Must-read: Tim Worstall: “The Average American Today Is 90 Times Richer Than The Average Historical Human Being”

Must-Read: Tim Worstall: The Average American Today Is 90 Times Richer Than The Average Historical Human Being: “I have regularly tried to get over the idea that there is just no such thing as real poverty in the United States today…

…Absent those entirely outside our society through addiction or mental health problems there is just no one at all who suffers from what has been the usual human description of poverty. Actually, there’s no one at all in the US who has anything even close to what the human experience has been of poverty. By any historical, and by standards of all too large a part of the world today, all Americans are simply hugely, gargantuanly, richer than any but the fewest, most privileged, of our forefathers….

What should really leap out at you is how poor the past actually was. England in 1600 AD was at $1,000 a year. So, a little over 1.5 times what it is like to be in the poorest country in the world right now, that CAR. China was at this level in 1978: just goes to show you what an idiocy Maoist economics was. But note that this runs the other way too: the American living standard of today is about 50 times what it was in 1600 England, or 1978 China…. Real poverty is that $600 a year of the CAR or most of humanity for most of history, or the $1.90 a day that the World Bank today identifies as absolute poverty. America simply doesn’t have any of this. It just doesn’t exist and it hasn’t for at least half a century and was rare even a century ago.

January 14, 2016

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