To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Culture in Development

In the development debate the question of the impact of culture is always hotly contested. In today’s Washington Post, Robert Samuelson dissects the argument of Gregory Clark’s new book, "A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World." His main argument is that the rest of the world’s poverty is somewhat permanent because all of the tools for development exist, but repressive cultural beliefs keep societies down.

In other news, the World Bank reports that the IMF has revised their expected growth numbers for Africa upwards to 6.8% in 2008 from 6.1% in 2007.

So does culture matter? Sure it does, but societies also have the power to cast off outdated beliefs and embrace development. The idea of self determination has been lost in all of this. The most important aspect of development has been the agency of the individual to improve his life and influence government policies to favor growth.

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