Why Does 1% of History Have 99% of the Wealth?

The latest video from Learn Liberty features Professor Deirdre McCloskey answering the question: “Why does 1% of history have 99% of the wealth?”

She explains that throughout the vast majority of history, individuals earned an average of $3 a day (in today’s dollars). That is, until the 1800s, when the average earning shot up drastically. Even more incredibly, in the last 30 years, the number of people who are as badly off as our ancestors has been cut in half.

People today aren’t rich because they exploit the poor, as many on the Left like to pretend, Prof. McCloskey explains. There have always been poor people and their presence didn’t cause wealth. The wealth that we enjoy is brought about by innovation, and the economic freedom to prosper.


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