28th February 2011
Bryan Caplan has some thoughts on Amy Chua’s less controversial book.
The negative side effect of free-market reforms: The market-dominant minorities disproportionately benefit, increasing popular resentment. The negative side effect of democratization: Market-dominant minorities disproportionately suffer, because the majority finally gets a chance to legally enforce its resentment. Pushing both reforms on developing countries simultaneously – which Chua claims the U.S. government habitually does – gives the worst of both worlds: Increasing resentment – and the opportunity to politically act upon it. If the stars align badly enough, preaching democratic capitalism gives you Yugoslavia or Rwanda.