Dear WSJ: Foreign Aid is Not the Answer
Editor, The Wall Street Journal
To the Editor:
Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell are pleased that, at the Initiative for Global Development (IGD) summit in
Wonderful words. But they offer no hint that these former Secretaries of State are aware of the researches of Peter Bauer and, more recently, of William Easterly. Bauer and Easterly show – with compelling arguments and data – that nations lift themselves out of poverty by relying neither upon foreign "aid" nor upon development blueprints drawn up and superintended by "experts" and "leaders." Rather, nations become wealthier only by creating secure property rights enabling countless individuals to experiment with new enterprises aimed at satisfying consumers.
In short, the key to development is freer markets – not top-down do-goodism of the sort that apparently will be offered at the IGD summit.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Don Boudreaux is the Chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University and a Business & Media Institute adviser.