Easterly on Development

quotes economics development paternalism

17 Jun 2014

William Easterly on development:

We really need a Copernican revolution in development. The [Bill Gates / Jeff Sachs] view puts the Western experts at the center - the Western aid efforts at the center of development. And that’s just a delusion. Those efforts are paltry, they are ineffective and they are not how development happens. They are very condescending towards poor people in thinking that the main help, the main hope of poor people, is these Western experts.

The Copernican revolution would revolve around not ‘us,’ not ‘we’, but the ‘them’ that is implied by the ‘we.’ And not even called the ‘them’ the ‘them.’ ‘Them’ deserve to be ‘we’, just as much as we do. And when we put ‘we’ - when we put all of us around the world at the center of development, then we mainly achieve development by advocating for our own political and economic rights with the support of others, friendly supporters around the rest of the world, then that’s the correct view about how development will actually happen. And that’s more likely to make development happen, if we have that view spread and take flight and flourish around the world and we support the brave people fighting for that view around the world.

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