This article reminds us of why free markets are so important.
"Wealthy populations live longer and are healthier than poor populations because higher incomes open the door to literally thousands of opportunities to improve health and safety that are not available to the poor"
At the extreme end of the spectrum is Sub-Saharan Africa, a region plagued by poverty, famine, disease and very short life spans.
"Most Sub-Saharan Africans do not have access to childhood vaccines, bed nets or clean water. This lack of resources reduces life expectancy to a level far below that of rich countries. Princeton University economist Angus Deaton says poverty is the leading cause of mortality in developing countries."
The best remedy for this tragic situation is a healthy dose of economic growth and wealth creation.
"World Bank economist Lant Pritchett and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers studied the relationship between income and health worldwide and found that infant mortality falls as income rises. According to their research, a developing country would avert one death per 1,000 live births if the average income were raised 1 percent. In 2005, for example, over 30,000 infant deaths would have been prevented in Sub-Saharan Africa if incomes were raised by about $5 per person per year."
Of course, the best way to spur such life-saving economic growth is not via government intervention and large welfare programs as the left would have you believe, but from greater economic liberty.
"Not one Sub-Saharan African country ranks in the top quartile of economically free countries. Decades of political corruption, government-controlled monopolies, high inflation, excessive regulation of businesses, and stringent import and export restrictions have led to Africa’s current economic state. Adopting economically freer policies would increase the rate of economic growth in African countries and thus raise incomes."
Even the redistributionists at the World Bank have begun to recognize this.
"Huge developmental gains would be possible for some of the world’s poorest countries if their governments reform restrictive tax policies that make it impossible for ordinary firms to operate legally, a World Bank report argues today."
Unfortunately, it is hard to be optimistic about a region where the nations tax their businesses at twice the rate of profit.