Bureaucrats Grinding The Faces Of The Poor

Donald Trump’s nominee for the World Bank presidency, David Malpass, may attempt to correct this in that institution; in a Financial Times op-ed this week he said: “Nations that foster innovation and freer markets, and that have lower taxes, fewer regulatory burdens, and stable currencies, tend to alleviate poverty faster than others.” Malpass seems to have got the recipe for growth more or less right; however, his prescriptions will be anathema, not only to the OECD, as demonstrated by their tax paper, but also to his future colleagues at the World Bank.

The world outside the U.S. and Europe has grown restive under the cozy stitch-up deal that gives the Presidency of the IMF to a European and that of the World Bank to an American. An appointment recommended by President Trump would doubtless have been an excuse for further restiveness in any case (though bear in mind that the emerging markets do not hate Trump in the same way as the EU does). Malpass’s clear, well-thought-out views on economic development, based on a lifetime of experience in international finance in both the public and private sectors, will set the bureaucrats of the international institutions’ dials onto “Maximum Resistance” as well. It will be interesting to see whether his appointment survives this ordeal.

Should the Malpass appointment go down in flames, all men of goodwill should start a massive campaign to get rid of the international institutions, including the United Nations and its agencies. With the partial exception of the World Trade Organization, they never did serve any real purpose that could not be better be served by the private sector and national governments. As the OECD has shown with this paper, they are now thoroughly damaging and structurally incapable of reform. The world in general and developing countries, in particular, will be far better off without them.

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Gary Anderson 6 months ago Contributor's comment

Interesting but radical article. Perhaps the OECD understands that nations with higher productivity growth can benefit from higher taxes just like nations with low productivity growth should give tax breaks to lower and middle. But Trump really only did a little of that. He mostly gave tax breaks to the wealthy.