Backlash from anti-capitalist groups

Virtually all enlightened countries have adopted such pro-capitalist stances as free trade, efforts to restrain taxes, rule of law and government budget accountability. But an anti-capitalist tide has arisen, championed by thousands of organisations worldwide – and funded by governments, businesses and foundations. These so-called nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) now number about 40,000.

Critics point to these institutions as sources of support for radical groups:

  • The World Resources Institute, for example, gets money from the U.S. Interior and Agricultural departments and the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Canada's government provides almost half the funding for the International Institute for Sustainable Development – with the U.S. federal government throwing it another $138,000 during the fiscal year ended in March 2001.

  • BP Amoco and the Royal Dutch/Shell group follow a policy of seeking to appease the NGOs through financial support.

    The NGOs preach that capitalism does little for the poor.

    But researchers David Dollar and Aart Kraay of the World Bank have documented that growth generated by free markets helps the poor as well as the non-poor.

  • For instance, policies to reduce inflation help the poor more than higher-income groups – who have sufficient resources to weather price increases.

  • And reducing public spending also benefits the poor – since they only get crumbs, while the wealthy are much better positioned to benefit from government sprnding.

    Source: Steve H. Hanke (Johns Hopkins University), Kowtowing to Capitalism's Enemies, Forbes, August 6, 2001.

    For more on Economic Freedom & Growth

    FMF\14 August 2001
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