De Jouvenel aptly wrote “strangely enough” to characterize the fact that as capitalists raised standards of living in each succeeding generation, the hatred of capitalists increased instead of diminished. This is paradoxical, but true. The more prosperous our society has become, the more the creators of that prosperity and the system that enables it have been vilified. How dare those wicked capitalists break the iron grip that abject poverty had held over the masses of human beings throughout millennia of history!

This graph of world per capita wealth over the last two thousand years tells an amazing story. (A chart of US per capita GDP growth shows a similar trajectory over the last 230 years.)



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