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The Cato Institute respectfully requests an investment of $217,000 for enhancements to HumanProgress.org (HP), a project of the Cato Institute which seeks to educate the public about the link between human progress and economic freedom. In recent years, many critics of capitalism have pointed to income inequality as a serious problem. In reality, income inequality (and also many other types of inequality, including gaps in life expectancy, child mortality, etc.) around the world is decreasing as poor countries catch up with the rich.

Despite evidence showing dramatic improvements in human well-being over the past 250 years, free markets are seldom credited with those improvements. In fact, young people in America seem to be increasingly drawn to socialism. It is therefore crucial to explain capitalism as the source of modern abundance and a reason for dramatic poverty reduction. The Cato Institute is uniquely positioned to demonstrate—through the presentation of empirical data that focuses on long-term developments—that economic and political freedoms are crucial to human progress.

Launched in 2013 under the leadership of Cato senior policy analyst Marian L. Tupy, the Institute’s innovative and widely acclaimed HP project aims to show that the state of humanity is much better than many people think, and that free markets are largely to be credited with improvements to human well-being.

Now, at this critical time in social and political history around the world, Cato plans to upgrade HP’s functionality to expand its reach and influence. By doing so, we hope to facilitate an intelligent and multifaceted debate on the drivers of human progress. The proposed enhancements build on the site’s established platform to improve the user experience for scholars, students, and the public, and include technical improvements designed to make the site a more engaging and appealing resource—the sort that encourages use, repeat and longer visits, and sharing.