Even a couple of years of declines in GDP and relatively high unemployment will not overshadow the remarkable economic achievements during these decades. These include unprecedented growth in GDP in formerly poor to very poor countries, such as Japan, South Korea, China, India, Malaysia, Chile, Spain, Portugal, and others. Growth in mainly market-oriented developing economies swept away dire poverty from hundreds of millions of families in Asia, Europe, and South America. This sustained growth also led hundreds of millions of others into middle class status, where they could afford to buy cars, well-equipped homes, television sets, cell phones, computers, and other goods that not long ago were considered well beyond the means of the typical family in all but a few countries.
The financial crisis does not prove that capitalism has failed any more than a plane crash disproves the laws of gravity.