Capitalism Is Poverty, Socialism Is The Answer

You know those capitalist evangelists, those disruptive entrepreneurs that insist that capitalism will fix everything and we’ll be in this amazing future of AI-generated infinite wealth er… for.. everyone.

Apparently, they’re full of shit.

Text: 

Study Debunks
Capitalism as
Solution to
Global Poverty
A study by Dylan Sullivan and Jason
Hickel challenges the commonly held belief that capitalism is necessary for improving human well-being. " claims that capitalism delivered a steady and dramatic reduction in global poverty over time are not supported by the data"

Picture: A small child, looking starved. holds up an Apple logo to their mouth.

Highlights

  • The common notion that extreme poverty is the “natural” condition of humanity and only declined with the rise of capitalism rests on income data that do not adequately capture access to essential goods.
  • Data on real wages suggests that, historically, extreme poverty was uncommon and arose primarily during periods of severe social and economic dislocation, particularly under colonialism.
  • The rise of capitalism from the long 16th century onward is associated with a decline in wages to below subsistence, a deterioration in human stature, and an upturn in premature mortality.
  • In parts of South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, wages and/or height have still not recovered.
  • Where progress has occurred, significant improvements in human welfare began only around the 20th century. These gains coincide with the rise of anti-colonial and socialist political movements.

Sullivan, D., & Hickel, J. (2023). Capitalism and extreme poverty: A global analysis of real wages, human height, and mortality since the long 16th century. World development161, 106026.


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