story/2140


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