Thursday, January 21, 2010

Quote Of The Day

David Frum, as part of a speech delivered in Venezuela:
Since 1990, more people around the planet have emerged from poverty than at any time in the whole previous history of the human race. They did so not under red flags and with clenched fists, but by buying and selling in the international economy.


Matthew said...

It might be true in essence, but it isn't literally true, is it? The Chinese flag looks pretty red to me.

Anonymous said...

I have to side with Matthew here. The East Asiatic version of capitalism (whether Chinese, Japanese, Singaporean etc)differs in many respects from the Anglo Saxon model, and it is pretty obviously this version that is lifting people out of poverty.

Meanwhile the Indian economy, while undoubtedly less hidebound, and more market oriented than it was 20 years ago, has made only slight inroads into that country's poverty level, despite the Bangalore phenomenon (ie a fast growing service IT based service sector).

Mark Wadsworth said...

David Frum might be a git, but he's hit the mark there.

As to China, just think how much wealthier they would be without the Red Flag!! A hundred years ago, Chinese living standards were not significantly below those in the rest of the world, but for nearly a century they stood still while the West moved forward.

If the Nationalists had won the civil war, the Chinese would be as rich as the Taiwanese, which appears to have a per capita five times that of the Chinese.

That's the end of that little discussion.

Ross said...

Matthew- yeah good point.

Anon- I don't think that is what Matthew was saying. Anyway India has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, which counts as more than a slight inroad in my view.

Mark- China would probbaly be better off had the nationalists won the civil war however a large reason for Taiwan's prosperity is the reforms carried out under American influence, if they had won the war they wouldn't have needed the Americans so much therefore a Nationalist China would not simply be like a large Taiwan.

James Higham said...

It's not the red flags but the blue flags with yellow stars and the light blue flag with a laurel surrounding the globe - this is where the trouble is today.