… much slower than the poor get richer. Milton Friedman, writing in 1962, hit the nail on the head:
Consider the position of the very richest over history. Economic, technical, and scientific progress has benefited them only in two important respects: improvements in medicine and health care and improvements in transportation. For the rest, the vaunted modern improvements have availed them little.
Running hot and cold water: the Roman patricians had slaves to carry water for their baths.
Movies, television, radio: the Roman patricians could command the finest artists of their time to give private performances.
And so on down the line. (Price Theory, 257)
Capitalism is characterized by immense improvements in mass consumption of those people who, in pre-capitalistic times, would be considered paupers.