Market-Based Reforms Drive Down Poverty

By Urban Reform Staff | Jul 30, 2019

In a time when young Americans seems to not just be embracing, but actively pushing, socialism, or some form of it, it’s refreshing to hear of the positive impact that capitalism and free market reforms have on those who need it the most.

The United Nations Development Programme recently released its 2019 Multidimensional Poverty Index. If you’re like most people, you’ve never heard of it, but it’s a report that highlights the number of people around the world who experience poverty in all of its forms. The report found that across 101 counties, 1.3 billion people (or 23 percent) are multidimensionally poor and half of those people are under 18.

But all wasn’t bad.

The report found that in India, 271 million people were lifted out of “multidimensional poverty” in just ten years, that’s a drop from 55.1 percent to 27.9 percent. Similarly, neighboring Bangladesh saw a reduction of its people in poverty by 19 million.

So, what did that?

The report identified economic and market-based reforms as one of the key drivers in reducing multidimensional poverty, even in jurisdictions with dysfunctional governments. This movement towards free markets and capitalism has not only allowed business to move into India but has provided a ripe environment for those looking to launch their own endeavors.

If it can work in India, it can work here. Sure, America has long embraced capitalism, but we don’t see it in places that need it the most: our cities. Overregulation and government interference dominate almost every aspect of urban life. India provides a glimpse of thee opportunities for our communities that need it the most if only we begin to re-embrace the idea of capitalism.

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