Virtue signaling does not help the poor

Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Madsen Pirie

“Eleven years ago people were wearing wristbands that said, ‘Make Poverty History.’ It was a popular virtue-signalling slogan partly because it did not involve actually doing anything. The Adam Smith Institute produced its own wristbands for the first and only time. They said, ‘I buy goods from poorer countries,’ expressing something people can actually do about relieving poverty. Of course the wristbands were made in poorer countries, and we sent a free one to anyone who gave us a mailing address. We had thousands made and they went all over the world. A second batch was made, then a third. Having made our point, we stopped. Our point was that poor countries don’t become rich because of pious sentiments, or even by receiving development aid. They grow richer through trade, through selling their goods on world markets.” (03/20/17)