Summary Of Wealth And Poverty

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Wealth and Poverty, written by George Gilder, is a depiction on how to increase wealth and curtail poverty. Gilder argues thoroughly throughout the book that society has been misled by popular economic theory and by general culture attitudes into only having a small percentage of wealthy people and having the majority of people in society living in poverty. He documents the ways in which the blighting of incentive has crippled productivity in society and shows how the essence of capitalism is not greed but giving by investing money and energy. Gilder states that the “golden rule” of economics is the idea that the good fortune of others is also finally ones own. The scientific basis of the golden rule is in the mutuality of gains from trade, in the demand, generated by the engines of supply, in the expanded opportunity created by growth, in the usual and still growing economic futility of war (Gilder, 9). The author discusses that Adam Smith, the founding father of Scientific Management, wrote in his book The Wealth of Nations, that the productive powers were very important to the rank of the people. However, Smith’s followers beginning with David Ricardo became engrossed with statistics and distributions. “This mode of thinking, prominent in foundation-funded reports, best selling economics texts, newspaper columns, and political platforms, is harmless enough on the surface. But its deeper effect is to challenge the golden rule of capitalism, to pervert the relation between rich and poor, and to depict the system as “a zero-sum game” in which every gain for someone implies a loss for someone else, and wealth is seen once again to create poverty” (Gilder, 10). Gilder states the statistical distributions can misrepresent the economy throughout the year, but it does not show the changes that occur with in the year and how it weighs on their distribution

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