It has long been fashionable in foreign capitals to criticize the Bush
administration for not showing more economic leadership in cutting its
budget deficit. But what would happen if the United States got serious
about putting its economic house in order? The political bloodletting
and instability that would ensue would make the world wish it had kept
The war against poverty is threatened by friendly fire. A swarm of
media-savvy Western activists has descended upon aid agencies, staging
protests to block projects that allegedly exploit the developing world.
The protests serve professional agitators by keeping their pet causes
in the headlines. But they do not always serve the millions of people
who live without clean water or electricity.
The U.S. economy is the world's economic engine. But with American
citizens saving less and Washington spending more, that engine is now
running on fumes. Together, these trends could ignite trade protectionism and threaten global economic integration.
The second annual CGD/FP
Commitment to Development Index ranks 21 rich nations on how their aid,
trade, investment, migration, environment, security, and technology
policies help poor countries. Find out who's up, who's down, why
Denmark and the Netherlands earn the top spots, and why Japan once
again finishes last.
The market economy has triumphed virtually everywhere -- and has come to be
reviled virtually everywhere. Critics, including more than a few economists, charge
that capitalism creates gross inequality, inflicts environmental destruction,
and undermines democracy. Nothing could be further from the truth. The market
economy is the most just and humane economic system yet conceived.
After initially dismissing the Enron fiasco as a product of flawed U.S. accounting practices, the European Union (EU) came to realize that its investors are likewise vulnerable to corporate fraud. Frits Bolkestein, the EU's internal market and taxation commissioner, recently told a U.S. audience that Europe was strengthening the rules that govern the operations of accountants, auditors, and regulators. But Bolkestein's assurances glossed over the difficulties of implementing reform among 15 member states that each have their own regulatory regimes.