From the Economist Blog
Why would anyone with a robust sense of reality simply assume that each national jurisdiction contains the seeds of a viable economy? If we insist on thinking of development as a matter of national growth, we may well consign most of the bottom billion, and their children and their grandchildren, to unrelenting poverty trapped within their UN-recognised national prisons. Our real moral concern should not be the Central African Republic, but its unfortunate denizens. The best thing for their prospects may simply be to get out–to leave for a place where growth has already commenced. The West’s many attempts to jumpstart growth where the world’s poorest already reside has yet to work. So why does the international community insist on betting the poor’s lives on the gamble that it will, finally, some day?
While development has worked in some places, South Korea and Taiwan come to mind, there is little compelling evidence that a society locked into antiquated social capital can shift to a modern one absent the destruction of the existing social capital. The shocks would be a significant war, or a tyrannical government (i.e. China) willing to uproot society.
Its food for thought anyway.