The economist versus the terrorist
Posted 30 January 2003 - 09:44 PM
vigorous often refers to Hernando de Soto.
The economist versus the terrorist
Jan 30th 2003
From The Economist print edition
[quote]Hernando de Soto believes that capitalism can defeat terrorism
TO BE the target of a terrorist campaign is not the usual fate of an economist. But Hernando de Soto is no ordinary practitioner of the dismal science. It was his pro-capitalist intellectual crusade against Shining Path terrorists in his native Peru that made him one of their top targets; he survived at least three attempts on his life. Those ideas, set out in his 1987 bestseller,
Posted 30 January 2003 - 10:21 PM
While decrying the lack of funds for foreign aid and famine relief, Western governments have never found money short when it comes to financing war.
The World Bank found over $62 million to pay for bombs dropped by American B52 aircraft on Iraq during the Gulf War; this was the equivalent of Oxfam's entire budget for the year.
?105 million was found to replace five British Tornado aircraft which crashed or were shot down during the war. This would have brought enough grain to feed for one month all the 20 million people likely to starve in Africa this year.
And ?3 million was found to train one Tornado pilot. This would have provided 25,000 Eritrean families with enough seeds and tools to recover from the current drought.
In 1990 the British government gave to famine relief in Africa about the equivalent of two days' British military operations in the Gulf War. The next year the figure was even less.
Each cruise missile dropped in the 1999 Balkans crisis cost $1 million; the cost to NATO of bombing Kosovo and Serbia for four months was over $150 billion. Just a tenth of this sum would have provided massive economic regeneration of the region with a much greater chance of a lasting peace which protects the rights of the Kosovar Albanians.
The annual running costs to the British government (paid for by taxpayers) of the Trident nuclear submarine programme amounts to ?1,500 million every year for the next 30 years.
Posted 30 January 2003 - 11:13 PM
"In a country like Egypt, 10% of the people work in the legal sector; in Mexico, 20%," de Soto says by phone from Thailand. "How do I get the other 80% into the system?" More than two thirds of the world's 6.1 billion people live in either developing or formerly communist countries, where much of the economy is extralegal. But the crisis affects the industrial world as well. Enabling economic growth in the developing world would create a new set of markets. "De Soto's ideas about how to empower the world's poor represent one of the most significant economic insights of our time," says Bill Clinton, another fan,
Posted 30 January 2003 - 11:23 PM
The Instituto Libertad y Democracia (ILD) is a private, non-profit organization headquartered in Lima, Peru. Our mission is to assist developing and former Soviet nations in the transition to a modern market economy that actually gives those who have been locked out of the system
Posted 30 January 2003 - 11:32 PM
HERNANDO DE SOTO: Capitalism of course is in trouble, because as usual it is only catching on among the top 20, 10 percent of the population of Latin American countries that have got their property rights paperized in a way that they can enter the market. It's in trouble in the sense that it isn't working for the majority. I insist that capitalism doesn't work without property rights, so it only works among the Westernized elites of our country. You may have noticed that in all developing countries and even former communist nations there are always some people who have been to Harvard, that have taught at Yale, that are in touch. Elites all throughout these hundreds of years have always been in touch. Kings and queens from different countries have always been in touch. So the fact that the system works for an elite doesn't mean it's successful. We've always taken it as successful. We've always actually thought that the poor didn't [appear] for cultural reasons. We've always thought that the poor needed to be educated. That's why they didn't come in. And what The Mystery of Capital tries to tell you is that there are huge legal obstacles for the poor to come in. It isn't that they culturally don't want to come in. They're continually proving that they do want to come in because they're continually migrating to countries like the United States and Canada and western Europe, so they do want to come in. The problem in our countries, in Latin America, is we're not letting them in, and it's because we haven't gone around to finding out what is the cost of getting in it. We're starting to find out it's a very high cost.
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