Back to the Future, the UN way
Yesterday I quoted Claudia Rosett’s WSJ article, In Deep Trouble: Kofi Annan’s idea of “reform” is more of the same–and lots more, where she said (emphasis mine),
The grand failure of the U.N. is that its system, its officials and most visibly its current secretary-general are still stuck in the central-planning mindset that was the hallmark of dictators and failed utopian dreams of the previous century. Mr. Annan’s plan takes little practical account of a modern world in which competition, private enterprise and individual freedom are the principles of progress. He has his own agenda, which he would like the rest of us to follow and fund. The words sound lofty: “development, security, and human rights for all.” The devil is in the details, and because this is a blueprint for the future of the entire earth, that means a lot of room for big trouble. This report is not a benign document.
Rosett’s words resonated in my mind last night, as I was reading Alvaro Vargas Llosa’s (AVLl)excellent new book, Liberty for Latin America : How to Undo Five Hundred Years of State Oppression, specifically when I read page 69:
In any case, suplly and productivity of capital, and the levels of capital formation, depend on the institutions and the capacity of individual enterprise within those institutions , not on an investment of funds received from abroad via the World Bank, the IMF [and others].
Kofi (and Jacques Chirac, too) would like a tax on rich nations, collected by the UN, and reveues to be distributed to the poor nations, with the UN in charge, of course. Just the fact that Jacques is for it makes me suspicious. After all, Jaques is one step ahead of the law only for as long as he remains in office, but I digress. Here’s how I believe it’ll all turn out, if this tax on the rich ever happens:
First, there’ll never be a reform of the UN. The organism itself is too far gone.
To use the words of AVLl’s book, what little resources Kofi et al manage to channel will strengthen statism, postpone adequate solutions, and displace political responsibility. I’m using bold print to emphasize AVLl’s own words:
- Strengthening statism comes from programs that encourage reliance in other people’s means rather than one’s efforts in order to sustain economic activity. Call it the welfare-queen effect, or, as AVLl puts it, gentle parasitism. Inefficiency and corruption ensue, and are perpetuated.
- The postponement of adequate solutions stem from the fact that the UN would channel most of its funds towards pushing for big government, whether locally or at the UN, rather than reforming the countries.
- The displacement of responsibility comes when all of the funding fails to address systemic problems in the countries, and the countries then resort to blaming international bodies for evils whose major causes lie at home
(I hope Mr. Vargas Llosa forgives my excessive relyiance on his words).
We’ve seen it happen before, and will see it happen again. And, as Claudia Rosett said, that means a lot of room for big trouble.