Saturday, March 1, 2008

Paul Collier economist

It's all about ideas for creating opportunities for the worlds poorest people.
He's focusing on one of his 4 big ideas wrapped around what he calls the "commodity boom".
He says that the revenue from commodities in countries where the "bottom billion" live far exceeds the funding for aid to those same countries, so how can we make this "change the world".
Currently the "bottom billion are experiencing the fastest economic growth rate ever. The key is to sustain it and according to Collier is how do you sustain it. He cites Canada, Australia and Finland as doing it right. It requires very strong checks and balances and these countries simply don't have them. He feels a key component is transparency, creating interest concern and effective action to ensure that there is indeed long term benefit. If society is uninformed, they can't act. he challenges us to help figure out:
How to extract resources our of the ground and benefit the country. He infers that what happens now is that big traders and government ministers carve deals that benefit them but not the long term economic health of the populace. If we could establish standards we can support the reformers who are struggling, and ensure transparency so that the general populace knows what is going on and can prevent the backroom deals that benefit big corporations and insiders.

Book: The Bottom Billion

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