If you care about the poor, you should be in favor of markets

W. Michael Cox, director of SMU’s William J. O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom, talks about the benefits of markets and a market economy.

By Scott Beaulier

W. Michael Cox, an economist at Southern Methodist University, and author (with Richard Alm) of a very important book titled Myths of Rich and Poor has a new video out putting America's development experience in perspective. Like most of Cox's work it's data driven and tells a story of how underdeveloped America was back in the early 20th century.

Back in 1900, Americans lacked things we take for granted today: four or five day work weeks, refrigerators, air conditioning, indoor plumbing. Today, we are living at standards that kings and queens just 200 years couldn't even imagine. Technological spread explains some of this rise in standards of living, but as Cox makes clear, America's commitment to a market economy is what makes our experience in the 20th century truly remarkable.

Scott Beaulier is Chair of the Economics and Finance Division and Director of the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University.