Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Single Most Important and Revolutionary Factor for Economic Development and Empowerment?

Over the last several years, what has been the single most important and revolutionary factor for the economic empowerment of the world’s poorest people?

Hint: It’s not foreign aid, the World Bank, or the International Monetary Fund.


Hint: It has compensated for inadequate infrastructure such as bad roads and slow postal services, it has facilitated the flow of information, it has allowed emerging market economies to operate more efficiently, and it has helped unleash entrepreneurship in some of the poorest countries in the world. And having it is “almost like having a card to get out of poverty in a couple of years.”


Find out what “it” is
here, here and here.


21 Comments:

At 9/29/2009 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still believe that the correct answer is private property rights, but assuming that a mobile phone is all one needs to escape poverty; the world owes a great debt to the US military and private enterprise. Notice that those are the two things that leftists work tirelessly to undermine and destroy - go figure.

 
At 9/29/2009 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Minor detail the first cell phones were in Japan(1979), so make it world wide private enterprise, not just US. The US came in 1983. You can go back further but then it was due to a monopoly research and development (ATT and the transistor).
In fact historically in the "gadget" space (cell phones started there) Japan has been the leading engine. So if one says worldwide private enterprise that is more nearly true.
Given that outside of the US it used to be very hard to get access to a telephone due to underinvestment by the government run phone company(PTT), the cell phone arrived at the time when privatization pushed the PTTs to change. The cell phone eliminated the expensive wired infrastructure, and thus provided telecom to the masses around the world.

 
At 9/29/2009 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Telecom in and of itself does not create wealth, but is an effect of wealth (how do you think mobile phones came to being in the first place, did it just spring to life?) The true way to get ANY country out of poverty is encouraging production in the private market. The only way you can reach this optimized growth, is through low taxes and stable money. Its sad how this is still a mystery to modern economists....

 
At 9/29/2009 12:20 PM, Anonymous Benny The Real Libbie said...

The US military has become a huge, federal parasite, used to enrich friends of Congress.
I like the private sector. BTW, mobile phones are great, but the Internet is great too.
I guess we do have to thank DARPA for the 'net.

 
At 9/29/2009 1:25 PM, Blogger 1 said...

benny the pseudo _____ (fill in the blank) says: "The US military has become a huge, federal parasite, used to enrich friends of Congress"...

Well of course you have something credible to back that libelous statement up, right?

Then again I'm asking someone who obviously hasn't read the Constitution so what the heck am I thinking?

 
At 9/29/2009 2:01 PM, Anonymous Benny The Real Libertarian said...

No 1. Constitution? What says that document about standing armies?What did our Founding Fathers think about standing armies?

 
At 9/29/2009 2:36 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"What says that document about standing armies?What did our Founding Fathers think about standing armies?"...

Look it up...

You have internet access...

Specifically look up Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution...

But I've said this to you before...

May I also suggest you take a look at Thomas Paine...

 
At 9/29/2009 3:04 PM, Anonymous CompEng said...

Very cool.

 
At 9/29/2009 3:24 PM, Anonymous Benny The Truth Man said...

No. 1:

Note the language. Congress has the power to--

"To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;"

Our Founding Fathers profoundly distrusted standing armies, and that is why they wanted no funding to extend beyond two years.

President Eisenhower, upon leaving office, gave a remarkable and short speech, identifying the military-industrial complex as a prime concern. This was a guy who engineered our battles in WWII!

The perma-military became fixed in our parasitic federal bureacracy in the Cold War. Now we will have it forever--no federal agency of that size could ever be rid of.

But right-wingers always cry foul when whether the Department of Agriculture and Defense is cited as a parasite.

ONly left-wing parasites are bad.

 
At 9/29/2009 4:02 PM, Blogger 1 said...

benny the pseudo ____ (fill in the blank says: "Our Founding Fathers profoundly distrusted standing armies, and that is why they wanted no funding to extend beyond two years"...

ROFLMAO!...

Where does it say that Congress CAN'T reappropriate more money and more time?

Can you say The War Of 1812?...

(June 1812 to December 1814)

Good one benny the pseudo ____ (fill in the blank...

Thanks man, I needed a chuckle...

 
At 9/29/2009 4:34 PM, Anonymous Benny Tells No. 1 To Shut Up said...

Consider, for example, the immortal words of James Madison, who is commonly referred to as “the father of the Constitution”:

"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people.... [There is also an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and ... degeneracy of manners and of morals.... No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."

George Bush coms to mind.

Anyway, it is beyond debate that our Founding Fathers detested militaries, and militarization.
As did General, then President Eisenhower.

 
At 9/29/2009 7:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Minor detail the first cell phones were in Japan(1979)

History of the cellphone. Japan isn't mentioned.

 
At 9/29/2009 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

in the site http://gadgets.softpedia.com/news/History-of-Mobile-Phones-3578-01.html it cites the 1979 japan date for first commercial cell phone because the US FCC was dithering about frequency allocation. It is interesting that a number of the cellphone history cites take a US centric view of the world. Note that next was Scandinavia in 1981 (Not surprising given that one of biggest mobile phone makers is there)

 
At 9/29/2009 10:35 PM, Blogger QT said...

1, Benny,

Lighten up guys.

Seems to me that this post is not about the constitution or standing militias but the advent of mass communication which seems to have a very strong correlation with economic growth particularly in developing nations.

 
At 9/29/2009 11:46 PM, Anonymous Billy said...

Cell phones have done such a wonderful job it Detroit.

The sub-populations in the US who spend the most time and money on their cell phones are the least productive, least intelligent, most violent members of society. That's why there are armed security guards in cell phone stores.

 
At 9/30/2009 12:02 AM, Anonymous Scram said...

I hate to admit it but Benny is 100% right about the permanent army. This nation was intended to be defended by a small standing army and a large militia.

Our military budgets are for two years - a bastardization of the original intent of the Constitution.

The post-WWII period demonstrated the necessity of a continuous, large standing army but the Constitution was never amended. It never authorized an Air Force either.

Sadly, ever since FDR side-stepped the Constitution time and again, government doesn't even bother amending it anymore.

But Benny is wrong about the military industrial complex. It has done far more good than ill, is well within Congressional powers, and the military is quite small relative to our population. That MIC created wondrous weapons which let us leverage technology to save American lives. The ratio of soldiers killed to soldier-days of combat has fallen dramatically from over 300 deaths per day to less than 2 per day. We've lost fewer soldiers in the last 8 years of war than on the beaches of Normany in one day.

It was the Housing Industrial Complex which destroyed our economy. One can say that any place the government concentrates funds will be fraught with fraud, waste and abuse, but some expenditures are authorized in the Constitution and most are not.

 
At 9/30/2009 12:04 AM, Anonymous Scram said...

I hate to admit it but Benny is 100% right about the permanent army. This nation was intended to be defended by a small standing army and a large militia.

Our military budgets are for two years - a bastardization of the original intent of the Constitution.

The post-WWII period demonstrated the necessity of a continuous, large standing army but the Constitution was never amended. It never authorized an Air Force either.

Sadly, ever since FDR side-stepped the Constitution time and again, government doesn't even bother amending it anymore.

But Benny is wrong about the military industrial complex. It has done far more good than ill, is well within Congressional powers, and the military is quite small relative to our population. That MIC created wondrous weapons which let us leverage technology to save American lives. The ratio of soldiers killed to soldier-days of combat has fallen dramatically from over 300 deaths per day to less than 2 per day. We've lost fewer soldiers in the last 8 years of war than on the beaches of Normany in one day.

It was the Housing Industrial Complex which destroyed our economy. One can say that any place the government concentrates funds will be fraught with fraud, waste and abuse, but some expenditures are authorized in the Constitution and most are not.

 
At 9/30/2009 2:37 AM, Blogger 1 said...

"I hate to admit it but Benny is 100% right about the permanent army. This nation was intended to be defended by a small standing army and a large militia"...

There's no doubt about it, it was the first time benny got it right...

It's benny's inability to read the simple words in the Constitution that I find hilarious...

"Sadly, ever since FDR side-stepped the Constitution time and again, government doesn't even bother amending it anymore"...

Ding! Ding! Ding! That's a winner!

There is also the problem of how the Supreme Court has sidestepped the Constitution via the Commerce clause...

 
At 9/30/2009 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Posted about this over on JayPGreene's blog just yesterday: http://jaypgreene.com/2009/09/29/market-ideas-at-work-around-the-world/. Glad to see the idea is getting around.

 
At 9/30/2009 11:54 AM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

The power of the cell phone to good is awesome but it can be harmful.
The debate of a standing army and the non-debate of a "standing" navy should be non-issues because of pervasive threats in the hands of evil indivduals. Thankfully we have motivated and highly trained people to deter and respond to attacks with rapidity.

 
At 10/01/2009 12:56 PM, Blogger ExtremeHobo said...

1 Normally I am a fan of your posts but this one you really lose points on.

"Where does it say that Congress CAN'T reappropriate more money and more time?"

Its this kind of logic that destroys the constitution. Why even have the 2 years part in there? You are sounding exactly like the supreme court judges that twist the constitution to fit into whatever beliefs they have...

 

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