It's true that sometimes this blog suffers with an attack of the 'blues' but be fair, if there is anything of good cheer I try my best to report it. Today is one of those days, courtesy of Mr. Ross Clarke at the Coffee House, who blows a 'yuuuuuuuuuuuuge' raspberry at all those doomsayers who keep wailing that the end of the world is nigh.
For example, the likes of the increasingly ridiculous Al Bore Gore, little 'Georgie Moonbat' at 'The Graun' and all those well-paid executives of what I call the 'International Poverty Racket'. According to Mr. Ross's report, the world population is far from growing ever more poverty-stricken, in fact, just the opposite, as an average we are getting richer.
According to a Vienna-based think tank, the World Data Lab, a remarkable milestone was reached this week – for the first time, half the world’s population can be classified as middle class. Obviously, there is wide room for interpretation as to what constitutes membership of the middle classes – the World Data Lab defines it as the ability to afford a washing machine and to be able to go on holiday.
Sounds silly, that definition, until you think about it and realise that it is spot on!
The reality – however you define things like ‘poverty’ and ‘middle class’ – is exactly the opposite. War zones apart, people are getting richer almost everywhere in the world. The World Data Lab has two clocks on its website: one showing the world’s population and the other showing the number of people living in poverty – using the UN definition of poverty people living on less than $1.90 a day (adjusted for Purchasing Parity Power). While the former notches upwards every second, the latter notches downwards at a similar rate. Since 2000, the global poverty rate has halved.
The collapse of communism, the decision of more and more countries, like India and China, to adopt, even imperfectly, capitalism has led to a massive growth in wealth and prosperity. Of course, there are some exceptions:
There are the Somalias and Syrias, wrought by civil war. There is Venezuela, one of the few countries which has retreated from a market economy in recent years and where millions have been reduced to penury as a result – even though Jeremy Corbyn and others continue to champion it. [My emphasis]
En passant, so to speak, Mr. Ross also points an accusatory finger at western Europe where living standards have stagnated since the crisis of 2008/09. Even so, some good news is always welcome if only to drown out the never-ending dirge of les miserables!