Washington Post on A16

Seth Ackerman SAckerman at FAIR.org
Wed Apr 19 20:34:17 PDT 2000

Brad De Long wrote:

> If your ideal is something different, then you have to deal with the
> fact that the dominant feature of post-1945 economic history is that
> the countries that integrate themselves into the world economy--that
> export a lot, use the proceeds to buy capital goods to build up their
> productive capacity, and then export some more--are the big winners.

Which examples are you talking about? The greatest post-1945 success stories -- South Korea is the most notable -- followed a development model that not only differs from the IMF/Treasury model, but which the IMF/Treasury actively seek to demolish: Heavy protectionism to foster nascent industries, plus tight capital controls and state-directed investment.

Brad, wasn't the Western business press last year full of stories warning that East Asia was recovering "too soon" -- because it hadn't yet fully dismantled the same development policies that had made it rich from 1960 to 1998? And let's be honest: We're not just talking about cleaning up some shady accounting practices. We're talking about getting rid of Asia's core policies: In business organization, capital allocaiton, capital controls, and tariffs.

There seems to be a kind of doublethink here: Korea's development model is only called a "success" when you want to highlight the benefits of export-orientation: Everywhere else, it was a failure.


More information about the lbo-talk mailing list