VPC stands for voluntary private cooperation and in this Freeman piece today, Duke professor Michael Munger makes the case that the key to escaping poverty and making economic progress is exactly that. Where VPC is little obstructed by coercive forces, people make headway against the natural condition of poverty; conversely, where coercive forces get in the way of VPC to a great extent, they can’t.

The US benefited from VPC throughout most of our history, but the relentless growth of government with its mandates and prohibitions and taxes and subsidies increasingly obstructs VPC.