Best way to “solve” natural disasters = economic liberalization?
Per Bret Stephens
I tend to agree with this piece. Economic liberalization = higher living standards = better protection against Mother Nature. I said this about Haiti.
Although those vehemently against free markets might argue in a convoluted way that Milton Friedman helped an evil dictator like Pinochet, I would argue market liberalization leads to a faster removal of heavy-handed dictators. As private investment and foreign businesses open up in otherwise insular states, governments can’t be as controlling of individual decisions. No matter what the government does to try to hide its citizenry from the tide of foreign influence, trying to stop it would be akin to trying to to block off water with a screen door. As citizens grow in their economic capital, this often gives them a power that governments can’t just dismiss or put in a prison.
My prediction: though China is by no means the bastion of civil liberties and justice, I do think their sharp growth and more open markets will lead to a less autocratic state. (Not profound, I know sorry) Certainly we can argue many reforms have already taken place, and even debates on censorship (China’s fight with Google) are so overwhelmingly rising against the Chinese government, that they will eventually have to acquiesce.
The question is of course should economic prosperity be our end goal? Your thoughts?