Remember the minor hubbub back in 2012 when state Rep. George Cleveland chided some left-of-center colleagues for discussing “extreme” poverty in North Carolina?

That incident came to mind when this reader encountered an interesting blurb in the latest print edition of National Review.

On the economic front, it is literally the best news ever: For the first time in the history of the human species, fewer than 10 percent of us are living in extreme poverty, currently defined as subsistence on the equivalent of $1.90 a day or less. This is a remarkable, momentous, humane achievement: In 1990, that figure was 37.1 percent. In East Asia and the Pacific, extreme poverty has been reduced from 60 percent to 4 percent in a mere 25 years. Economic reforms in India and China, and those in smaller economies, have been critical, as has been globalization, which is held up as the world’s great villain by the Sanders Left and the Trumpkin Right. No change comes without discomfiture, but this is the golden age of worldwide human cooperation, a fact that has allowed prosperity to emerge in places where it never had been expected. Where does misery persist? Where the economy is run by central planners, where there are no property rights, where there is no rule of law, where there is no capitalism. Economic progress is not the only kind of progress — 1.3 billion better-fed Chinese still live under totalitarian rule — but it is a necessary condition for other kinds.