A fun result from some research by Ed Lazear:
One surprising finding from my study is that changing a country’s name to eliminate the terms “socialist,” “democratic,” or “people’s” is associated with an 18 percent rise in incomes of the poor over the subsequent years.
As he goes on to point out it’s not the abandonment of the name it’s the shooting of the people trying to impose the socialism. Poor people get better off once we Ceascescu the Politbureau:
Of course, it is not the name change per se that helps the poor, but the change in the form of government and the adoption of more market-oriented institutions that accompanies the name change.
This is all in the context of whether free market capitalism – with the emphasis on the free and the market part, economic freedom that is – increases the incomes of the poor. The answer being yes:
General economic growth tends to benefit all. The income data show conclusively that, as President Kennedy was fond of saying, a rising tide lifts all boats. Among the 161 countries studied, periods of high income growth for the rich also tend to be periods of high income growth for the poor. In 82 percent of the ten-year periods during which wages of the rich grew, so too did wages of the poor. Conversely, the wages of the poor tended not to grow during periods when wages of the rich declined. The movement is general. A 1 percent rise in median income is associated with just over a 1 percent rise in income of the poor and just under a 1 percent rise in income of the rich. The historical record suggests that the poor do not get left behind as economies grow.
Poverty decreases, relative poverty decreases, as there is less idiocy in government. Surprise that, really. Well, a surprise compared to what we’re normally told at least.