It may be, but is it? What evidence do you have? In the early 1990s, I read an article about this upstart Bill Gates. It made a dire accusation against him. It claimed that due to the direct efforts of Gates/Microsoft, there were now more than 12,000 people who had been made millionaires. The selfish cad!

In 1800, 90% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. Have a look at this chart, which starts at 1820 and an extreme poverty rate of 89.15%. Notice how the poverty rate continues to grow, but the number of people not living in poverty grows faster. So the percentage of the population not living in extreme poverty grows steadily larger until about 1950. There you will notice the non-poverty rate takes a decided turn upward.

Let me emphasize that this is a Good Thing. We want this to happen, a larger and faster-growing percentage of the world's population not living in extreme poverty.

Notice, however, that, even though the number of impoverished people as a percentage was shrinking, the number of actual people was still growing…until about 1980.

At that point, when the poverty rate had fallen to about 36%, the actual numbers takes a dip. It was a rocky road through the 1990s, but in 1999, when the rate hit 28.6%, the actual number of people living in extreme poverty started a never-ending slide downward.

As of 2015, the limit of this chart, the extreme poverty rate was 11.08%.

Notice this reduction in poverty covers the era where Capitalism and "me first" became the norm. In fact, kicks into high gear when it becomes SOP.

Now, even most of the poor have cell phones, flat screen TVs and air conditioning.

So if you want to make the case that "looking out for Number 1" is bad for Numbers 2 on down, then you really have your work cut out for you.

A retired software engineer who hates retirement with a passion. My hobbies are economics, philosophy and futurism.