The Ultimate Global Antipoverty Program
Extreme poverty fell to 15% in 2011, from 36% in 1990. Credit goes to the spread of capitalism."... In 1978 China began allowing private agricultural plots, permitted private businesses, and ended the state monopoly on foreign trade. The result has been phenomenal economic growth, higher wages for workers—and a big decline in poverty. For the most part all the government had to do was get out of the way. State-owned enterprises are still a large part of China’s economy, but the much more dynamic and productive private sector has been the driving force for change.
In 1991 India started dismantling the “license raj”—the need for government approval to start a business, expand capacity or even purchase foreign goods like computers and spare parts. Such policies strangled the Indian economy for decades and kept millions in poverty. When the government stopped suffocating business, the Indian economy began to flourish, with faster growth, higher wages and reduced poverty.
The economic progress of China and India, which are home to more than 35% of the world’s population, explains much of the global poverty decline. But many other countries, from Colombia to Vietnam, have enacted their own reforms.