Liberty and secure title to property


We tend to use "democracy" as a shorthand description for the relatively free and stable social, political, and economic system we enjoy, but by looking at the post-colonial experience of most Third World nations, it's easy to see that a voting system alone is an insufficient basis for liberty. Peruvian economist Hernando DeSoto, in an interview in National Review Online, explains why establishing secure title to property is an essential step for "nation-building" in Iraq. He mentions a startling figure: There is no clear title to 78% of assets in Mexico, 90% of assets in Egypt. Investment and credit are impossible if no one can be sure who owns what.

Here's the website of DeSoto's organization, the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, for more on this concept.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 5, 2003 11:28 PM.

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