Apparently top-down development would work just fine if we only had the right leader at the World Bank, and Jeff Sachs has someone in mind.....
People, did you know that the WB's "central mission is to reduce global poverty and ensure that global development is environmentally sound and socially inclusive."
Shall we take a Python break?
"NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise...."
Don't get me wrong, Jeff has a good point that the US has not exactly covered itself in glory with the folks we've put in charge of the World Bank or with our use of the institution to promote cold war goals. But the "all we need are the right people in charge" argument is just so incredibly superficial and lame, whether applied to political systems or vast bureaucracies.
Jeff concludes by offering his vision of where the Bank would go under a Sachs-ocracy:
Its priorities should include agricultural productivity; mobilization of information technologies for sustainable development; deployment of low-carbon energy systems; and quality education for all, with greater reliance on new forms of communication to reach hundreds of millions of under-served students.
With all due respect, can we not just put Barber Conable's ghost back in charge?