Lariat Letter: Free market has helped poor

By Danny Huizinga

In his usual inflammatory language, Leonard Pitts again demonizes a system that has done wonders to eradicate poverty in his column “Free market unduly hurts poor,” which ran on Wednesday.

Pitts first quotes from the Bible to make the absurd claim that redistribution by the government is somehow sanctioned by religion.

But then he turns and attacks religious people in general, claiming they are mostly interested in “platudinous generalities.”

Pitts then sets up a straw man argument, claiming that all proponents of free markets endorse a “survival of the fittest” economy without compassion or care for the poor.

This accusation is completely unfounded. Do those that shop on Black Friday truly believe that “fulfillment is only found in the things we own”?

Not necessarily.

Just because someone buys an iPad does not mean they don’t care about poor people.

Additionally, raising the minimum wage is hardly an important step in the solution to eradicate poverty. Only 4.7 percent of hourly workers earn the minimum wage, and over half of those minimum wage workers are under 25.

Additionally, a multitude of studies has shown that raising the minimum wage increases unemployment, hurting the exact people Pitts claims to protect.

The free-market system has done wonders to lift millions of poor people out of poverty, while citizens in authoritarian countries with socialist economic systems have suffered in misery.

Pitts should remember that before jumping to conclusions and insulting those who disagree with him.

Danny Huizinga
Chicago junior