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财富与公正 | 文字稿


If you were born into London in the mid-18th century, if you survived childhood, in all likelihood you could expect to be impoverished, illiterate, and unhealthy, and to be surrounded by frequent hunger and disease violence and economic oppression. Within 100 years however, those conditions that have rained for the great mass of humankind since the dawn of history were transforming with breathtaking speed. The reason as Peter Wehner and Arthur C. Brooks explained in Wealth and Justice, was the emergence of modern capitalism, the spread of free markets and the extraordinary improvements in quality of life that economic growth unleashed.

假设你出生在十八世纪中叶的伦敦,如果你活过了童年,你最可能的状况是贫困,不识字和不健康,受困于频繁的饥馑、疾病、暴力和经济压迫。然而不到 100 年,这些有史以来一直笼罩绝大多数人的阴霾以惊人的速度改变。原因正如彼得·维纳和亚瑟 C·布鲁克斯在《财富与公正》中解释的,是现代资本主义的出现,自由市场的传播和经济增长引发的生活质量的显著改善。

Historically significant economic growth is the exception and not the rule. In the over eight centuries from 1000 to 1820 AD, the world's per-capita income only increased 50%, but from 1820 to today, it has ballooned eight hundred percent, and the growth rates in Europe and the United States have been even more astonishing. We've seen sixteen times greater growth in two centuries since the emergence of modern capitalism than in the eighth centuries previous. And this explosive economic growth brought equally remarkable improvements in medicine and technology, rights and justice, education and opportunity.

前所未有的巨大经济增长是例外而非常规。从公元 1000 年到 1820 年的八个世纪里,全球人均收入只增长了 50%,但从 1820 年到今天,它激增了 800%,欧洲和美国的增长率更是惊人。现代资本主义出现后两个世纪的增长率是十八世纪以前的 16 倍。这一爆炸性经济增长也带来惊人的医学和技术,权利和司法,教育和机会进步。

Some today question the morality of capitalism itself, yet there's something profoundly morally meaningful in lifting billions around the globe out of grinding poverty, and stimulating the development of medicines and technologies that eliminate diseases and provide clean water. Less government control also means more liberty for men and women to express their gift, passions and creativity. History demonstrates too that free markets bring not only economic liberties, but political and religious liberties and human rights. Capitalism focuses nations on instead of armed conflict and connects people across the globe in an intricate web of economic relationships.


Finally because it pairs reward with effort, capitalism cultivates virtues such as Industry and responsibility self-reliance and provision for family, but shouldn't government's force greater economic equality through redistribution of resources? Wouldn't that be biblical justice? Free markets do require legal structures to protect the vulnerable, but corruption brings not from capitalism, but from the human heart, and free markets provide mechanisms of transparency and accountability that expose corruption and punish injustice. 


The Bible upholds private property, uplifts the righteousness of many wealthy individuals and exhorts charity as a voluntary act of love, not a form of government coercion, flourishing markets create the conditions for development and generosity for cheaper goods that make budgets go further and for growth and employment and opportunity. 


In short, free markets have dramatically improved conditions for everyone around the globe, and have done far more to help the poor than any redistributed scheme. Nourished by strong Civic institutions and a thriving moral culture, capitalism nurtures democracy and liberty, human rights and social flourishing. If you want wealth and justice, you should want free markets too.