by James M. Roberts, Ryan Olson
The Heritage Foundation
September 11, 2013
Economic freedom has done more for the poor throughout the world than any taxpayer-funded government program ever could. The embrace of capitalism and the industrial revolution—when based on foundations of individual freedom, private property, limited government, and limited regulation—improved the lives of millions of people in the Western world. It not only led to the rise of the middle class, it spurred innovations in health care, education, and other so-called social goods. As a result of these freedoms, and the innovation and wealth that they fostered, the United States became the most prosperous country in the world. Economic freedom and prosperity also go hand in hand with improved health and health care, lower infant-mortality rates, better education, cleaner water, and improved sanitation. Today, economic freedom is vital to maintaining prosperity where it exists—and to lifting people out of poverty where it does not.