End, Don’t Mend, the World Bank
Sept. 13, 2007
A panel led by former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volker has issued a report detailing myriad corruption problems at the world bank. A “Wall Street Journal” editorial calls the report “a devastating indictment of . . . the bank's ‘ambivalence’ toward both corruption and its own anticorruption unit.”
“Many longtime critics of the World Bank will take this as occasion to say it needs to ‘reform,’” said Alex Epstein, a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute. “But no proper reform is possible, since the World Bank is an inherently corrupt organization.
“The basic job of the World Bank is to use the funds of successful countries to give cheap loans to governments whose economies fail--allegedly as a means of fostering economic progress. But if economic progress is one’s goal, there is one time-tested solution: free up a country’s economy to unleash domestic production and spur foreign investment. The World Bank does the exact opposite: it rewards the failures of anti-capitalist countries, putting more cash in the hands of economic dictators with the hope that somehow they will work economic magic. Whether these leaders use the money to line their own pockets or to execute the latest ill-conceived socialist scheme, the result is an injustice: successful countries are looted to reward destructive economic policies.
“It is time to end the World Bank, and tell those who want prosperity that they must stop demanding handouts and start embracing capitalism.”
Alex Epstein was a writer and a fellow on staff
at ARI between 2004 and 2011.