A truly remarkable chart has surfaced that reveals that capitalism has sharply curtailed the scourge of global hunger.
The chart, provided by Human Progress, shows that the number of undernourished persons sharply declined from nearly 960 million to under 700 million:
There is clearly still work that needs to be done to ameliorate global hunger — as a little under 700 million malnourished people is still too high — but a decline of over 260 million malnourished people in a span of over 20 years is nevertheless amazing.
This Human Progress chart actually disproves two leftist myths: capitalism is causing hunger, and overpopulation threatens essential resources. For instance, businessman Drew Hanson argued in a February 2016 Forbes piece that “capitalism will starve humanity by 2050,” citing misleading statistics and claiming that capitalism would dry up the world’s resources as the population continues to increase.
“How do we expect to feed that many people while we exhaust the resources that remain?” Hanson wrote.
Another leftist who claimed something similar is environmentalist fear-mongerer Paul Ehrlich, as he actually argued in favor of population control. But economist Julian Simon believed that a rising population would result in more resources, not less, and Simon was proven right:
Simon and Ehrlich made a bet in 1980: if Ehrlich was correct, then commodities price would drastically increase with population growth, as a dearth of resources would naturally lead to less supply. However, as population has increased from 2 billion to 7 billion over the past 100 years, the commodities prices have actually decreased, according to The Federalist. This is because, as economist Phillip Verlerger once said, “Technology moves so quickly today that any looming resource constraint will be nothing more than a blip. We adjust.”
Indeed, the beauty of capitalism is that its respect for individual liberty and private property allows a free and prosperous people to produce goods that balances their skill set with market demand, creating a system that while imperfect, has created wealth that vastly improved society and made it easier to lift the poor and the hungry out of poverty.
Even as Western societies have started to embrace the welfare state, capitalism has still managed to touch the globe through free trade and globalization, allowing those who have never tasted freedom to have a chance at improving their living situations. Despite what the Left would have you believe, capitalism is the most humane system on the face of the Earth and is the true answer to alleviating global hunger and poverty, as the Human Progress graph illustrates.