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Unraveling the myths of 'cowboy capitalism'

"Unraveling the myths of 'cowboy capitalism'" Continued...

Issue: "An evolving debate," May 21, 2005

WORLD: Why is the "rule of law" important in fighting poverty internationally?

HILL: The biggest barrier to economic growth in developing countries is corrupt governments where the politicians use the power of the state to feather their own nest. Under the rule of law, government officials are constrained and citizens face less oppressive governments. Entrepreneurial action and wealth creation is dramatically affected by enforcement of the rule of law.

WORLD: What reading recommendations do you have for people who want to educate themselves about international poverty?

HILL: I recommend reading The Mystery of Capital, by Hernando de Soto. De Soto cares deeply about the poor and argues that the lack of access to the legal system for gaining clear title to land and for registering small businesses has directly harmed the poor in developing economies.

For those who think that simply increasing the amount of economic aid is the answer to poverty in developing economies, I suggest The Elusive Quest for Growth by William Easterly. Although the book is a bit technical in places, it does a masterful job of explaining why most of the aid programs of the past 40 years have failed. And for an overview of the globalization issue I recommend Martin Wolf's Why Globalization Works.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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