December 8, 2012
Do 'the people' get the governments they deserve?
So Obama has been re-elected. Did the American people get the government they deserve? I spent several years working in development economics -- specifically in education for development, mostly as a consultant to The World Bank, but also to USAID, UNDP, and the OAS. One question which often was raised, particularly when the project implementation was going badly, was if national groups -- the people -- had the government they deserved. Some specialists in development thought the question was cruel and demeaning. But many others thought that the nature and culture of the national populace were major factors in the success or failure of development projects. A look at a few examples might be helpful. Nicaragua is a good sample. From 1979 to 1990, the Sandinistas, led by Daniel Ortega, ruled Nicaragua by dictatorship. Since they painted themselves as "freedom fighters," they got a lot of attention and sympathy from left-wing governments,...(Read Full Article)