Liberty as the Remedy to Poverty: Socialism as a Cause

My talk before the Oxford Libertarian Society on “Liberty as the Remedy to Poverty: Socialism as a Cause” is available in video form. (Unfortunately, my writing on the flip chart is not readable, but the most important bit is the chart on the huge change in per capita GDP starting in the mid eighteenth century, which I’ve pasted below.)


3 Responses to “Liberty as the Remedy to Poverty: Socialism as a Cause”

  1. Tom:

    I cannot seem to find this particular figure in the sources listed below it. Do you happen to have the exact reference for it, or did you create it from those sources? Many thanks for your help.

    Best wishes,

  2. Of course, one cannot get a complete picture of financial growth without considering debt. Assets minus liabilities equals shareholder equity. When Americans take home an extra few grand and the national debt goes up that much per man, woman and child, that is not growth. (Nor is it capitalism properly defined.)

    The Dow Jones Average first danced around 8,500 in 1997. For the most part, the Dow had been stagnant in the 10 to 11 range since 1999 other than around 9/11 and 2003. Considering inflation, it hasn’t even been ‘stagnant’. When the United States entered the depression in 1929 to 1932 and Roosevelt began massive public spending, the government didn’t have nearly the current extent of debt.

    I suspect it will be a disaster exceeding anything we have witnessed in modern times.

  3. I’m not sure I understand the relevance of Jen’s point (people are not richer today than fifty years ago because of the national debt?), but the chart appears early in “The Improving State of the World: Why We’re Living Longer, Healthier, More Comfortable Lives on a Cleaner Planet,”
    by Indur M. Goklany. (My copy has disappeared or been mislaid, but if you get a copy, it’s easy to find it in the first chapter.) The book is available at

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