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Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets by Lila Rajiva, Will Bonner

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Do‐Gooding Doo‐Doo

We are not experts, dear reader, but when we study the matter, this is what we come up with: From 1960 to 1985 the United States, 13 other developed countries, and institutions like the World Bank accounted for 85 to 90 percent of total aid to India, the United States donating 50 percent of the total in 1961–1962 with a decline to 1 percent by 1988–1989, when the World Bank donated 65 percent of the total.25

What that tells us is that the World Bank has gradually taken over the role of the United States in sending aid to India. That alone should make anyone a trifle suspicious. Countries have no friends—they have only interests, goes the saying. What interest could the United States—a republic‐turned‐empire—have with the World Bank, the world's most notorious financial busybody? Oh what, indeed!

“I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good,” was canny old Adam Smith's take on the matter.26

But the World Bank affects to do just that. It is one of the leading arbiters of the rules by which trade takes place in the world. And, making a sticky situation exponentially stickier, it is also in the business of making grants and loans to countries. Think of it like having an umpire at a baseball match who, in between calling outs, flings on his gear and rushes out to the field to bat. Even if he means to in good faith, he is unlikely to do either task very well. And all the rushing around is liable to trip up everyone else in ...

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