Wednesday, February 09, 2005

A genererous C-...

...would be low for this essay by Arthur, as it turns out. [note: this has been edited; what I initially wrote reflected a wild misreading of Arthur's post. Apologies around]. A snippet:

The critics are right: poverty throughout the developing world is merely a symptom. If we truly want to help people throughout the Third World (does anyone still use this term?) we should tackle the causes of poverty: unrepresentative, unresponsive, corrupt and nepotistic political culture, and economic systems that are holdovers from the golden age of socialist delusion.
He's right that there are systemic problems in the economies of these questions, but does that really bear on the separate question of whether these countries should be relieved of their debt? It seems like that may be an open question. Clearly, when a country labors under so much debt that the interest rates are a drag on its economy such that it can't recover, debt relief is a good idea (ethically and economically). What we'd need to see is an economic analysis of these unspecified Third World countries regarding their structural debt (IMF obligations and whatnot) versus the debt that accrues due to their inefficiences. (HT: A Constrained Vision)