Tuesday, December 11, 2018

William Easterly as the Anti-Bill Gates

A recent Wall Street Journal interview of William Easterly is highly recommended. It is sort of a brief review of his work.

Sample excerpt:
Mr. Easterly faults the development community’s tendency to favor “benevolent autocrats” because they can stifle dissent and quickly implement Western experts’ solutions. The United Nations—“a very ineffective club of dictators”—is particularly bad about this. “Paul Kagame, leader of Rwanda, was on this [U.N.] commission and said broadband is the answer. Let’s just wire everybody,” Mr. Easterly says. An “irreverent researcher,” Kentaro Toyama, “pointed out young men are playing videogames and watching porn after they get connected to broadband”—which, Mr. Easterly dryly notes, is “not exactly what we had in mind for launching prosperity."

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