More Wisdom from Geneva
Published on: October 22, 2010
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  • Erik Ziarczyk

    Professor Berger,

    It’s just a detail in an otherwise excellent article: the ‘deadline’ for the Millenium Development Goals is 2015, not 2050.

    Best regards,

    E.

  • Adam Garfinkle

    Agree, of course, Peter, but two comments. First, WCC commentary has been worse than useless; it has been harmful, because it has disorganized the stock of common sense in many impressionable but under-experienced young people. Take the Arab-Israeli conflict, for example, where WCC commentary has been wildly one-sided and harmful. Second, while pro-growth policies constitute a necessary way to reduce poverty, they are not sufficient. The reason is that non-democratic “vampire” regimes, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, distort the market in various ways to subsidize their own tyranny, and those distortions, in turn, allow resource extraction multinationals to plunder resources. It’s not the companies’ fault: They’re in business to make money, not to engage in political arbitrage in countries of which they know little. But it’s this factor that enables WCC types to make the claims they make, and be widely believed. The problem is not capitalism, but distorted crony capitalism in authoritarian systems. The nuance, however, matters enormously.

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