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Interesting entrepreneurs

I came across this article about some very interesting African entrepreneurs on the Freakonomics blog. But what caught my eye was one of the comments below by one Joe Smith. He very succinctly summarizes the “preconditions for economic development”:

We’ve known for a long time what the preconditions are for economic development: (1) physical security (no one will accumulate capital if it will only result in their being murdered) (2) the rule of law (property rights are enforceable and corruption is at a minimum) (3) the right to trade more or less freely.

These pre-conditions of economic development have not changed in thousands of years.

— Joe Smith
  1. stylo
    September 9, 2009 at 2:40 am

    Hey Mohit interesting blog. Liked the fact that you have Neruda on it. I would like to add the two pre-conditions that I reckon are rather crucial to an already astute list:

    1. Money needs to exist.A store of value.
    2. Human needs & demands, the willingness to pay for them and the ability to pay for them.


    • September 9, 2009 at 7:53 am

      Welcome to the blog Stylo and thanks for your comments.

      1. Money needs to exist.A store of value.
      Agree, it is implicit in the “accumulate capital” point.

      2.Human needs & demands, the willingness to pay for them and the ability to pay for them.

      Good point about willingness and ability to pay, I think that would come under the “rule of law” clause; human needs and demands are pre-existing conditions from birth though 😉

  2. stylo
    September 9, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    1. Capital can mean anything. Peahens, land, plants,etc. NOT money necessarily. Money appeared only a couple of thousand years ago. Natural inclusion in the ‘accumulate capital’ clause is not automatic.

    2. Ability to pay cannot be assumed to be a part of the ‘rule of law’ clause as no law can govern an individual’s ‘capacity’ to pay. (If tax laws are anything to go by they can only diminsh it :))Willingness, I understand, can be clubbed into the ‘rule of law’ cause coz when it comes to paying up you do not really have a choice 😉

    3. Human needs and demands of the ‘from birth’ kind are food,water,shelter and sleep. Not necessarily instigators of hectic trade activity atleast the kind we are witness to, today. It is the higher rung needs (Reference: Self actualisation from Maslow’s Theory) that are established through an individual’s family environment and social conditioning that really get things moving. Hence, this point deserves an honourable mention.

    Possible, non?

    • September 9, 2009 at 10:45 pm

      1. Agree.

      2. Also agree.

      3. Granted honorable mention!

      I am curious about your identity 🙂

  3. stylo
    September 9, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    I am curious about my identity too 😉

    • September 10, 2009 at 10:27 am

      Touche. I will rest easy knowing you are a real person, for surely bots are incapable of wit!

  4. stylo
    September 10, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    * Takes a minute to Google ‘bots’ and is amazed to learn that they are ‘a type of conversational agent, a computer program designed to simulate an intelligent conversation with one or more human users via auditory or textual methods (thanks Wikipedia)’*


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