Phi Beta Cons

No Help from the Left

Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese Muslim billionaire whose mobile-phone company made cell phones cheap and widespread in Africa, and who gives a $5 million reward to African dictators who are elected to office, promote democracy, do not steal from the people, and cede power peacefully, is emphatic that Africa’s problems are due to corruption and poor leadership, not to poverty and colonialism. Quite a contrast to left-wing economists, such as Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs.

Ken Auletta sums up the difference between the two in a long article on Ibrahim. Sachs recommends more foreign aid, and has written, “Africa’s governance is poor because Africa is poor.” Ibrahim says the opposite, in Auletta’s words: “Africans are poor because their governance is poor.”

Most Popular

World

Trump and the North Korean Tipping Point

The world has been stunned by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s announcement last week that he was suspending his country’s nuclear tests in preparation for the impending meeting with President Trump. Even critics have had to concede that Trump’s bellicose rhetoric since last summer regarding the North ... Read More
Politics & Policy

E Pluribus . . . Gridlock

A mantra we hear everywhere these days is that diversity is a good thing. And no doubt, it is. Diversity facilitates an exchange of ideas and opinions, and it promotes economic growth. Moreover, the alternative to diversity is to suppress the views and opinions of some subset of citizens, which is completely ... Read More
Economy & Business

Trade Misunderstandings

I was distracted by other policy topics last week but not enough not to notice Peter Navarro’s article in the Wall Street Journal, headlined “China’s Faux Comparative Advantage.” Considering Navarro’s position in the White House, it is unfortunate that it demonstrates some serious misunderstandings ... Read More