Saturday, January 24, 2015

Correa's take on development

Here is an article about a speech given by Rafael Correa, president of Ecuador.  He calls for strategic protection of infant industries in developing countries, freer movement of labor and less free movement of capital, and above all a stress on national sovereignty as opposed to transnational organizations as the major drivers of development in a country.  I tend to agree with all these points, particularly his citing of Ha-Joon Chang, the Oxford economist that I think is the most accurate and prescient writer right now on how countries really develop.  Correa and his peers in other Latin American countries are often dismissed as unrealistic by the very neoliberal institutions that they criticize, but I feel that, beyond the polemics, they are arguing for what should be rather uncontroversial points.  Namely that national sovereignty should take priority over conditions imposed by unelected bodies like the World Trade Organization, and that countries wanting to develop economically should look to history to emulate what worked for countries like France, the US, or Korea in their own development.

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