A friend of mine (no, he’s not my nephew) threw a question at me last weekend on Facebook:


It gave me a good laugh when I read it, because it’s so clearly a softball question asked in faked ignorance. But it got me thinking. This rich life we live in 21st Century America isn’t the natural state of human existence. In fact, quite the opposite is true. And it’s easy to forget about the history of humanity in our world of abundance today.

Where does poverty come from? is the wrong question to ask, because poverty “comes from” nowhere. Poverty is the natural state of human existence. It is the starting place. Just as darkness naturally exists in the absence of light and cold naturally exists in absence of heat, poverty naturally exists in the absence of wealth. But just as you learned in high school physics, things can change. Absences can be overcome.

And what overcomes absences? Energy. Remember? In physical science, light energy casts out darkness. Heat energy casts out cold. The same principle applies in the social science of economics: human energy casts out poverty.

But only if that energy is set free through economic liberty.

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