This week Angus Deaton won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on development, welfare and poverty. Although he is optimistic about the world as a whole becoming a better place he very much criticizes the West’s attempts to alleviate poverty in developing countries. He even insists that ‘we’ are currently making things worse. In this Project Syndicate piece he argues that “foreign aid – transfers from rich countries to poor countries – has much to its credit, particularly in terms of health care, with many people alive today who would otherwise be dead. But foreign aid also undermines the development of local state capacity.” And we “cannot help the poor by making their already-weak governments even weaker.”
A resounding message that will need political courage to be implemented. A good start is to read his book The Great Escape.