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The Growth of Freedom


Published: May 11, 2021

The world is an extraordinarily better place than it was just a couple of centuries ago. Notably, free societies with more robust economies have been on the rise. There is reason to be optimistic as the long-term trend toward more freedom and a higher standard of living continues.

Discussion Questions

  1. How good is capitalism at generating equality of opportunity?
  2. How is the world getting better?

Additional Resources

  • Listen as Russ Roberts and Milton Friedman discuss capitalism and freedom. Available here.
  • Read “Capitalism, Socialism, and Freedom,” by Peter Berkowitz. Available here.
  • Read “Socialism, Capitalism, and Income,” by Edward Lazear. Available here.
View Transcript

We have to keep ourselves open to the facts. 

The facts are that the world has become better and better over time. 

The 19th Century was better than the 18th Century. 

The 20th Century was better than the 19th Century. The 21st Century is going to be better than the 20th Century. 

And the ratio of people who live in free countries to the total population of the world has surely been going up throughout these past two centuries. 

It went up most dramatically recently when the Berlin Wall fell, when the Soviet Union went out of existence. So, there’s reason to be optimistic.