Stephen Horwitz, Professor of Economics at St. Lawrence University, recently discussed how rising real wages, along with a dramatic reduction in costs, have considerably cut the work time needed to buy products, demonstrating how capitalism helps the poor keep getting richer:

As he notes, however, this understates the case, as it does not account for increases in the quality of goods. A color TV now is considerably better than a color TV in 1973.

He concludes:

The overall lesson is clear:  lives for Americans below the poverty line continue to get better in terms of what they are able to put in their households and have to make use of everyday. And do note that the average American household in 2005 was doing much better than its 1971 counterpart.  MUCH better – and this doesn’t even count medical advances and the like.  So whatever one hears about stagnating wages and the like, the bottom line is ultimately what we can afford to buy and have in our households to improve our lives.  By those measures, life for the average American is better today than 35 years ago, life for poor Americans is much better than it was 35 years ago, and poor Americans today largely live better than the average American did 35 years ago. 

Capitalism & freedom: they work after all.

(H/T Club Troppo)