Wealth creation

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 July, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 July, 2003, 12:00am

I refer to 'Needy world' (July 2).

Your anonymous correspondent says that capitalism exacerbates the unequal distribution of wealth and resources around the world.

This is made as a bald statement with no effort to produce any supporting evidence. Not surprisingly since, as a matter of fact, there is no supporting evidence for such a statement.

On the contrary, all the indicators that you might wish to examine show that liberal capitalism has brought major reductions in poverty and inequality, both within nation states and between nations.

World Bank figures show, for example, that in the 20 years from 1980 to 2000 the proportion of the world population below the poverty line dropped from 56 to 23 per cent, despite population growth in that same period.

Wealth creation in countries with relatively open markets has made this possible.

The main black spot remains Africa, and the troubles of that sad continent can be almost overwhelmingly attributed to misgovernance at best and outright corruption at worst.

It is not more transfer of wealth to poorer countries that is needed, but the moral courage in governments and international organisations to articulate the real problems and apply remedies that will free the peoples of poorer countries to match the achievements of the peoples of the liberal democracies.

TONY JUDGE, Heng Fa Chuen