No Escaping "Us and Them"

By Kevin

Your a good person, and want to do good by others. People are fundamentally the same the world-over, and deserve a shot to get the quality of economic life that you have. You recognize the current smallness of the world, and find it hard to understand how life south of the Rio Grande can be so much less appealing.

Yet, Us and Them is real. Don't believe me, ask Them!

Tou recognize that policies and institutional frameworks that work for us in the developed world should work for those in the developing world. Health, infrastructure, local governance, protection of property, constituional law is so much better where you are.

But we are just pretending that we can make them like us if we thrust down our social systems upon them:

"The only way to end poverty is to build viable systems on the ground that can deliver services to the poor in ways that are sustainable," she said.
Not quite. They only way to end poverty is to have the poor capable enough to build and run their own systems. We run our own systems - they've been organically grown. Our acculturation is a big part of what makes capitalism work much better in the US than in the EU.

International capital markets and investment are critical for transferring hard capital, human knowledge, and social institutions to the undeveloped world. But it is they who must adopt and stick to successful solutions. It is they who must change their cultures and ways of existence, if they don't want to be poor.

Our imposition of institutions as ties to loans or relief could work, but only if these become the norm. As long as Lee Coppock can't embarrass Liberian border guards, and ..., capitalism cannot take hold.


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