IFO joined a friend to attend a talk by Tom G. Palmer, esteemed promoter of freedom and capitalism at a downtown club in Portland. To get there, we met our friend, Rosemary, who quaintly describes herself as an “activist,” at a shopping center west of the city, then went in IFO’s car with Rosemary riding shotgun.
Palmer’s talk was excellent, his book “The Morality of Capitalism” looks like a good introduction to the subject, and it was fun for us to see old friends and make new ones. Going to a meeting when you know the people are going to be likely to have your own political outlook is a relief. You don’t have to be careful about what you say and how you say it.
A key idea we took away from Dr. Palmer’s talk was his discussion of poverty and its cause. He was asked by someone to discuss the concept. He said it was simple – the cause of poverty is lack of wealth. What an insight! We may have a post in more depth on this later.
He showed a chart of some research that measured poverty in low, medium and high income countries. The rate was always just about the same! The poorest two percent will always be the poorest two percent no matter how much wealth or how widely distributed it is in a country.
He talked about degrees of political freedom around the world and how wealth tracks freedom, with some exceptions. For example, Singapore, which someone had described as “Disneyland with the death penalty.”