Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Re: The Africa Memo

Hard to know the truth, but I still suspect it was blown out of proportion... Still, I don't buy Summer's excuses that it was merely meant to be ironic. I suspect he & his aide just got a little too imaginative...

Here's the memo:
http://www.whirledbank.org/ourwords/summers.html

1 comment:

  1. I don't really think it was blown out of proportion. Look at this:

    "The measurements of the costs of health impairing pollution depends on the foregone earnings from increased morbidity and mortality."

    And loss of life. See Disability Adjusted Live Year, a standard used by the WHO and health economists. It's not just lost earnings.

    "I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that."

    Impeccable? Dumping toxic waste? We're not talking about shipping newpapers from landfills, but toxic waste?

    "Also, much of the concern over industrial atmosphere discharge is about visibility impairing particulates. These discharges may have very little direct health impact."

    Really? It's not about health? Try this.

    "The problem with the arguments against all of these proposals for more pollution in LDCs ... could be turned around and used more or less effectively against every Bank proposal for liberalization. "

    Ok, and? So just because World Bank opponents have a moral objection to sending toxic waste to the Third World, the World Bank shouldn't either? Really, that's the best you can muster for a closing argument?

    I don't think it was blown out of proportion, I think Larry was both heartless and wrong on the facts.

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