The White Man's Burden Summary

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William Easterly is an American economist, specialized in the field of development economics. He is mainly noted for his research and studies about developmental issues and themes in the Third World, like foreign aid to poor countries and the policies involved in the process of ending poverty. These issues are deeply discussed in his second book, The White Man’s Burden (2006), in which he heavily criticizes the “West’s” way of helping underdeveloped countries through aid institutions (World Bank, UN agencies, etc.) and plans that helped but little. According to him, the problems linked to poverty should be approached differently, especially after a long history of repeated “missed goals” and failures. In his opinion, aid is needed for poor…show more content…
Easterly believes that little has changed when it comes to the White’s illusion of superiority and states that “the savage people” and “uncivilized” of yesterday are today referred to as “third war” and “underdeveloped”, respectively. This mindset should be changed. Poor countries can find a way to prosper without intervention and massive aid programs. The bottom 4 developing countries in terms of receipts of foreign aid had no problem achieving healthy growth rates. Countries like Hong-Kong, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan went from being 3rd world countries to developed countries in less than 4 decades (GDP speaking). Botswana for instance was a success story in Africa with unprecedented growth rate in per capita income and GDP. According to Easterly, the main factor behind this is the participation, in the economy, of decentralized agents who were held accountable, without having western agents taking a significant share of their profits. The Democratic Republic of Congo has more natural resources than Botswana, but a miserable economy. Botswana, in contrast, has stability and above all,…show more content…
Searchers are constantly aware of the fact that poverty results from a combination of political, social, historical, institutional and technological factors: the legend of The Big Push appears to be a lie. The legend attribute poverty to an inherited trap which can be overcome by foreign aid programs to push the economy up Poor countries of today aren’t necessarily so because they started off poor and couldn’t develop; statistics show that countries with above-average aid had a growth similar to those with below-average aid. Foreign aid can do well to the economy, but it is not a mean to overcome poverty. Chad, despite foreign aid, had a growth of nearly 0% in 50 years, while Botswana with less aid sprung
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