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Peter Schiff

The reason that people are poor is because they lack access to productive employment. If a farmer happened to own a piece of land but never grew anything on it, he would starve. But if he were to work the farm and produce food he would be able to eat. And if extra food is produced it can be traded for other things. So the key to escaping poverty is productivity and the key to increasing productivity is capital.

For example, the reason a person digging a hole with a bulldozer can earn more money than a person digging a hole with a shovel is that his capital equipment (a bulldozer) makes him more productive by enabling him to perform the work of one hundred men using shovels.

Naturally, people want to be rich and when they are free to profit by satisfying people's desires through ingenuity, creativity and hard work, they will do so. This not only causes them to be productive in meeting the desires of others, but causes others to be productive in meeting their desires. Despite its best intentions, the biggest obstacle to this freedom is government interference in the form of punitive taxation and over-regulation. In fact there's a direct correlation between the size of a country's government as a share of its GDP (gross domestic product) to its level of poverty.

Economist, investment advisor, author and commentator, Peter Schiff