Think back to the mid-1980s, when terrible famine was ravaging Ethiopia and images were splashed across TV screens and in newspapers worldwide. Then look at a report from The World Bank released this past January, noting that poverty in Ethiopia dropped 33 percent from 2000 to 2014. The report credited high and consistent economic growth, and noted that since 2005, agricultural growth — in a country once overrun by hunger — was responsible for a reduction in poverty of 4 percent per year.
I believe all the above numbers are ones Pope Francis would appreciate.
Now, is there still plenty of work to be done — God’s work, as the pope would say? Absolutely. But capitalism can and should play a role in that effort, as Brooks — himself a devout Roman Catholic — staunchly proclaims in the video.
“I will state, assert and defend the statement that if you love the poor, if you are a good Samaritan, you must stand for the free enterprise system, and you must defend it, not just for ourselves but for people around the world,” he said. “It is the best anti-poverty measure ever invented.”