Interesting that a recent study shows that poverty is worse now than ever. I used to tell my college freshmen econ students I could end poverty overnight. (At the time, a family of 4 living on less than $9600/yr were considered poor.) The students wanted to hear my solution, which is actually quite simple: Get every family who make less than $9600, line them up, and shoot them. The student eyes would go the size of pie plates. After they settled down, I asked them: How long will it take before the guy making $9601 starts bitching that he's the poorest person in the land?
The point was that, unless everyone has exactly the same income, someone is going to feel poor. It's a battle you can't win unless you have a perfectly even distribution of income, and even a pure communistic state would have a hard time pulling that off. The discussion usually ended with me showing that free markets lead to higher standard of living for all members of society than the alternatives, even though it isn't perfect. Too bad the lesson is missed on Obama...
“The discussion usually ended with me showing that free markets lead to higher standard of living for all members of society than the alternatives, even though it isn’t perfect.”
Yes. I suppose a “perfect” system would result in 100% congruence between one’s efforts and talents, and the resulting rewards.
But as far as overall fairness and improving standards of living, free markets coupled with rule of law, property rights and Christian morality, is by far, the best system that has ever been developed.
The vast majority of the “problem” with free markets can be summarized in the 10th Commandment.