BO has tapped a “development professional” to head “the world’s largest development agency”. That is, to head the World Bank. WaPo story here.

History shows us that development is destruction. Nobody has ever gotten development right. Dumping lots of money on poor countries almost always results in corruption at the highest levels and increased suffering amongst the populace. At best, development is a waste. Complex systems are complex and development – as something that rich countries do to help poor countries – just doesn’t acknowledge this. There are unintended consequences, there are hidden incentives, and there is emergent order that by definition cannot be controlled.

What poor countries need are strong legal systems that have at least some semblance of private property rights. Even without private property rights, however, simply creating strong legal systems is a pretty good start.

Development = destruction and calling any agency the world’s largest…that’s like the biggest insult I can think of.

-JD Cross