Thursday, February 10, 2011

Promoting economic growth

Quite a lot to chew on from a speech by Jose Fernandez, the State Department's Assistant Secretary for Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs.  The issue is how the Obama administration views the U.S. role in promoting economic growth.

To be clear, this is not simply a blind faith in the power of the free markets. Instead, this focus is really about identifying every convergence point where commercial and public interests meet.
We see this convergence of profit and purpose with several initiatives and concepts we are promoting in the spirit of partnership and cooperation laid out by the President.
  • FIRST, our innovative initiative to harness remittances for development needs,
  • SECOND; our emphasis on women’s entrepreneurship in Peru, and
  • THIRD, I want to speak to the need to promote anti-corruption and transparency measures as a way to boost domestic revenues for development

The emphasis on remittances is ironic, since the Obama administration is deporting more remittance senders than any administration in the history of the United States.

Women's entrepreneurship sounds good, though the idea is essentially to connect small entrepreneurs with Wal-Mart.  Small businesses do need markets, but government-sponsored ties to massive multinational corporations raise all sorts of questions given the virtually total control the MNCs will immediately exert on those small businesses acting as distributors.


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