Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Africa as Bleak House

Niall Ferguson is not optimistic--mass musical concerts to the contrary--about Africa. He weaves together a character from Dickens, Bob Geldof, and David Livingstone, to make his point about missionaries, singers and explorers, and Africa. The problem will not be solved by more aid from the G8 countries. Note the good paragraphs on China (and India).

Discussions - 2 Comments

I read this earlier this morning...I agree completely with his assessment of Africa, but I’m wondering about China. It’s true that China’s absolute GDP could be as big as ours in the next few decades, but that’s not the same as being wealthy. In per capita terms, they have a very long way to go. This matters because you have to have a domestic market to have sustained growth...exports will only take you so far (e.g., Japan).

I would also add that China lacks what most of Asia lacks...a heritage of individualism and competitive innovation. They will be able to copy our innovations very easily, and they will continue to produce goods more quickly and cheaply than we can, but ultimately our culture sets the pace. Indeed, if their abuses in terms of trade and monetary policy continue, I think we will see strong social pressures for the G8 to ratchet down Chinese export capacities.

Edward: I agree with you. Very clearly put. Thanks.

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