Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Poverty and governanace

Several people have posted articles about the link between corrupt govenments and poverty.


Easterly found that, "Over 1970-94, there is good data on public investment for 22 African countries. These countries' governments spent $342 billion on public investment. The donors gave these same countries' governments $187 billion in aid over this period. Unfortunately, the corresponding …increase in productivity… was zero."

If half a trillion dollars of investment and aid can't raise economic output, then what can? "The paper instead finds support for democratic institutions and economic freedom as determinants of growth that explain the occasions under which poor countries grow more slowly than rich countries." In other words, poverty -- and its alleviation -- are directly linked to governance.

is Easterly's actualy report...

Then GHReynolds, aka Blogfather, has an editorial HERE
, discussing how countries signing human rights treaties have nevertheless gone on to kill their own people...

However, I disagree with one of his solutions: guns. He has forgotten nasty civil wars like Lebanon,....and you need pushy civilians, not civilians who for thousands of years learned being passive was the best way to stay alive (e.g. chinese peasants, Jews in medieval Europe, and the Mashona tribe in Zimbabwe).

Finally, Kopel et al discuss democide in Zimbabwe: alas, they are predicting what is happening right now, since the article was written in 2001...LINK

....In his 1992 book Revolution and Genocide, Robert Melson, a Professor of Political Science at Purdue University, enumerated factors which scholars on the subject have identified as predisposing a nation towards genocide: The presence of powerful, ambitious leaders with no compunctions about murdering political opponents is one of the requirements. These leaders cunningly exploit internal strife and economic distress to their advantage. And they employ the rhetoric of hatred and fear, and the scapegoating of potential victims, in order to demonize a minority population so that the minority appears to be evil and in league with outsiders, intent on overthrowing the prevailing society.

All of this is in play in Zimbabwe, today....

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