A Better Road Map than the U.N.’s to Empower the Poor

​Iain Murray discusses a better way to empower the developing world: 

At its upcoming summit, the United Nations is soon due to replace its ambitious Millennium Development Goals with a new set of far more extensive and even more ambitious Sustainable Development Goals.

However, the U.N.’s approach suffers from some major flaws. The world body sets some grand and vague targets, yet offers no practical way to achieve them. Instead, the world should adopt strategies that have proven to deliver a healthier, greener, and more prosperous planet—strategies that also improve the resiliency of communities to whatever nature throws at them.

The U.N.’s approach is more wishful thinking than strategy. In addition to simply announcing a slew of targets that are unlikely to prove achievable, the U.N.’s approach emphasizes “sustainability,” a concept favored by development bureaucrats and NGOs, that imposes significant burdens on developing countries’ ability to achieve rapid increases in human welfare—which were the target of the original Millennium goals.

The U.N. also ignores the lessons provided by successful once-developing economies that have achieved developed status. Hong Kong and Singapore each followed a proven path to prosperity based on principles that have significantly increased the resiliency of their economies and people.

That is why a new paper I authored for the Competitive Enterprise Institute suggests that developing world economies should follow a different track than that proposed by the U.N. I recommend five realistic goals to pursue

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