Thursday, August 25, 2005

Development economics

I am sure by now it is rather obvious that development economics captures my heart. My undercurrent (to quote myself from my article on discrimination) is that I oppose the very unfair policies that are hindering the progress of less developed countries. I am also appalled by the blatant stance of the perpetrators of unethical policies to ignore the cries of the victims. It is inhumane and I am amazed that it still persists.

I recommend the following articles:
1. Can Extreme Poverty Be Eliminated?
"Public opinion in affluent countries often attributes extreme poverty to faults with the poor themselves--or at least with their governments. Race was once thought the deciding factor. Then it was culture: religious divisions and taboos, caste systems, a lack of entrepreneurship, gender inequities. Such theories have waned as societies of an ever widening range of religions and cultures have achieved relative prosperity. Moreover, certain supposedly immutable aspects of culture (such as fertility choices and gender and caste roles) in fact change, often dramatically, as societies become urban and develop economically."
"Being economically isolated, they are unable to attract much foreign investment (other than for the extraction of oil, gas and precious minerals). Investors tend to be dissuaded by the high transport costs associated with the interior regions. Rural areas therefore remain stuck in a vicious cycle of poverty, hunger, illness and illiteracy. Impoverished areas lack adequate internal savings to make the needed investments because most households live hand to mouth. The few high-income families, who do accumulate savings, park them overseas rather than at home. This capital flight includes not only financial capital but also the human variety, in the form of skilled workers--doctors, nurses, scientists and engineers, who frequently leave in search of improved economic opportunities abroad. The poorest countries are often, perversely, net exporters of capital."
"Western society tends to think of foreign aid as money lost. But if supplied properly, it is an investment that will one day yield huge returns."
As U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan wrote earlier this year: "There will be no development without security, and no security without development."
And video:
* Video: Jeffrey D. Sachs
Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
The video link is from Columbia News


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Thursday, August 25, 2005 11:24:00 am  

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