Though we're at the tail end of the third coronavirus pandemic of the last 18 years, and a billion people in the world still use wood and dung for energy, and some people still starve, things are better than ever before. 

The mountains and valleys of feast and famine have tapered into gentle hills and science has made it possible for previously inhospitable regions to grow food.  That has meant prosperity. A decade ago the World Health Organisation set targets for income among the poorest, and those targets were met far ahead of schedule. 

One thing is true throughout history. When basic needs - food, shelter, energy - are affordable, culture and progress happen. A hamburger costs the same today as when I was a teenager.(1) When I was a kid, I was assured that worldwide starvation was just around the corner(2) because people still thought Paul Ehrlich and Jeremy Rifkin knew what they were talking about, but scientists and farmers instead use less water and less energy with less environmental strain on less land to make sure even the poorest people can afford to be fat.(3)

With all of the talk about the need for more taxes on the rich to give to poorer people, evidence doesn't show that mandatory economic parity will lead to more well-being in the future, other social factors will be the drivers.

With free markers, there is competition, and when disparity occurs, good things happen.

When there was true economic parity, before the advent of the oxen which made farming more efficient, there was no culture.  Everyone was equal, which meant no one was successful. Owning an ox allowed one person to do the work of 10. It created economic disparity that didn't exist when one person couldn't do all that much more work than another.

It also created civilization.

The question will become; how much is the moving target of each individual the responsibility of everyone else to manage? 


(1)  Cars, though, which are heavily regulated by the government, have gone up almost 300 percent  Is that a fair comparison? A high-end hamburger costs far more than a dollar while a $15,000 car today is of far higher quality than a $15,000 car in 1983. Plus in the early 1980s burgers sometimes went on sale for $0.49.

(2) Thanks for nothing, Billy Bragg.

(3) Obesity will soon be the number one lifestyle killer, overtaking smoking. It already would be except Europeans and Asians love cigarettes.