Here are the points I make whenever people bring up the “capitalism cures poverty” argument.
First off, the statistics are misleading. The international poverty line is based on the average national poverty lines of the 15 poorest countries. That means that it is often far below the national poverty lines of richer countries. For example children in India living under the national poverty line but above the IPL still have a 60% chance of being malnourished. In Sri Lanka the IPL puts poverty at less than 10%, while the NPL puts it much higher (closer to 30% iirc). So the IPL is a shit tier measurement, since it’s virtually no guarantee of basic needs being met. Higher estimates in the realm of $5-$10 daily still show some progress in poverty reduction, although China is largely responsible for a disproportionate amount of this. The point being that the poverty reduction narrative is much less positive than is typically stated.
Second, when you look at the explosion of infant survival rates, literacy, improvement in poverty, etc they correlate with industrialization far stronger than capitalism. Capitalism was the dominant system in some parts of Europe as early as the 17th century (Dutch Republic, Hanseatic League, Italian city states) but the prosperity boom doesn’t happen until the mid 19th century. However if the USSR showed the world anything it’s that you can industrialize effectively without capitalism.
However the thing that really sinks this whole thing is that the nature of poverty has changed. It is no longer a product of scarcity, as the wealth and material to end poverty exists on this planet several times over. It’s entirely a product of distribution of wealth, which is something that results from market distribution mechanisms, which unlike industrialization, IS entirely the product of capitalism. In other words, even if you accept the argument that capitalism reduces poverty, you are also forced to accept that all the poverty in the world is created by capitalism as well. It’s the equivalent of imprisoning a bunch of people in your basement, gradually letting them out one by one, and then calling yourself a liberator.
In other words, the statement that poverty is being reduced at all is somewhat dubious, the claim that capitalism is responsible for this is unsupported, and even if both of the previous statements were true, it wouldn’t change the fact that capitalism is just as much the cause of poverty as it is the “cure”.
The bread book actually has some good takes on this exact issue, and imo if what Kropotkin said was true in the 1900s, then it’s especially true today.