Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Free Trade And Prosperity
Kevin Williamson waxes eloquent on one of his pet subjects - the glories of globalization. In the process he trashes a foolish, uninformed NY Times opinion writer (Paul Theroux).
Beyond the shopworn banality of his prose (“the catfish farms and the cotton fields and the blues bars . . . the gun shows and the church services and the football games”) Theroux is guilty of thinking and analysis that is beyond sloppy — he fails to account for the basic facts of the case. The South was an extraordinarily poor and backwards place until the day before yesterday. In the 1950s, about half of the households in the South didn’t have indoor plumbing. The economic transformation of the South in the past 50 years has been astounding, a success story for the ages.
As it has been for what development nerds sometimes call the “global south.” Just as the gentlemen of the Times were putting the headline on Theroux’s daft little tantrum, the World Bank published its estimate that this year — this year, not at some point in the happy-happy future — the number of people living in extreme poverty on this planet will dip below 10 percent for the first time in the history of the human species.