“One of the major errors in the whole discussion of economic development has been the tendency to look at the United States or Canada and say that this has worked here, and therefore it must work in the poor countries.” – John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006)
When his country later reached the top after the Second World War, it too started “kicking away the ladder” by preaching and forcing free trade to the less developed countries.
- universal suffrage (it did not even have universal male suffrage),
- a central bank,
- income tax,
- generalised limited liability,
- a generalised bankruptcy law,
- a professional bureaucracy,
- meaningful securities regulations, and even
- minimal labour regulations (except for a couple of minimal and hardly-enforced regulations on child labour).
- First, the historical facts about the historical experiences of the developed countries should be more widely publicized. This is not just a matter of “getting history right,” but also of allowing the developing countries to make more informed choices.
- Second, the conditions attached to bilateral and multilateral financial assistance to developing countries should be radically changed. It should be accepted that the orthodox recipe is not working, and also that there can be no “best practice” policies that everyone should use.
- Third, the WTO rules should be re-written so that the developing countries can more actively use tariffs and subsidies for industrial development. They should also be allowed to have less stringent patent laws and other intellectual property rights laws.
- Fourth, improvements in institutions should be encouraged, but this should not be equated with imposing a fixed set of (in practice, today’s – not even yesterday’s – Anglo-American) institutions on all countries. Special care has to be taken in order not to demand excessively rapid upgrading of institutions by the developing countries, especially given that they already have quite developed institutions when compared to today’s developed countries at comparable stages of development, and given that establishing and running new institutions is costly.
The below link will show a short list of my past posts (out of 543 posts so far) which I consider as basic topics about us native (indio)/ Malay Filipinos. This link/listing, which may later expand, will always be presented at the bottom of each future post. Just point-and-click at each listed item to open and read.
PLEASE POINT & CLICK THIS LINK:
– Frederick Douglass, American Abolitionist, Lecturer, Author and Slave, 1817-1895