Monday, July 2, 2007

Reason Magazine - Why Poor Countries Are Poor

Reason Magazine - Why Poor Countries Are Poor: "We still don't have a good word to describe what is missing in Cameroon and in poor countries across the world. But we are starting to understand what it is. Some people call it 'social capital,' or maybe 'trust.' Others call it 'the rule of law,' or 'institutions.' But these are just labels. The problem is that Cameroon, like other poor countries, is a topsy-turvy place where it's in most people's interest to take actions that directly or indirectly damage everyone else."

Maybe it is just me but there is a whiff of similarity to Cameroon and our school system. You can also see it other places like our health care system. There is something systemic about it that makes it worse. The Iron Law of Bureaucracy doesn't seem to explain it all to me either. Economic theory even expects people to be self-interested which should cause people to work together and make things better. But things continue to get worse.

If we don't have a word for it, its hard to talk about. 

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