World poverty is falling. Between 1970 and 2006, the global poverty rate has been cut by nearly three quarters. The percentage of the world population living on less than $1 a day (in PPP-adjusted 2000 dollars) went from 26.8% in 1970 to 5.4% in 2006.
Perhaps the most miraculous aspect of this is the fact that:
Although world population has increased by about 80% over this time (World Bank 2009), the number of people below the $1 a day poverty line has shrunk by nearly 64%, from 967 million in 1970 to 350 million in 2006.
Huge numbers of new people and yet a massive decrease in poverty - in absolute terms not just relative. Leftists who continue to talk of a crisis of capitalism or the disasters of globalisation are partaking in some strange fantasy.
On the other hand, Greens may have more of a point. It may well be right to worry what this increase in wealth and population might do to the planet. But the jury really is still out. In the meantime, we should take heart at this incredible achievement. Things for most people in the world just keep getting better.
H/t Marginal Revolution.