Somewhere on Earth, at this very minute, a child is beginning its journey through life. 250 babies are born every minute, 15 thousand an hour, 132 million a year – each and every year. Among them may be the potential to cure disease, or change the course of world history, because people are the world’s ultimate resource.
Around the world, there are enormous and complicated challenges. But extraordinary change can happen when ordinary people have the tools and the freedom to make their own decisions. Free market incentives are spectacularly changing lives and entire economies over much of the world. In the last 25 years, hundreds of millions of people – 400 million in China alone – have climbed out of the dire poverty of living on less than $1 per day. It is the largest movement out of poverty in human history. Yet, two-thirds of the world’s population – four billion people – still do not have the tools to thrive in free markets. Forced to operate outside the rule of law, they have little education, no legal identity, no fungible property, no credit, no capital, and thus few ways to prosper. However, when given the incentives and the tools, these people are proving they can apply their free choice, intelligence, imagination, and spirit to dramatically advance their well-being and that of their families and communities.
This week’s podcast is cut from our 2007 documentary, The Ultimate Resource, and looks at the “before and after” lives of individuals and families. It explores some of the surprising, innovative initiatives and trends at work in unlikely places around the world: Bangladesh, China, Estonia, Peru, and Ghana. The program features Muhammad Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize; Hernando de Soto, founder of The Institute for Liberty and Democracy in Peru; James Tooley, British professor of education policy; and Johan Norberg, Free To Choose Media Executive Editor and Cato Senior Fellow.
You can watch the full film here: www.freetochoosenetwork.org/programs/ultimate_resource/