For centuries influential thinkers have claimed that economic growth will be caused by vice and distribution by greed. “Clearly, the connection between vice and growth needs to be addressed, says James V. Schall in this week’s Acton Commentary. “Is there a case for virtue and growth?”
Long-range economic growth does not deny that wars and rumors of war will happen, though it does doubt that economics is their main cause. Nor does it doubt that many individuals, by accident or by their own choices, will fall by the wayside and need help. The need for something beyond justice always remains. The fact is, however, that the world has seen sustained growth of wealth and population for four centuries. This growth suggests that the problems of historic poverty can be and are being solved gradually as we apply the proper means to them.