The P³ on the World Bank Doing Business report

The allegation is that the process was corrupted.

There is much fury in the development community about this, and those who have always seen the World Bank as a neoliberal enemy are having a field day.

I admit I see things slightly differently. I am delighted by the demise of the Doing Business report. It has always promoted a profoundly inappropriate view of the world concentrating as it did on light regulation and low tax as the basis for prosperity when quite clearly what was not true. This report was part of the old Washington Consensus which the world can most definitely do without.

The background here is that the World Banks’ “Doing Business” report ended up with some governments putting the pressure on to get better results. They’ve thus cancelled the report.

Hmm, well, that just never does happen in other international bodies, not at all. The WHO is not, in any manner, beholden to China over ‘rona for example. Nope. Therefore we should not take this as an example of why we should be leery of international bodies and law. Nope.

But rather more interesting is the insistence that the WB is on the side of low tax and light regulation. And that this report measured that. Not really, no:

The reference to tax rates is here. It’s not even a majority of the ease of paying taxes measure.

It’s not even about light regulation. It doesn’t ask anything at all about gaining permission to operate in a particular sector or anything. It is about effective regulation – rule of law, contracts, courts, property rights and so on. But then those are ease of doing business, not predelictions for light regs and low taxes.

But the P³s opposition isn’t based on knowledge of what the measurements actually are anyway. As with his opposition to the Washington Consensus itself – merely a list of 10 stupid things you shouldn’t do to an economy – it’s just that there’s a vague lefty unease at anyone measuring bad government therefore the measuring should be opposed.

2 thoughts on “The P³ on the World Bank Doing Business report”

  1. I do agree with you Rob. Since I grew up during the collapse of the empire, I naturally feel that independence means the freedom to go to hell after your own fashion.

    I certainly don’t believe that we have any obligations whatsoever to ‘help’ or ‘develop’ the wogistans.

    They can see how we became reasonably prosperous. But that intellectual property is in the public domain. If they wish to copy it, good luck to them. If they wish to talibanise or zimbabwify, they can do that too.

    Provided they leave us alone, I’m certainly happy to ignore them.

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