My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Don't Miss This One

Claudia Rosett wrote a great piece in the OJO yesterday on the domino effect ending tyranny has on ending poverty. It is a theme I picked up on a couple weeks ago thanks to a lengthy essay by Colin Powell, and it deserves to be written about frequently by the best out there. And that certainly includes Claudia Rosett.

One of the truths wrested at great cost from the grand social experiments of the 20th century was that the prerequisite for prosperity--if we are speaking of wealth for the many, not just for a ruling few--is freedom. It is not only by smothering free speech or jailing loyal opposition that dictators keep control. It is also by decreeing--in ways that suit the pleasures of the ruler, not the ruled--the rules and conditions under which people may seek work, earn money, own property and buy what they need to feed their families and otherwise pursue happiness. With every reasonable choice that gets cut off by dictatorial rule, with every payoff that must be made to authorities who exist for no other purpose than to please themselves and collect tolls, more human energy and talent and knowledge goes to waste.

To whatever extent Mr. Bush's vision of ending tyranny is realized, it will do more to end poverty than any amount of aid, including the $195 billion the United Nations now proposes to pour into development over the next decade, following the advice of a 3,000-word study put together by 265 experts (which works out to about 11 words, or $730 million in recommended spending, per expert).

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