STANFORD UNIVERSITY – For an interesting “third world” critique of the current U.S. economic situation, tune into this video Q and A with with Hernando de Soto as part of the 2011 SIEPR Economic Summit.
de Soto is president of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, a think tank in Lima, Peru that the Economist considers one of the two most important think tanks in the world. The organization grew from trying to get democracy established in Peru after a dictatorship and has been hired by 30 heads of state seeking to better understand how to have more of a Western-style economy. De Soto and his group try to explain the necessity of the rule of law and how it is rooted not in passing laws per se but in trustworthy record keeping.
He says we no longer have accurate records of who owns what, and that means nobody can trust anybody economically, which makes us like the shadow economies of third world countries. If you don’t have (accurate) records of who owns which assets, says de Soto, “you have the army.”
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