Daniel Henninger has written a great article in the WSJ about the largely unremarked, but undoubtedly remarkable, role globalisation played in the amazing rescue of the miners in Chile (hat tip: Carpe Diem).

A couple of excerpts below:

It needs to be said. The rescue of the Chilean miners is a smashing victory for free-market capitalism.

If those miners had been trapped a half-mile down like this 25 years ago anywhere on earth, they would be dead. What happened over the past 25 years that meant the difference between life and death for those men?

Short answer: the Center Rock drill bit.

This is the miracle bit that drilled down to the trapped miners. Center Rock Inc. is a private company in Berlin, Pa. It has 74 employees.

A miracle drill bit yes, but the drill bit was only one of many little miracles of profit-driven, private enterprise from all over the globalised world that helped save the miners:  

– The drill’s rig came from Pennsylvania

– The high-strength cable winding came from Germany

– The communications cable that linked the miners to the world above came from Japan

– Samsung of South Korea supplied a cellphone that has its own projector

– Cupron Inc of Virginia supplied socks made with copper fiber that consumed foot bacteria, and minimized odor and infection

Chile’s health minister, Jaime Manalich, said, “I never realized that kind of thing actually existed.”

The profit = innovation dynamic was everywhere at the mine rescue site.

That’s right. In an open economy, you will never know what is out there on the leading developmental edge of this or that industry. But the reality behind the miracles is the same: Someone innovates something useful, makes money from it, and re-innovates, or someone else trumps their innovation. Most of the time, no one notices. All it does is create jobs, wealth and well-being. But without this system running in the background, without the year-over-year progress embedded in these capitalist innovations, those trapped miners would be dead.


Read the full article here

To watch Henninger’s video click here