Fighting Poverty Through Free Markets and Enterprise

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In addition to disrupting American schooling through the Academy of Thought and Industry (download my full podcast interview above, or watch the full video below), Michael Strong is also taking aim at global poverty.

Strong, who along with Whole Foods founder John Mackey co-authored the 2006 book, Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the Worlds Problems also discussed his work to attack major world problems, such as poverty, with entrepreneurship. 

“Okay, if we really want to make a difference with global poverty, what do we do?” he said. “You know, institutions … weak law and governance, a lack of economic freedom are why poor countries are poor. Almost nobody realizes that Africa’s the most highly regulated region in the world, and that’s why it’s poor.”

“My wife is from Senegal.  She’s a great spokesperson on this. She’s a Senegalese entrepreneur,” he said.

In fact, his wife — Magatte Wade — is a TED speaker whose 2018 TED Talk , Why It’s Too Hard to Start a Business in Africa, has more than a half-million views. In that talk, she asserts that governments have created far too many obstacles to starting and running a business.

She also starred in the 2014 documentary, Poverty, Inc., and the 2018 documentary, Made in Mehke

Both Michael and Magatte are committed to exploring and unleashing the power of free markets in overcoming poverty and the role of enterprise to tackle social issues.

“If we could provide, say, a Hong Kong or Singapore-quality rule of law and economic freedom,” Strong told me. “The whole world would be prosperous.”

He added, “we’ve got all these nation-states that are keeping billions of people poor unnecessarily.”

Strong said that traditional “special economic zones” simply provide reduced taxes and regulations.

If we could actually install higher quality rule of law and judicial systems then we would have a real recipe for prosperity.”

In our full interview, Michael and I discuss educational disruption and the Academy in more detail, the power of free markets, as well as his efforts (along with Whole Foods founder John Mackey) to unleash the power of entrepreneurship to address global challenges, and the need for transpartisanship in a deeply partisan world.

You can watch my full interview with Strong here:

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