First, it should be clear there never was too little food. The idea that consumption by the rich leads to world hunger is an idea too juvenile for most 6-year-olds who are avoiding their peas. The reason real poverty has been in hurried retreat is the advance of freedom. The freedom to trade, to choose one’s occupation and make a life for oneself has always been the best remedy against poverty (real or otherwise). The diminishing share of the world’s population ruled by tyrants is a near perfect correlate of real poverty; and, where real poverty remains, tyranny looms close overhead.
For us denizens of the first world, this is unambiguous good news, for there is no greater economic truth than growth in one region leads to growth in others. The hope of a future makes fertile the growth of democracy, civil liberties and peace. So on this matter at least, it is helpful for us to put aside our relatively minor first-world problems, and give thanks for a better world.
Michael J. Hicks, Ph.D., is director of the Center for Business and Economic Research and an associate professor of economics at Ball State University. Contact him at email@example.com.