The answer to poverty, Freedom
The 2018 Index of Economic Freedom, an annual study that ranks 180 countries for their economic freedom using hard data, has now been published by The Heritage Foundation.
The results, when combined with poverty data from the World Bank, show that inhabitants of countries who enjoy high levels of economic freedom are far less likely to suffer from abject poverty.
In countries that rank in the top fifth, less than 1 percent of the population (on average) subsists on $1.90 per day or less. Meanwhile, in countries that rank in the bottom fifth, an average 27 percent of the population subsists on $1.90 per day.
This bottom tier is represented by economic freedom-repressed countries like Togo, Chad, and Niger. In Togo, roughly 50 percent of the population lives on $1.90 a day or less. In Chad, according to the latest data, the portion of the population living on $1.90 a day is 38.4 percent. In Niger, it is 45.5 percent, as of 2014.
Strongmen who disregard property rights or the rule of law to remain in power have been rewarded with billions of dollars in foreign aid from rich countries for decades. Despots and dictators have often used this aid to solidify their grips on power, such as by withholding food aid from groups that do not support them.
These strongmen and dictators often take credit for bringing foreign aid to their countries while depriving their country’s people of the economic freedom they would need to end the dependence on foreign aid.
NYT bestseller John Perkins’ Confessions Of An Economic Hitman