Democracy and ending poverty The NYT has an editorial on the United Nations proposal to halve poverty by 2015:The strongest, and probably most legitimate, critique of approaches that flood poor countries with money is that many of these poor countries are run by corrupt governments that will stash most of the donor money in private Swiss bank accounts. That has certainly proved true in the past, particularly in Africa, where the poor have stayed poor while a succession of despots have run country after country into the ground. But it is counterproductive to make poor people suffer because they have bad governments.
R.J. Rummel makes a fine point on his blog about how democracy can help tackle these issues:There are tons of websites devoted to famine, hunger, and trying to help the starving around the world. Yet, not one of these good people devoted to this great cause realize that there is a solution to famine at hand, which is practical and much desired in itself. What is this miracle? Democracy. No democracy has ever had a famine.
Why are democracies immune to this greatest of all disasters. Three fundamental reasons. One is that democracies have a free or semi-free agricultural market that usually produces more than enough food and is resilient in the face of local shortages. Two is that democracies have a free press that almost immediately communicates nationally, and especially to elected legislators and administration leaders, dangerous agricultural conditions in one part of the country or another. And three is that these politicians better do something about it, since their political future depends on the rapidity and success of their response.
[via azpnj > dean's world]
Tags: poverty, united nations, democracy, politics [Anil's Doublespeak]