Archive for the ‘Development’ Category

Development and Property Rights

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005

The Economist has taken survey of the uproar since the Kelo vs. New London decision.

Property rights and eminent domain

Hands off our homes
From The Economist print edition

A Supreme Court ruling that allows the government to seize private property has set off a fierce backlash that may yet be as potent as the anti-abortion movement

IF YOU ever doubted the importance of the Supreme Court, consider the fuss about Kelo v New London. The five-to-four ruling by the court on June 23rd, apparently giving the government the power to bulldoze homes on flimsy grounds, has set off fiery protests across the country.

Americans used to believe that their constitution protected private property. The Fifth Amendment allows the state to seize it only for “public use”, and so long as “just compensation” is paid. “Public use” has traditionally been taken to mean something like a public highway. Roads would obviously be much harder to build if a single homeowner could hold out forever or for excessive compensation. The government’s powers of “eminent domain” have also been used to clean up “blighted” slums.

Poverty and Disability

Thursday, September 9th, 2004

The World Bank is beginning to increase its focus on the nature of Disabilities, and how addressing them is crutial to economic development; specifically the Millenium Development Goals cannot be met without adressing how 1 in 5 people in developing nations has a catagorical disability. These efforts are to be applauded for personal and humanitarian reasons.

Development and the Environment Part II

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2004

A reminder that solutions to our problems are not, and for the most part cannot, be global in scope. Depite being reletively underwhelmed by Mr. Bush’s environmental record, he did push the diesel legislation through in the US – and recieved very little acclaim for it. This is no small matter and the EU and US should continue to lead by example.

World Bank Plays Down Diesel Rules

June 23, 2004; Page A15

The World Bank plans to recommend that developing countries hold off on mandating a cleaner diesel fuel being adopted in the U.S. and Europe, putting the international lender at odds with U.S. environmental regulators.

The World Bank doesn’t have any official authority over a nation’s environmental rules. But because it lends money for projects throughout the developing world, its advice holds great influence there.

The World Bank’s report, scheduled to be released next week, concludes it would be too expensive for many developing countries to mandate diesel fuel that is as low in sulfur as the blend U.S. and European regulators are demanding. For now, the bank says, less-esoteric cleanup strategies will deliver more bang for the buck — moves such as inspecting vehicles periodically to make sure they are being kept in good repair.

“There are a lot of countries that, if they think this is the magic bullet and they invest in this, they’re going to be grossly disillusioned,” said Todd Johnson, a senior environmental specialist at the World Bank and one of the authors of the report. The World Bank agrees it is important for developing countries to move toward lower-sulfur fuels, but for many of those countries, going as far and as fast as the U.S. is “not really a very realistic recommendation,” he said.

Development and the Environment

Wednesday, June 16th, 2004

With one of the worst environmental records of the world, Chinese citizens are realizing their land is worth protecting. This illustrates once again how as nations develop economically the perception of the environment changes to make it a superior good, in contrast with many NGO’s which try to protect the environment sometimes at the cost of growth.

Green Groups Move To Clean Up China
New Generation of Activists Emerges as Country Faces Strains of Economic Growth

June 14, 2004; Page A13

HEFEI, China — When Wen Bo was a college student, he put up a handmade poster on his college campus warning that the “Earth is in Crisis.” He then spent the rest of a June afternoon trying to raise environmental awareness at a local police station.

“They had never heard of Earth Day,” Mr. Wen says of the plainclothes police who detained him. The police grilled the student toting a poster with the suspicious-sounding slogan on the anniversary of the government’s June 4 Tiananmen Square crackdown, but the interrogation had an upside: “It was a great opportunity to publicize our cause,” he says.