As the world mourns the death of Margaret Thatcher and reflects on her ferocious defense of free market principles, Martin Wolf reminds us of the world leader who did the most to bring about free market reform.
Writing in the Financial Times, Wolf notes:
If one asks today which political leader did most to transform the world through a shift towards markets the answer would be Deng Xiaoping, not Reagan or Thatcher.
Of course, Deng Xiaoping was not a champion of political freedom. Thus, we are likely to ignore his achievements. But, if you ask whose policies led more people out of poverty and desolation in the shortest period of time, his name would be at the top of the list.